As volunteers for Dream School Foundation my friend Tanvi and I were to go to Balak English School, Yeshwanthpur, an allocated centre for the Headstart Program. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the smiling faces of students who very politely guided us to the second floor where the DSF after school tuition were held. We were unaware of what to expect as we climbed the stairs of the school which brought back memories from the times we were wide-eyed 12-year-olds in a hurry to grow up. We walked into the second floor to be greeted by a class of children who were learning mathematics. Their teacher welcomed us and showed us the classroom that we would be teaching the children in.
We entered the room and began to unpack and prepare ourselves for the students, neither of us knew what to expect. Within two minutes a girl with wide eyes and a uniform cracked the door open and said, “Excuse me, Ma’am? Can we please come in?” Tanvi ushered the students into their seats and we began to introduce ourselves. The students were very warm and interacted without inhibitions as we began to converse in Kannada, we essentially wanted to introduce ourselves while also gauging the level of the students to ensure the smooth functioning of the entire module. Upon reflection after the class, what we realised was that we had possibly been reminded of something that seems to be scarce among most students today. The motivation and joy that a student should possess at the prospect of possibly learning something new.
The eagerness shown by these students who are generally from economically vulnerable backgrounds real+ly should put things in perspective for those of us who are lucky enough to have access to large private schools and universities. In daily observation, it's not rare to hear peers or ourselves complaining about the amount of work we are “burdened” with. The joy of learning something new seems to have died out in most students who have let themselves become victims of monotony. That is what this handful of children reminded me to keep alive, the passion that seems to be dwindling in most of us today, the passion to learn.
Written by Joseph Kevin Abraham