Lessons in love
Meet Sangeeta who, aged 20, joined our Snehalaya English Medium School in 2013 after seeing a documentary on our work while studying a Diploma in Teacher Education. She soon became a firm favourite, teaching our 5th standard class for three years, but also proving popular and becoming a friend to children from other classes too. She won them over by building their trust, listening and learning skills through storytelling, songs and other activities which in turn improved their behaviour and concentration. As she says: “I find children respond much better to love and positive reinforcement than punishment and when they are treated in this way their results and performance improve significantly.” She may still be young but her natural warmth and talent at bringing out the best in our children meant that when the role of Educational Coordinator came up at our Balbhavan, Sangeeta was the natural choice. The role includes supporting the 14 teachers that run evening classes and extracurricular activities across our seven slums schools to improve the education and opportunities of the children who live there. Through teamwork and seeking to understand the challenges they face she has brought the same positive attitude she took at our school to nurturing and encouraging our slum teachers and the 700 children who regularly attend their classes. Sangeeta can often be found within the warren of lanes of our slums conducting regular surveys to check on children who are missing school and counselling them and their parents to discuss the reasons why. School visits also help her to check in on their progress and address any issues excluding them from mainstream education. Her strong interest in computing has helped her review and standardise the data we keep on our beneficiaries and improve the curriculum and exams we deliver. This includes our Balbhavan scholarship programme which allows 20 high achievers from each community to attend additional classes and take part in a test in March which will see the top scorer from each of our seven slums receive a sum of money towards their educational support.
You can help support Sangeeta in her work, donate to our slum education programme here.