Sunday, 4 September 2016

How children lose their way - Sasi

Village children, rooted in a different learning and way of being, do not always adapt into the mainstream, uni-dimensional, literacy based schooling system. Most try to adapt and become mediocre youth with poor skills. Some drop out and lose their way as there is no world other than Schooling today for children. The village economy and those learnings are invalidated. These are the Sacrifices to Modern Schooling.

A child in 8th, Sasi, who has gone thro' a traumatic childood including his father's murder, abandonment by his mother, an upbringing in utter poverty ever by the standards of the SC hamlet he lives in, absence of any firm adult control, has suddently rebelled badly.

He's always been a very helpful child, generous to a fault, talented in most village skills including fashioning clay images and identifying herbs, a leader of the boys gang, and reasonable in studies. But since a month now, he's stopped going to school, ran away to 'work at washing milk cans at the milk centre', talks back to everyone, is violent with his grandmother.

No amount of talk and kindness and scolding is working and he simply demands to go back to the place he had run away to. In an adult crowd he will simply learn many bad habit swiftly, starting with drink, is my fear.

If anyone can suggest any 'alternate school' run by some organization where he will be treated gently and firmly and kindly, and where there could be activities other than studies, which are his real strengths, we would like to send him there, away from all this.

Sasi outside one one roomed home, Eashwaramma sleeping inside.


Sasi doing his HW. Please dont miss the puff in his hairstyle

Sasi with his gang, and the god he has created for a children's festival.
(Sasi with a discarded pipe he got home, called me out, and produced the most melodious music !)

(I got Sasi a Rubik cube, as I had got all the girl children earrings and hairdo sets ! He was thrilled with it.)

Early morning he woke me up at 5 a.m. to show me the completed one. I lavished praises on him till Varalu interrupted and told me that he had dismantled the cube to 27 small cubes, and reset them in the order I had asked for !

How does one handle such out-of-the-box intelligences ?? I am unable to teach him English, as he has no interest in it ! But we have moved him into an English medium government hostel and he needs English !!!

I called up Sasi, Eashwaramma's grandson, at the residential school he has been put into at class 7. The neadmaster has been extremely co-operative with us and called him on line. I reassured Sasi as well as I could. Last night he had called up Varalu and wept asking to come back to the village. He is feeling totally lost in an English medium setup from his Telugu medium school. It is possible other children look down at him, his poverty, and his academic backwardness, and his SC status. I hope they do not, and that they are kind. 

An anger wells up that a child from a community with inherited strengths in agriculture and animal rearing and clay modelling and tree climbing should have to prove himself in the school setup - where we are the ones who have all inherited strengths.All that community's strengths are discredited in modernity.

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