I always wondered when people say “School days are the Best“, that too when they step out of it, the more madness is for the people who works, especially corporates.
Last week I got a chance to take part in one of the CSR (Corporate social responsibility) activities, also crazy to explore as why school days were the best. It was one fine Saturday. We started to a nearby government school with lots of enthusiasm. It was a bit interior village where we need to hire auto which are very rare to find. And commute on time, we should have autowalas‘ number in our directory. Somehow we hired one auto on time and boarded with 100+ notebooks , stationery materials and some kits for students to enhance their creativity etc. The moment we got down from the auto was around 8.45 AM and the school was bit busy with peak hours, as many students were rushing for their morning assembly which was scheduled at 9 AM. I was just excited and stood speechless outside the gate with our volunteers. Then we had a teacher who just greeted us and said “You’re the team part of Infosys CSR, handling our 8th std students”. We were so glad that someone took us inside and we were like shifting all the notebooks and other stationary. We brought a tree sample (part of tree planting) and we just stood at the office room corridor to finish off the assembly. Wow!! What a fantastic memory, a pleasant flashback we had. When we could hear the school bell ringing for assembly, the drum beats to start the assembly…it just took back to our good olden days. By 9.05 everyone assembled and the SPL (school people leader) started with school attention, prayer, tamil thai vaalthu, Thirukural and its meaning till national anthem and school dismiss. We volunteers just looked at each other sighing about our days!!
Then we were just gazing at students passing by us, which their teachers insisting them to follow discipline as to go in line to their respective classes from the assembly. Not to talk, maintain discipline since we were looking at them today, which we too would remember as the Hitler rule during our school days. Then we were escorted by teachers to the respective classes and from there our journey begun. The students were of 8th std. Few were very shy at the first moment and slowly started to mingle with us and few were chatter boxes, talkative bit naughty felt, difficult in controlling them for the first few minutes. Being first day we had a quick introduction to the students as who we are and why we are here for. We also gave an inspirational speech, anecdotes of Kalam sir since it was closer to his death anniversary. They were very happy that they will have some better time with us on Saturdays from their regular schedule. We had to take attendance and whenever students said present miss, so and so student absent. Wow, what a fantastic memories we had !!
Then we had taken oath and students introduced themselves like their names, hobbies and their ambitions. There was a slight change (during our days it was doctor, engineer, lawyer, collector, teacher etc), now the trend is Engineer, collector, teacher and doctor. Thank God, at least now they realised what kind of professionalism is Doctor and I was really very surprised to know from the children as why this kind of hierarchy is maintained. They were so sharp and instantly said, “Teacher, doctor is a kind of profession to study and settle down with 6+ yrs and engineer is like we can settle down with 4+ yrs”. That was awesome response from them at this age. Then we gave them a kind of assessment sheets to evaluate them before and after the programme. Our major responsibility will be to assist their proficiency in Maths, English and awareness sessions for girls. During the pre-assessment, we found many students lagging off in basic Maths, basic English and lack of reasoning. But when we explained, they were able to pick up very fast. So we understood that they have enormous talent and they need some motivation, some special guidance. Definitely they would shine well. So our volunteers picked up 4 students each to mentor them and to give a special attention towards their growth.
Just looking forward for the next week calendar in this wonderful journey !!