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The new normal...

We are happy and proud to report a 100% pass rate for our 10 Std students studying for the Maharashtra SSC board in our Rehab Center and Balbhavan.

This is an amazing accomplishment given that the majority of Indian children, especially those living in shelter homes and slums, have experienced a year severely disrupted by the COVID pandemic and lockdowns. Throughout, the dilemma of starting schools and keeping our children safe through online education has continued, with schools opening and closing with little notice and adequate time to prepare properly.

It was certainly a year of ups and downs for our 10 Std as the school and exam schedules were regularly disrupted. In April, the faint flicker of hope that exams would take place as normal was finally extinguished when the second wave hit. With a sudden and fatal surge of cases and Ahmednagar ranking as the 10th highest district for COVID cases in India, exams were again swept off the table.

When the wave finally subsided, the government declared that offline classes for 10th Std would be permitted to allow abridged examinations which, combined with 9 Std results and coursework, would create an overall grade. Special COVID protocols for both students and teachers attending our school were laid out and followed. Thanks to the fact that we diligently conduct our school exams and coursework assessments we were able to provide their existing marks over the past two years which helped them all to secure good percentages, despite the challenges this year presented them.

Our students stayed buoyant throughout and their perseverance and commitment to learning should be applauded and we are also grateful to our teachers who were under pressure to deliver both offline and online classes which helped our students stay on track. It also presented new ways of learning for our non-residential children, including three students who had returned home to their families in Kashmir. Again our teachers rose to the challenge through online classes supplemented with phone and Whatsapp calls and messages.

Remarkably our topper for this year was Akshad with 92.40%. He lives in a local village and would normally catch our free school bus to attend class in our Rehab Center. While most of his classmates were able to interact with our teachers on campus, Akshad worked from home and completely relied on technology to attend classes and keep up with his school work. Ranking second was Krushna with 85.40% and third was one of the Kashmiri boys, Shahnawaz with 76.20%. We are so impressed with all 19 of our SEMS students and 72 children studying in our Balbhavan who did exceptionally well, finally passing their board exams with great results.

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