Sunday, June 10, 2012

A peek into a local govt run school

The govt run Basaveshwara school
It's been a while since my last post. Sticking to my theme of topics from my post on The Decision Pyramid I had posted some of my experiences related to differences between life in the US and India. Here's one related to making societal impact. When I was a student in one of the private institutions our teachers would often remark that this wasn't a corporation school when she saw us misbehaving. The memories that I recollect from the nearby govt. schools were of garbage and debris dumbed in the premises. The sad part of this is that the govt education system is still bad at the university level. I studied at the govt run UVCE in Bangalore and for two of the subjects we didn't have faculty! Our dean had to invite an ex-student from a nearby research institute to take weekend and evening classes to cover these subjects in the last few weeks of the semester. If one of the more premier institutes like an engg college didn't have faculty what chance does a primary school in a suburb of Bangalore stand?

Well one such school caught the eye of my dad near his house and he along with nearby residents have adopted this school and have been fostering it for last 6 years. From a dilapidated condition with no functional toilets, leaking roofs and a playground strewn with construction debris this school now boasts of record attendance, pass rates and facilities which private schools can envy (see computer lab below)

Computer Lab at the govt. run Basaveshwara school

I had the opportunity to attend an event where there were school uniforms were being distributed to children. Dad had gotten his friends from the Returned NRI (RNRI) Organization to contribute towards the purchase of uniforms. Each child was measured and with the contribution of Gokaldas Exports, school uniforms were tailored for each one. During the event, the local corporator (who was also Dy Mayor of Bangalore) also contributed notebooks.

It was exciting to see this school from what I remember it to be, 5 years ago.  I've seen the hard work done by my dad. Sometimes visiting the school daily to organize mid-day meals, training teachers, and even teaching at the school. It's not easy - but it's tremendously heartening to see such initiatives and the impact it's been making.

Dad and Harish (Dy mayor of Bangalore) handing out notebooks to school kids