The abhyasika at the construction site also began activities in the fall semester with much thought and planning. Most students in the centre are perpetually in transit and hence have not received sound basis in any subject. Moreover, the population keeps changing throughout the year and so does the language composition and level of interest and enthusiasm of the students. The idea was to divide the kids into levels judging by their performance in an examination and then teach them to suit their needs. It was decided that, at the end of the semester, every kid should be proficient enough to be promoted to the next level.
Probably due to a change in the regional composition and hence societal setup of the majority of the construction workers’ population, most children were reluctant to come for the abhyasikas. Therefore, two new centres were set up in the campus. The teaching methods have also been changed to make it more interactive and fun for the children.
The construction site Abhyasika, perhaps Disha’s most relevant and popular centre, has grown by leaps and bounds in the past one semester.The centre began with the aim of educating the children of construction workers hired to build the IISER campus. Due to constant migration, poverty and unemployment, these children are deprived of good education. The Abhyasika sessions aim to teach them basic English, Math, Geography and General Knowledge. The sessions are held everyday and concluded with a round of organised sport.
The volunteers at this site are enthusiastic and the children, though few in number are responsive and curious. Due to constant flux in the population of construction workers and dynamics in their population structure, region of origin and social norms, it is quite a daunting for these volunteers to convince the parents about the importance of education. It is extremely testing to cater to the personal requirements of each child.
The construction company has set up a temporary shelter next to the Mendeleev block, the Chemistry research building, which is now being used by this centre along with a black board, chalks and basic furniture. They are also collaborating with the used paper management team at IISER Pune, Prutha, to supply the students with rough paper for practice.
The sparkly-eyed, giggly children from this centre are familiar faces at all IISER celebrations in this semester.
Click here for the report from this centre for Fall 2012.