Thursday, January 14, 2021

Before Bhumi - First centre

 I still remember our first class as a teaching volunteer 

… it shocked me into continuing what we started.

We were allocated a group of middle school kids at Bala Mandir home, Chennai, we had divided the kids into groups and split ourselves to 'teach' them. The first class was more like an ice breaker, we introduced ourselves, why we were there. We asked them what we could teach and listened to them. The children wanted to learn English, Computers, Maths & Science (More or less in this order)

It was a two-hour session, in my class, two or three children struggled to write their names in English, we helped them do it. One of the children gave up and said she couldn't do it!

We then did a small pop quiz in general knowledge. Who's the PM of India, who's the president of India, National Anthem, father of the nation etc. When one of the children said she didn't know the capital of Tamil Nadu, I felt incredulous and refused to believe her. I then realised there were a few others in our class who didn't know it too.

The class soon got over, we bid goodbye promising to return next week. We had a debrief in the portico in front of the home. I shared my disbelief at what happened with the group. 

I left the place ruminating the kind of education I had received, the gap. I now know that this is considered a feeling of being privileged thanks to my friends at the Acumen Fellowship. Then, I was just feeling thankful, committed and motivated.

Do you remember the first time something shocked you?

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