by Anupam Bajracharya
“Nirajan! Where is your English homework?”
“I haven’t done sir!”
“I don’t have my English book.”
Likewise, Suman from grade 1 was not doing classwork because he didn’t even have pencils to do his classwork.
Such lack of basic facilities to learn is the right of a student, aren’t they?
We were a group of nine students who did the community immersion project as a requirement for the Community Service Learning Program. We identified Buddhanagar Lower Secondary School, a government school near our college as our community partner and be of service there. Three weeks later, I realized that we ended up learning a lot for ourselves although we thought we went there to teach.
We gave our best in conducting the classes in an interactive format. Actually doing the stretches and exercises in the chapter about the importance of physical fitness is a good example of the type of classes we tried to provide. Moreover, the kids who were even afraid to speak up in class discussions in the initial days were more vocal and confident when we reached the 3rd week.
An awareness class about ‘Menstruation Hygiene’ accomplished by our team to the girls was also a fruitful experience. Most of them were in their puberty stage and were transitioning into teenagers. Girls were pretty shy to talk about menstruation in the beginning but by the time the awareness session ended, we noticed that the girls who we barely speaking started sharing their experience. They also shared how society perceives it as a taboo to talk about menstruation and how this kept them from being aware of these issues and share among others.
One of our team members decided to do a Goal-Setting workshop for the 8th graders. We were overwhelmed to see the student’s ambitions. Yet, I was also thinking to myself, if they are aware of how ambitions change, how life drives us to different directions, sometimes completely opposite of what we would think.
One of the most exciting experience for us and the kids was the day when we introduced them to King’s College computer lab. As they were entering the lab they pushed their own friends just so they could grab their own computers and start up the computer on their own. Who knew the things that we barely cared about could make them feel like they have achieved something really amazing. We were very happy to see the excited expressions of the students. Some of them were even using a computer for the first time in their life! And, being able to provide such an experience is a very fulfilling sensation.