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Beyond formal education: Haq Hai to help school dropouts

Keen to address issues of dropouts and worsening grades, Haq Hai calls for community-based programme to educate children

Sabrangindia 15 Mar 2022

School Dropout


Image Courtesy: Facebook.com

In a bid to regain normalcy, Mira Bhayander’s Muslim women called upon the neighbouring people to help sustain the education and livelihood of those living in Naya Nagar, Mira Road. On March 13, 2022, Haq Hai, a local organisation fighting for better education, formed a women’s sub-committee to address issues like high school fees and drop-outs among children orphaned during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Previously, Haq Hai worked alongside Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) during the pandemic to provide relief to the suffering families in Mumbai. Nowadays, it is trying to address challenges faced by the Muslim community, particularly with respect to education, in the post-Covid period.

Convener Sadiq Basha explained that the dropout rate in the area increased during the pandemic period. Parents were already agitating against high private school fees when the pandemic forced children to move to Zoom meetings instead of classrooms. However, with parents educated in Urdu-medium schools, it became difficult for families to maintain the quality of education.

A member teacher and former school principal attending the meeting spoke about how children’s grades have worsened over the last years of the pandemic. She informed how students previously getting D grades nowadays get an F grade while excellent students getting A grades in pre-pandemic times nowadays get a D grade instead. Describing this as a very serious problem, she said that the lockdown period affected all students across all schools.

Many women in the committee itself expressed a deep desire to learn English for conversational, reading and writing purposes. The 40-year-old and 50-year-old women finished their basic education in Urdu medium schools where rudimentary English is taught from Class 5 at 11-12 years of age. As a result, these children suffer when they go to junior college because all subjects are taught in English. During Covid-19, this impacted their income as well.

“The middle-class and similar families are being excluded from the formal education system. Children are dropping out and so the committee said that we need to arrange for alternative education until children can once again enter formal institutions,” said Basha.

In line with this, the committee resolved to start an English course, initially for its members and then for any person interested. This will be followed by capacity building so that the people who learnt the skill can become teachers as well. Basha said that already registrations of instructors had begun and the first batch for women may begin soon with four hour lectures every weekend.

Simultaneously, the committee is working on a database of students whose parents are unable to pay school fees to try and raise resources for their re-admission. The organisation will start a cooperative offering services for the existing 500 members and allowing a steady cash-flow for the families. Until then, volunteers will approach local schools and hire their infrastructure to conduct teaching activities.

At municipality schools, members will conduct a social, infrastructure and academic audit. This will help them organise more efficient English-teaching programmes on weekends.

“In these programs we will provide the training not only for the school students but also to anyone in the area who is interested [to learn]. We will provide meals to these students / parents/ participants such as to encourage them to attend the program,” said Haq Hai in a statement.

Additionally, the committee felt a need to build a life-skill programme such that students can learn real life skills. For this, organisers will first arrange for night or evening schools in municipal schools or private schools on a paid rent basis.

However, to achieve this, Haq Hai said it needs the help of the community. Members appealed to neighbouring people to lend their labour or resources or asked to sponsor some children’s education. Alternatively, the committee also voiced appreciation for any person with prior experiences in this field to offer their assistance. Similarly, sharing of notes, books, instructional videos, etc. will also give a positive thrust to the community-based effort.

“There is a huge amount of distress out there. These are all middle-class families that are suffering loss of income and jobs and they can't even cry,” said Basha, stressing that this effort is much required to resolve such social inequalities.

Related:

CJP against Covid: CJP steps on ground to provide relief to the most marginalized amid Covid-19

Beyond formal education: Haq Hai to help school dropouts

Keen to address issues of dropouts and worsening grades, Haq Hai calls for community-based programme to educate children

School Dropout


Image Courtesy: Facebook.com

In a bid to regain normalcy, Mira Bhayander’s Muslim women called upon the neighbouring people to help sustain the education and livelihood of those living in Naya Nagar, Mira Road. On March 13, 2022, Haq Hai, a local organisation fighting for better education, formed a women’s sub-committee to address issues like high school fees and drop-outs among children orphaned during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Previously, Haq Hai worked alongside Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) during the pandemic to provide relief to the suffering families in Mumbai. Nowadays, it is trying to address challenges faced by the Muslim community, particularly with respect to education, in the post-Covid period.

Convener Sadiq Basha explained that the dropout rate in the area increased during the pandemic period. Parents were already agitating against high private school fees when the pandemic forced children to move to Zoom meetings instead of classrooms. However, with parents educated in Urdu-medium schools, it became difficult for families to maintain the quality of education.

A member teacher and former school principal attending the meeting spoke about how children’s grades have worsened over the last years of the pandemic. She informed how students previously getting D grades nowadays get an F grade while excellent students getting A grades in pre-pandemic times nowadays get a D grade instead. Describing this as a very serious problem, she said that the lockdown period affected all students across all schools.

Many women in the committee itself expressed a deep desire to learn English for conversational, reading and writing purposes. The 40-year-old and 50-year-old women finished their basic education in Urdu medium schools where rudimentary English is taught from Class 5 at 11-12 years of age. As a result, these children suffer when they go to junior college because all subjects are taught in English. During Covid-19, this impacted their income as well.

“The middle-class and similar families are being excluded from the formal education system. Children are dropping out and so the committee said that we need to arrange for alternative education until children can once again enter formal institutions,” said Basha.

In line with this, the committee resolved to start an English course, initially for its members and then for any person interested. This will be followed by capacity building so that the people who learnt the skill can become teachers as well. Basha said that already registrations of instructors had begun and the first batch for women may begin soon with four hour lectures every weekend.

Simultaneously, the committee is working on a database of students whose parents are unable to pay school fees to try and raise resources for their re-admission. The organisation will start a cooperative offering services for the existing 500 members and allowing a steady cash-flow for the families. Until then, volunteers will approach local schools and hire their infrastructure to conduct teaching activities.

At municipality schools, members will conduct a social, infrastructure and academic audit. This will help them organise more efficient English-teaching programmes on weekends.

“In these programs we will provide the training not only for the school students but also to anyone in the area who is interested [to learn]. We will provide meals to these students / parents/ participants such as to encourage them to attend the program,” said Haq Hai in a statement.

Additionally, the committee felt a need to build a life-skill programme such that students can learn real life skills. For this, organisers will first arrange for night or evening schools in municipal schools or private schools on a paid rent basis.

However, to achieve this, Haq Hai said it needs the help of the community. Members appealed to neighbouring people to lend their labour or resources or asked to sponsor some children’s education. Alternatively, the committee also voiced appreciation for any person with prior experiences in this field to offer their assistance. Similarly, sharing of notes, books, instructional videos, etc. will also give a positive thrust to the community-based effort.

“There is a huge amount of distress out there. These are all middle-class families that are suffering loss of income and jobs and they can't even cry,” said Basha, stressing that this effort is much required to resolve such social inequalities.

Related:

CJP against Covid: CJP steps on ground to provide relief to the most marginalized amid Covid-19

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