I was asked to assemble at one of the schools for our bi-monthly ritual we, the lively, energetic batch mates from school days participate in a small but gratifying voluntary assignment. We pool money according to the demand and need of the service task selected. This periodical project serves all of our friends as a double benefit for all of us taken the roles as grandfathers and grandmothers, to meet and laugh it off the minor upheavals, the bumps and blows that the late fifties tend to hurl at us. And, reminding us of our social responsibility and allowing us to tender out a bit to the underprivileged. I look forward to this one occasion to as eagerly as my early morning cup of coffee.
The school located in a small clearing at the top of a hillock overlooking a spectacular spread of the city below it. But the narrow, crooked cement road leading to the school seemed unhealthy for a primary school location.
The moment I got down to enter the school it hugely struck me that the school is in physically want of immediate repairs. Maybe a shortage of funds or lack of an eye for proper daily upkeep, I wondered. As an active proponent of cleanliness, I restrained an urge to offer a tip or a two on that subject.
Our group around ten of us are greeted by the principal and an English teacher both by way of their smiles, the simplicity of their voice, and the possessive glow in their eyes suggested the dignity, self-worth with which they are going to tour us around for next hour and a half. Their impressive self-assurance surprised me, prompting to put on hold my initial impression about the upkeep of the school.
After routine introductions, we were lead to a rectangular classroom lined by open wooden cupboards on all three sides. Filled with artworks, assignments, scrapbooks, an array of the odd collection to teach simple Arithmetic. The shelves are overflowing with evidence showcasing the innovative minds of children and inspiring teachers behind guiding them.
After spending more than two hours, I carried back home one remarkable revelation that good teaching can come about in the humblest classrooms and most quiet environs. Bad teaching may find its stay in comfortable abodes, among lavishly laid curriculum. In this school, deprived of all material luxuries I have recognized the single-mindedness and courage all the teachers are pooling together to achieve one foundational learning tenet – making children believe in themselves. And the teachers, along with the principal putting together all their devotion “to teach the children the way they learn.”