It has been an eventful spring which had an unexpected turn due to the covid-19. But before the pandemic brought the nation into a lock down, Ebenezer School had the honor of holding an awareness program for the girls through the local government of health, both celebrating the National day and the Holi Festival, and see the kids work hard to achieve their very best. The teachers have also been doing the door to door-campaign to make sure all children, regardless of caste, creed and religion, has the opportunity of good education. This is the vision of the school, and the staff is working hard to see this happen.
In collaboration with the ministry of health, an awareness program for girls were held at the school. This is to teach them about important aspects of life, and of their rights and services provided for them. They were informed about financial support if wanting to pursue a career, and were educated about hygiene and sanitation. They were also encouraged to not see themselves inferior to boys. The kids showed such interest in the different programs told of that the team had to spend some extra time with them.
National Day and the Holi Festival
Indians love their festivals, and celebrate with great zeal and enthusiasm. The National Days are celebrated August 15th and January 26th. These are occasions where schools gets to present its strength (number of children) to the public, and this all schools try to make sure that all the kids are present for these days. For the parade, the kids were handed different musical instruments and balloons in the colors of the Indian flag. After the parade, the flag was raised, and some of the kids had prepared a program for the rest of the group.
Holi is the festival of colors and celebrated to welcome the beginning of the spring season and spring harvest season in April and May. During the festival one believes that good triumphs over evil, and this expecting prosperity for ones family. The significance of putting colored powder on each other is for showing happiness and excitement, and to strengthen the bonds between different communities. The children particularly love this part of the festival. The school keeps closed three-four days for the celebrations.
The Annual Examinations
The Annual Examinations are held in mid-march. It is a hard job to keep the kids focused on the work, due to Holi coming up in March too. The test will show if the child is ready for the next level, and thus of high importance. This year the management decided to reward the top three students in each class with a small present, and the kids are working even harder to make it to the top three. The teachers are also to award any student who has improved considerably in their school work. This is to keep a healthy competition among the classmates.
Due to Covid-19, the Prime Minister all of a sudden announced a nation wide lock down just as the school were to complete the Final Examinations. The school had to close and faced a huge financial loss due to the non-payment of tuition fees by children expected to pay after the examinations. Thanks to the support of Glocal Aid, we were able to pay the teachers and staff working hard in this period. The lock down is still in place after four months, and there is great concern for the kids who have had no schooling in this period. Specially when we see how much they forget after 1,5 months of summer break. The government has decided that all kids go on to the next level to make sure the past year is not wasted. For the weak students that might not be a good decision. During the lock-down, the teaching staff worked hard to finish the Annual Report Cards for all the students, so that the school could close indefinitely. The deadly covid-19 pandemic has also spread to the town of Karwi.
Pooja Devi (6)
The father of Pooja Devi is a poor farmer who came to hear of the benefit program through an advertisement at the local market place where he went to sell milk. Having a low income, the father was first reluctant to enroll his daughter, but was motivated by another man from his village to visit the school. At the school they heard of the program in greater detail, and his daughter, seeing how the students behaved towards each other and the school staff, insisted that this was the school she wanted to attend. The father hesitantly enrolled her, and after a year he is very happy with the progression of his daughter. He will now work hard to get his other daughter enrolled as well. Pooja herself is so happy she has started to tell other girls in her village about this wonderful program. We are so blessed by this testimony, and of being a part of providing excellent education for those who cannot afford expensive schooling.
Namrata (13), Prince (12) and Aditya (10) Dewedi
The three cousins are considered real siblings as their fathers are brothers and live in the same house. Their fathers work in the hospital looking after the vehicles of the patients. This is a 24-hr job, and the fathers have to work 12 hours-shifts. Their income is low and can barely meet their daily needs. They heard of the benefit program at Ebenezer School from the Headmaster himself visiting a friend at the hospital one day. He requested them to enroll their kids, and they came to the school the very next day. A few years later the fathers are very satisfied with the progression of the kids in education and sports.