By Y.S. Rana ,Chandigarh-Feb 4
All over the world, there are people with problems so there are innovators with solutions. Two years ago, the Chandigarh NSS Cell in collaboration with the Dev Samaj College, Sector 36, Chandigarh, took up the challenge to take the school at the door step of underprivileged sections of the society. The scheme has started paying dividend.
The novel and experimental scheme, perhaps first-of-its-kind, was scripted by the NSS Cell, Chandigarh and initiated by the college authority by opening a mobile school named “School on the Move,” built into a college bus, equipped with as a classroom including teaching aids and a blackboard, in one of the Chandigarh’s villages-Butrela.
Within two years of its inception, the ‘school’ has graduated 35 quite illiterate women of village Butrela from ‘thumb impression’ to ‘sign culture.’ The women who out passed from the school in 2010, now can sign all documents, operate their bank account and read daily newspapers. The ‘students’ in this school were of different age groups but majority of them were middle aged women who cannot write even their names.
Besides, more than 50 underprivileged children in the age group of 3-14 years of the village have been enrolled in the ‘school on the move.’ The NSS volunteers of the college helped them in their home works, teach them and prepare them to enter into the main stream. “In April this year, the college is all set to get admitted 10 students of this school in regular schools and bring them to mainstream. A family of four children even does not know there is existed any school where their children can get education,” said Jyoti Khanna, principal of the college. She is personally taking pains to complete all formalities for their admission in government schools, she said.
The students were provided with free books, note books and stationary. Those who are already in regular schools are being helped in their home works. The school bus visited the village thrice in a week. The NSS volunteers along with their teachers took roll call and for one and one and a half-hour class was held on inside the bus.
Mr Ajoy Sharma, Director, Higher Education, Chandigarh, said,” If children cannot come to school due to one or the other reason, then the school should go to them. More and more villagers are availing themselves the opportunity.” The 86th Amendment to the Constitution has made education a Fundamental Right. States have been facing implications for complying with this obligation. Hence, such more initiative should be taken as there were 12.7 million children in the age group of 5-14 years who could not dream of going to school, he said
Mr Bikram Rana, State Liaison Officer, NSS Cell, Chandigarh who is the brainchild of this initiative, stated that the goal was not just to teach them basic reading and writing skills but helped them to deserve a better life. Buoyed up by the experiment, the Cell is planning to adopt more villages of Chandigarh, said Mr Rana.