My experience volunteering at various schools in India, U.S.& Singapore for the under privileged, kids with special needs and kids with learning difficulties. This article is about that and funds ! They are so crucial in helping skills development. Its not only empathy here that works. Lets all do our bit, starting with the various Government bodies in cities of India.
I have seen certain places where the schools are run in a highly stagnant way. That is not the fault of the caregivers. It is the fault of the education ministry. if they don’t clean their act and prioritise their fund usage, the future generations of the local kids will be doomed. Don’t we want the local kids to thrive?? Don’t we want to see the first citizens of our cities live well. It frustrates especially when you see the disparity that all kids go through. Education is not shopping, or holidaying. Its not being able to buy what you want and its certainly not entertainment. We spend too much on all that. To build a great nation you need everyone on the same footing where basic rights and needs are attended to. Those rights include the right to be educated. But why stop at that ? Shouldn’t education be easier and more fun for kids? shouldn’t it be hygiene oriented, quality based? The same opportunities for all. The same education for all. They are teaching the same things that they were teaching a decade ago. The same expectations they had many years ago and they are at times not open to change or feedback. They need funds, they get those sometimes. They have people from companies coming in to volunteer their time or then people like me. There is no structure, no progress in activity and skills with the kids. The volunteers also bring in one new concept and then we shy away after being told ” the children cannot do this , the children have to do this, and this is how we do things since years. Yesterday I volunteered at this space where I noticed a fabulous process happening. They gave individualised plans to kids for the year and based on their goals, kept changing those plans.
The kids have confidence and a big smile on their faces. They seem to be thriving. It was the graduation ceremony of the children’s’ senior batch. The juniors came in to watch the prom event. The kids had special needs. Someone with Autism, someone with severe OCD, with speech problems, with physical challenges. The teachers were as loving as the teachers I saw in the other volunteer centres. Of course, people who chose to work at such schools as a full time job or honourable work, have immense amount of empathy and patience. But with those skills, they need to facilitate and challenge the kids to their potential. Some kids have more potential and ability than others. How will that be possible if they are not provided with the right training, the right resources and progressive equipment and materials? They even need ventilation, a healthy meal and well kept environments. The teachers at this org.in Singapore identified over the years the strengths of each child and helped them train toward their goals. This was possible as the basic obstacles were non- existent. The school had all the facilities. I am sure the teachers helped them work toward their skills and betterment of the same. The Government of Singapore plays a big role in funding these causes. They don’t just give the basics. They go the extra step and ensure that maintenance of the institute is ongoing. Teachers are trained in their own skills. For example the baker was superb. She had baked brownies for the kids. Their kitchen is a health nirvana. The food being cooked is low in sugar, oil ( they have an air fryer )
Why should kids with special needs not have the right to study is a fancy environment? Why should kids from under privileged study in dirty environments? We were a few Indians that went to volunteer there and we felt this jolt and goosebumps and sadness that why are our govt. schools so run down back home?? it is not fair at all. It is so nasty to have local kids going to such filthy schools where sometimes they have to smell sewage while studying. Govt. officials live beautifully in bungalows with a fleet of staff. However their reply is always this ” why don’t you all fund these schools? Of course everyone will fund these schools once we know where our money is going. We need a leader to show us what the school needs. We need the govt. to start and the public will follow. Thats how it must be. It should be structured by the govt. Please govt. of India focus on local education instead of building statues.
Lets donate generously to government schools, see through the entire process of renovation and equipping so that they can improve the space where learning must thrive !! We need a full force for this. Do say YES if you are interested to donate and watch videos to see the progress.