Sunday, 4 September 2011

Challenges At The School

Uma and I visited the school and met up with the School Head again. She showed us the computer room, new toilets, the library, the new water fountain with clean water, and the yet to be built science lab ( a skeleton of steel rods at present) as well as the current one .

One of the new features in the school is a series of water fountain built into the concreted floor.The water is somehow piped from a clean supply.This was donated by a visiting couple.What a brilliant innovation for the school. The children can now access clean drinking water, one of the fundamentals in promoting good health

The new toilets are situated on the ground floor- 4 for each gender. They do look very clean from outside. They do not have a flushing system, but I baulked at asking how it works....

The school library is situated in one of the out buildings. One has to climb steep metal stairs to get to the library on the second floor. It is a lovely and spacious room once you get to the top. I can see the need to increase the varieties of English books at different levels . It is very encouraging to see that books on the shelves are well thumbed.

We have been to the computer shop and placed an order for the photocopier. I am reliably informed that it is a Canon digital copier which prints as well. It is a rather bulky table top model. The only concern I have is the price. It seems to be a lot of money for that. I have no idea if the price is realistic with 20% import duty added. With that purchase, we managed to buy only one computer with the remaining balance.

I have angst over the decision.Its a question of imposing our wishes to purchase the 4 computers as originally agreed, or to go in the spirit of helping the school to improve its facilities. Both are needed. However, in the order of priorities, it is the School Head who knows best I feel.Therefore I chose the latter.

We met the Science teacher who will do further work on the costing in clusters as requested.I was shown the current ' science lab' in an outbuilding.It has seen better days.It measures no bigger than 12 by 10 feet, a rather small room to be a science lab. The wooden stairs leading up to the lab/room are rickety, with some steps missing, others cracked and broken.It was a hazardous climb to see the room. I can understand the school is building a new one from scratch.The only thing worth mentioning is that there is a skeleton I call 'Jimmy'. This seems to be a common feature in every establishment/room that deals with science/health/nursing/medicine. When I started nursing, there was one in the classroom, and we called it Jimmy. And I have seen many since in various heath/ hospital set ups. A very interesting fact.

We gave the school the go ahead to start the Karate and dancing classes.Uma has been instrumental in getting the teachers to run 2 classes each for the price of one. Therefore there will be 2 classes of each per week to start after the Deevali festivals in October. We talked about criterias the school will use for the classes.I stressed the importance of feedback and review to ensure that it is effective and value for money. The teacher assured me that will happen. Uma will handle the payment etc

All in all, a satisfying project to date. It is accepted that there are more work to do.However, I have no doubt we will get there if we work together towards the same end

Following our home visit to K's home where her mum sells alcohol involving K serving the customers, we have had many discussions. Though we accepted that there is not much we can do, Uma has since spoken to a few people in the social and welfare agencies for women and children, of which is her sister -in-law . Uma has been made aware of the things she can do. And I am happy to see it happen as and when. Hopefully saving s few girls to have a better future

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