I have been travelling far from the urban jungle of Bangalore to a small town in Uttar Pradesh known more for its beauteous resident Umrao Jaan and its proximity to Ayodha the home of the Gods. On work.
When I was first requested to visit this tiny place to create awareness about learning difficulties, I jumped up with anticipation . At the same time, there was a little trepidation as I could not envisage a school in corner of Uttar Pradesh at all. This is a reflection on our very myopic thinking about what lies beyond the urban landscapes of public schools.
So I was completely unprepared for what awaited me in this sylvan town far from the madding crowd. A school so sophisticated and complete. A school full of sincerity, professionalism and knowledge. Called Jingle Bells school this organization has many arms, a junior school, a full- fledged CBSE school, a rural school and also a special school. Buzzing with enthusiasm and interest.
During my first trip, I held presentations on Specific Learning Difficulties, on spelling, reading skills, assessment methodology and remedial measures and the teachers were like sponges taking in every thing. I have never felt so satisfied with the overwhelming response I received. At the end of the three days I felt that I had laid a pretty strong foundation for the school. My most wonderful memory of that stay was that on my last day, a teacher from the rural school made worksheets patterned on the phonology worksheets which I had shown in Hindi!
I can also say that I created no wonder there! The staff of these schools are already aware of all the educational concerns –they have trained psychologists and counsellors who are already dealing with children. So adding learning difficulties to their repertoire of knowledge was not a formidable task.
On my next visit , I found it remarkably easy to set up the remediation room as my industrious workers were in full readiness . Today, they are busy identifying reading difficulties in their beautiful school and teaching their dyslexic students with appropriate tools.
It is my fervent desire that more schools in smaller towns become so progressive so as to adopt new methods as JBN has done. I hope that the remedial room that I have set up becomes a model in that region!