Adria: I understood the true importance of education
Part of the September 2019 Take 10 Volunteer Team – the trio Alazne, Maria, and Adria spent their project work period in Jaipur, India. The trio was involved in projects of education the power and importance of which they could truly understand.
Adira shared his insights and impressions from the project work and the situation he could witness himself.
What exactly was your project about?
My project was in the field of education. I worked in a trio together with Alazne and Maria and we were working at two schools of Humana People to People India – around 160 students in each.
Basically, our task was to enhance the education level because they are currently operating with an old British methodology (learning by heart instead of understanding). After 2,5 months of work there we change the project, and we went to another one which was also in the field of education. In this case, we worked with 22 schools and had the same role – to enhance education and get new enrolments. The schools are governmental and HPPI is supporting the schools to improve education.
What did your tasks include?
Our tasks were connected with improving the level of education and later getting new enrolments. We had to make education more appealing to the children and we had to work a lot with preparing new activities. For example – a sports day, rally, activities for the NO BAG DAY, trips, we also worked with English courses for the teachers and with finding partners to support the school in different ways.
What was the situation at the project when you arrived?
The first project we took part in is an established one with more than 13 years’ experience and a stable yearly plan.
It has a lot of activities that are well-planned by Humana People to People India. They put a lot of effort into the plans and have provided good books and materials. The problems are with the teachers – the level is low or even basic sometimes and they can’t orchestrate the courses properly. There are no teaching resources which also creates new challenges.
We tried helping change the way teachers do the activities and help them manage the courses. I think they realized that the children have more motivation if things are done the right way and with passion – they are focused during the classes.
What were the biggest problems according to you?
For me, there were some communication issues with one of the project leaders. Communication in a different cultural environment can be hard and I really felt the challenge.
There were also motivation setbacks. Teachers were used to doing things in a certain way (even if it didn’t work) and when we tried to experiment with another approach they were completely lost.
What did you achieve during the project and what were you planning to do more if you had the time to work on it further?
One of the best achievements according to me was the kitchen garden in the school. We made it so teachers and children can eat there, sort organic waste to sustain it and use the space as a garden as well. I think it turned out quite well.
How do you think the situation will develop in the future?
The schools have good resources from the main office but they are not used to this new methodology. They are too used to this old British methodology of teaching students to learn by heart instead of understanding and explaining things properly. This is the biggest challenge that needs to be overcome so it is a matter of hard work and persistence for improvement.
What did you learn from the experience and what is the next step for you personally?
I really learned a lot about the importance of education and the difference in the approaches towards it.
Poverty is extremely cruel, not eating is so hard, having no proper house is also not easy in India. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many people in India and they struggle with this every day. There is hardly time for anything else – the cannot dream about their future or think about hobbies and things like that because they need to focus on survival and securing food for the day.
The world for them is the small village where they live, education is not helping them to think critically or be creative – they only learn by heart. It is a huge challenge because there are many important things everyone needs to be aware of – inequality, social justice, human rights, duties, climate change – all of those things remain a mystery with such an approach and I think the consequences will be devastating.
Poverty is extremely cruel, not eating is so hard, having no proper house is also not easy. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many people in India and they struggle with this every day.
– Adria, September 2019 Team
We tried helping change the way teachers do the activities and manage the courses. I think they realized that the children have more motivation if things are done the right way and with passion – they are focused during the classes.
– Adria, September 2019 Team
Sabina gave us her insights about her project period in Mzimba, Malawi where she and team mate Carlos worked on projects related to preschool and teacher training. Currently they support the projects from Europe.
Even though we were forced to leave Malawi prematurely, Sabina and I are still supporting our projects in Mzimba (Malawi), from home. We have different kind of projects and this one is about sustainability.
Alazne, Maria, and Adrià worked in the slums of Jaipur, India, during their project period. Despite having to return home early, they managed to achieve a lot and keep working hard from their homes.