Sahaara believes that every person has a dream and our work centers around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children in observation homes are one of the most marginalized populations in Mumbai.
The children who live in these Homes come from different states of India and are educated in a Marathi medium school run by the Home. The language difference makes it difficult for them to learn. Remedial education helps in coaching the children in the Marathi language as well as their school subjects thereby helping them understand what theyare learning and maintaining their interest to continue education once discharged from the Home.
Our Staff have been conducting an After School Remedial class at the Chembur Children’s Home for several years. Many of the children have traumatic pasts and are faring badly in School. Unable to cope with the Grade Level Requirements, they are falling seriously behind in academics. Consequently, it was observed that many children from Grade 3 – 5 had struggle in reading letters in the Marathi alphabet and even counting till20.
Thus, with the support and permissions of the Home & the School authorities in 2017, we decided to launch a three stage Remedial Program for catering to the educational need of the children.
This program involves diagnostic testing in the initial stages, after which the child is introduced to an appropriate curriculum which is designed around his needs. Innovative methods are used to help the child to learn and succeed. After we had run this course we were able to see improvement in the academics of the child thus building confidence in them to flourish in theirstudies.
During the period July to September 2019, 95 children were provided with remedial education.
Viren*, a 10-year old boy came from a broken family. He used to live with his father who would him regularly. Viren, to get rid of the abuse and he ran away from home. He had nowhere else to go, so he would sleep at railway stations. One day the police picked up Viren from a railway station and put him Chembur Children’s Home (CCH).
When Viren came to Sahaara’s remedial class, he was very slow in studies and he could barely read. He had no interest in studies and was very mischievous. When he first came to class he would fight with his classmates and talk back to his teachers. We tested his skills and put him in Level-1. We began teaching him right from the basics, the sounds, the alphabets, etc. We enrolled him in our special help class where we provide individual attention in teaching through flash cards, various games, craft activities.
The teachers then taught class rules and life values through instructions and stories, on how he must respect his elders, teachers and those around him. Through an incentive model the teachers put in place, it got him to realize that he needs to change. That if he behaves well, he would get more stars based on evaluations. The more stars he got, the happier he was.
He is now doing well in his monthly tests. He has more self-confidence and interest in studies. When he grows up, he wants to become a cricketer.
*Name Changed to protect his identity