Newsletter January/February 2019
The staff at Ebenezer School are happy and content looking back at 2018, and the three-year period since the project first started.
2019 has started and the staff are excited about the new year. With new challenges and new expectations for the new year, they are ready to “roll up their sleeves” for all the students at the school.
The staff have been working on completing the syllabus to their classes. A question paper is coming up as a part of the annual examinations at the school, which is being held in March. In preparation to this, the teachers have to write the questioner. This takes quite a bit of time since the whole syllabus for each subject need to be covered. Also, the level of advancement needs to have variation so that all students are able to finish at least parts of the exam. All questions are evaluated by a specific group and then sent off to printing.
The aim of management at Ebenezer School is to not only have a good relationship between teachers and students, but also between teachers and parents. Parents have had little say about what is being done at school. One of the benefits with working closer together, is that parents can follow up on their child better, discuss tests and how the child is doing. On the day set aside for parents to have a meeting with the teacher(s) teaching their child, they come to school and the meeting takes place in the classroom. The teacher will give an overall presentation of the student. Parents can ask to see their child’s report cards, see the grades and if needed, see the actual test with their child’s answers.
One of these meetings were held in January. About 65% of all parents attended these meetings. This is considered a good number, knowing that 60% of the parents enrolled in the benefit scheme are from the Rural area (small town and villages) where the literacy is very low compared to areas closer to villages/cities. Parents from the village areas were very enthusiastic about the focus on awareness for their children’s achievements. Education gives these children the opportunity to have other jobs than their parents. Most of the parents in the poorer areas have agriculture as their main source of income. This is not a stable income because it depends fully on the weather, which lately have not been promising for good growth. It is hard for the parents to pay for school tuition fee and care for their family. Therefore, the benefit scheme is so important to so many people.
Recently, all the students enrolled in the benefit scheme got new school bags, books, exercise books, pencil cases and a new school uniform, including winter clothing; woollen cardigans, school shoes, socks etc. All thanks to partners, making it possible. The parents are just as excited about this as the children are. They see that it´s possible for their children to dream big and aiming for them to come true.
Glocal Aid and its partners have already helped so many people in and around Karwi. People who otherwise never would have gotten an opportunity to even think about a better future. With the help they are getting, you are for example making it possible for a family to have two proper meals in a day. Something seemingly small of a gesture, but so important.
In working towards having active and healthy children, the staff were planning on having an event for the kids. They contacted the local State Government Health Department and representatives met with the Headmaster. They asked if they could have a vaccination program at the Ebenezer School, including the students from Nav Jeevan School. The vaccination program is done in collaboration with UNICEF and WHO. The two vaccines that they offered the students would help prevent measles and rubella, which there is a lot of in India.
People die every year as results of these diseases. They are unaware, and the consequences give great pain to the families left behind. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if more people were vaccinated at the right time. It would then not necessarily have such fatal results. In the poorer areas, people have no knowledge about these diseases and how dangerous they are. Therefore, the Headmaster and the chief of the medical centre informed the parents thoroughly, and all the parents gave their consent to have their child vaccinated.
The second part of the “Health Awareness Day” consisted of activities and informing both parents and students about how to keep their bodies healthy. A doctor that came with the Health Team, gave the children some good tips on how to do so. He also talked about personal hygiene, at school and at home.
After the session, all students had their lunch break and then all 482 students were vaccinated. They youngest were not pleased about the needle, and were lured with sweets to sit still during the vaccination. Everyone were then given a Medical Certificate and a purple mark on their finger to make sure they wouldn’t be shot twice.
The vaccination went on for five hours. When they were done, other people from around the area came with their children to have them vaccinated too. They did another half hour of vaccination before they were done. The team was so overwhelmed by the co-operation and support from the staff at Ebenezer that they sent them a Certificate issued by the State Government in appreciation of the systematic and peaceful implementation of the Vaccination Program.
1. Ruchi Singh, Rucita Singh and Ruby Singh :
Name of Student Age Class
Ruchi Singh 12 Years 5th
Rucita Singh 9 Years 3rd
Ruby Singh 7 Years 2nd
In Siddhpur, farming is the major occupation for the people living there. People there are mostly illiterate and unaware of education. Their father is a poor farmer, and had barely any source of income other than the harvest from the fields. The girls didn’t go to school and were all helping in the field or at home with cooking and cleaning. For Ruchi, Rucita and Ruby that changed when a group from the teaching staff from Ebenezer School came to their house. The father was very reluctant to sending his daughters to school because he said they would one day marry someone and that education therefore wasn’t needed. The teachers decided to go, and come back a few days later. When he understood the sponsorship program, he changed his mind. When he got one of the girls´ tuition fee free of cost, he signed up all three girls.
Today Mr. Ramender Singh is very happy and thankful for the offer, and was one of many parents who attended the parent and teacher meeting.
2. Riya Singh and Prince Singh:
Name of Student Age Class
Riya Singh 7 Years 2nd
Prince Singh 5 Years 1st
Both these children come from a village called Vinayakpur. Their father is a poor herdsman who owns a few herds and makes a living of selling the milk he gets from his cattle. Mr. Gagpat Singh and his family live in a small and simple home without electricity. After sunset, they light candles and lanterns for light at home. The family was told about the benefit scheme, when a team came to their house. Mr. Gagpat Singh was eager to enrol his children to Ebenezer, and has seen great improvement. He is so joyful to see his children so happy when leaving, and coming home from school. To show his gratitude, Mr. Gagpat Singh has on several occations brought milk and “kheer” (a sweet dish usually served on special occasions) to the staff.
Mr. Gagpat Singh attended the parent and teacher meeting. He has also become a great ambassador for Ebenezer and its benefit scheme since he´s sharing his great experience with other people, encouraging them to do the same for their children.