After a successful Week 1, here’s a small report of how Week 2 of Mentor India 2.0 went- in the words of one of our new mentors, Rashmika Rao, who came along with us as a teacher volunteer for the first time.
It’s quite unusual for a techie to wake up at the crack of dawn—with excitement—on a weekend. But, all of this has changed thanks to the Mentor India program initiated by KYS.
My First Day At Mentor India
All set with my shiny new Mitra Pustak copy and the cute little giveaways for the students, we started our journey to Chikkarasinakere from Bangalore at 7 in the morning! On our way to school, we would come up with new ideas to make the day’s session more interesting and engaging for the kids. As we reached the school at noon, we were greeted with warmth and the smiling faces of teachers, staff, and students alike.
We started our session at 1.00 pm after the students were done for the day and had had their lunch. This week we started classes for Class 9 as well, which meant we would be running 2 classes at the same time. 8 mentors in total were juggling between the two classes smoothly, as planned well in advance.
While the 9th class students enjoyed their ‘Introductory’ session—filled with charts, crayons and art, the 10th class students were overjoyed playing ‘Funglish’ in the top of their voices and spirits!
Realizing The Plight Of Rural Students
I got to know from the Headmaster of the school that the kids begin learning English only in Class 8. While the syllabus in the textbook is full-fledged 8th standard curriculum, they are taught the English alphabets in the same year and then expected to pass the 8th standard exams, which includes English.
This is quite disturbing considering they are expected to appear in their board exams, three years from then in Class 10. Imagine giving your 10th boards in your 3rd standard! No wonder these kids struggle to pronounce words and even form simple sentences in English.
How Mentor India Is Boosting Confidence
That said, it’s heartening to see the rise in the confidence level of students with just one session of Mentor India. I can’t wait to see the transformation in their personality at the end of the program. The kids have learned to ask questions, make mistakes, work hard, learn from each other, their teachers and us, which are the basic rules set for them right from the first class.
I’d heard from other mentors before, that the time passes in a jiffy. I realized how true that is last Saturday when I spent time in these classes. The entire class was filled with activities, games, teaching, and they all transitioned into one another so smoothly and so soon, I never realized when it was time to go!
At 5.30 pm, our sessions came to an end. The excitement was still present in the air, with all the kids screaming- “Bye Miss, Bye Sir” to all of us, till we said our byes to each one of them, while waving our hands till the last one left. With the promise to come back next week with more learning and fun sessions, we headed back to Bangalore.
I Volunteered Once And I Will Do It Again
While I sat in the bus, my head tilted on the window out of exhaustion, the satisfaction of knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of these kids had pumped me up for the next week. So of course, I signed up again for the next Saturday!
Seeing the students eager to learn and participate in activities with so much vigor, strengthens our determination to be a better mentor the next time. After all, with every little effort and every little step in the right direction, you’re making a dent in the universe!