Sisters Shareen (L) and Amreen (R) in UP, India
Earlier this year, E&H Foundation along with its team of interns conducted the first part of its ongoing research study aimed at assessing the long-term impact of our programs and partnerships. It was a chilly January afternoon; when we had just entered the Bhikampura (Farrukhabad) locality for our weeklong survey. This included going back to the children from earlier batches of our program (2013-14; 15-15, 15-16 & so on) conducting interviews with parents, teachers and children as well as engaging with the communities.
The goal was to understand how many children are continuing education after graduating from our classes at Std 3 & 5, understanding parent’s perceptions regarding their children’s future ambitions as well as current education status. After brief meetings and quick rounds into the classrooms of ongoing classes, we began field surveys and interviews. Group discussions, community meetings as well as door-to-door surveys were also conducted
There were many interesting encounters but one was deeply memorable.
Motivating children to continue learning/ Family that learns together, grows together
In the interiors of the Bhikampura colony, resides the Khan family. A chirpy little household painted blue and white where two families reside together. The family was one of the first we visited, as the children had been part of the E&H Foundation run the program (in partnership with Gyan Shala model) for 5 years. The three siblings Amreen, Shareen, and Arman were part of the Gyan Shala system and were eager to share their experience with us.
All three (Amreen, Shareen & Arman) studied under the program from Std 1-5 and are all first-general learners. Like most families in the area, they too earn their living through Zardozi work. Their father, a Zardozi worker has migrated and works away from home in Punjab and their mother does the same job at home, part-time.
Learning to chase dreams of a quality life
All three children are currently studying in nearby government schools. Here were a bunch of kids who were extremely excited to talk about school, what they learn, and what they like. The survey and interviews were going on as per schedule, the children, mother, and little siblings all engrossed. Each of them discussed passionately their learning experience and how it urged them to learn more and study more.
Highly motivated and sincere in their work which reflected in their grades and most importantly acknowledged by the teachers as well. Their mother, Noori, was keen to see her children flourish and willing to support their education till wherever the children would like to study. She did express the difficulty they face financially, “but that would not weigh down on my children’s dreams”, she says.
The children were zealous and aspired to move ahead in their lives. One of them is driven to become an inspector in the police, one a teacher, and many other ideas racing through their minds.
The commendable thing about their situation was that despite the strain they faced financially they still insisted that their children attended school and in case of extra support, even had the option of attending remedial classes within their locality.
According to the family, their ‘first school’ or E&H Foundation is where they learnt everything from reading, writing, to make basic calculations.
“Classes were held and taught is an orderly manner; the teachers always took a personal interest in us. A lot of our friends could not clear the entrance for Std 6 and that is where the classes made all the difference” – they said.
The involvement of teachers encouraged the students and especially parents to send their children to classes. Post Std 5, when the children wanted to enter into mainstream government and private schools, they firmly believed that they cleared the entrance due to the learning achieved in classes and the help supervisors and field team provided at the time of mainstreaming. This is also possible due to the consistent efforts of the field team, the parent’s motivation as well as the continued support our classes have received our partners. Fostering long-term learning outcomes and motivation for continued learning is possible only due to the persistent presence of our organization, partners and program in the colony, but especially in Bhikampura where the program is running since 2013.
These first-generation learners are now keen to study further and achieve greater heights. Their youngest sibling, Mahim (5) is currently enrolled in Std 1 and is eagerly waiting to return to class as soon as COVID-19 related fear and outspread is controlled. In the absence of support from partners like you, there is a high possibility that these children would not have been able to access primary quality education or continue learning in the first place.
We are currently supporting marginalized communities to survive through these tough times by focussing on providing relief and rehabilitation to the most vulnerable 3000 families (including parents of children enrolled under our educational program who are currently out of work due to COVID-19).
The Khan Family at their home in Farrukhabad
The youngest member of the family - Ayaz (3)
Noori with Arman (L) and the youngest, Ayaz
Noori with Arman (L) and the youngest, Ayaz
Mahim (5) is studying in Std 1 of our program