Thursday, May 20, 2010

A NEW LOOK AT EDUCATION


Gregory Almeida sdb
KAWANT, MAY 18, 2010: For a long time, we have been wondering why Kawant taluka has remained underdeveloped despite Don Bosco being present in this area for more than 25 years. We have now realized that there are two main factors that need to be addressed to bring about development:

1. A change of leadership
2. Practical exposure in education

A change of leadership is possible only if youngsters are trained to become sarpanchs, talatis, mamlatdars or work for government organizations that will transform the villages.

Second, education must include practical exposure. Students in schools and colleges should be taken to the villages to understand why development is not taking place and how they can help solve this problem. Perhaps there are government schemes that should be made to work; maybe they can educate their parents on these matters. Exposing children to the realities of village life will make their education more relevant.

To achieve this aim, Kawant Education Society organized a training-cum-exposure programme to enable children to understand and solve the issues in their own villages. On May 6, 2010, the standard Ten students of Don Bosco, Kawant attended a one-day workshop on the provisions of the NREGA. The next day, May 7, 2010, they returned to their villages to document the progress of the NREGA works, explain the Act to their parents and other workers, and interact with village functionaries regarding the implementation of the NREGA.

The students identified the problems related to the NREGA and also checked documents such as the job cards of workers. They learned that some government functionaries can be helpful while many others resent anyone checking or questioning their work. The entire exercise was also an opportunity for parents to learn something from their children and to understand the benefits of practical education.

Kawant Education Society firmly believes that students should be exposed to all the issues in rural areas, so that they can help their own people in their villages. Many schemes do not work because of lack of awareness and information. Creating awareness is the first step towards change in the rural areas. Let’s HOPE and begin the change from the bottom.

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