CHILIGUDA Primary School is one of 18 Government Schools adopted by Agragamee to demonstrate its model of Teaching Language and Reading under the Creative Language Development Project supported by USAID.
The following interviews by Shailesh Gupta, an India Fellow from Bhopal demonstrates the tangible effect of the model in a short period of time. According to Shailesh “Indu, Domru and Kishore studied in Lakhris Residential School till 4th Standard and have shifted to Ishwar’s School in 5th Standard. Visible difference can be seen between Indu, Domru and Kishore in comparison with Meena and Chumki. Meena and Chumki were comfortable in talking to us as strangers while Indu, Domru and Kishore spoke much less and Domru was reluctant to talk. Domru after this interview was laughing and hanging out with his older friends, listening to music on phone. Meena and Chumki have been studying in Local school since 1st standard. Meena is in 3rd standard while Chumki is in 5th standard. Chumki and Domru are siblings. In this interview Meena answered some questions for Domru. Kishore, Meena and Chumki are 10 years old while Domru and Indu are 11 years old.

INTERVIEW: Chumki, Meena And Indu

What are the games you play?
Ludo, Suraj – Chandro, Lucho Kadi. And we forgo the name of other games we play.

Which school did you studied previously?
We’ve been studying in this school since first standard. We’re of same age but Meena took late admission. She’s in 3rd Standard now while I am in 5th standard. We’re both 10 years old.

Is there anyone in your class who studied in Ashram School before?
Kishore, Indu and Domru studied in Lakhris School. It is nearly 5 Kilometers away from our village. Indu studied till 4th standard there and now she is studying in 5th standard with us.
We study together 3rd standard and 5th standard in one classroom.

Do you study “Kau Da Ke Ka”? What do you like most about it?
Yes. Singing Chuku-Chuku. (Three of them were able to sing this without any stammering), we also like “Jibare ame rocket chodi” (Let us all go flying in a rocket). “Sambhalua” (Caterpillar) and “choka choka bhaunri” (Spinning like a top) also.

Have you received toys in classroom? Which do you like more?
We love to play with Dolls. One doll dances when it is turned on, it requires battery. That also we really like and “Bingo” Is also one of our favorite game. Stories and interesting songs and about festivals and cultivation. We like stories most, like the story of Chudai, and the story about the Crocodile and the Monkey

Indu what do you think is the difference between your old school and this school?
I like this school, they teach better here.
There were nearly 50 children there. 1st 2nd 3rd standard in one classroom and 4th 5th in another classroom. And two teachers while here there 3 teachers and lesser students.
Domru was also there and he stayed in hostel. Indu stayed at her relative’s house.
There was no singing and dancing too.
Ishwar is a really nice teacher. There they used to beat us.

Were you able to read and write there?
No, I learnt it after coming to this school. I learnt writing, reading book and storytelling here. There was no story telling in that school.

(Indu Meena And Chumki Said, “We Did Not Knew Much Before But After Ishwar Came We’ve Learnt A Lot In School)

Why did you not study before Ishwar sir came to school?
Teachers were irregular and so was school. We used to forget everything by very next class. But after Ishwar arrived school opens regularly and we get to learn more than ever before.
What is your age Indu?
11 years old.
What do you do after school?
I work at home. And go to collect wood, leaves and to catch fish in the river. What are the problems you face in learning?
No, we don’t face any problems.
What is the difference between Ishwar sir and other teachers in school?
Other Sir beats and teaches while Ishwar Sir explains and teaches.
Two-three years ago our school was situated at different place. That time if teacher is in tension also he used to beat us. (Meena and Chumki)
In our school when I cannot understand something, teacher used to beat me. (Indu)
Tell us more about Ishwar?
We like everything about him. His way of teaching is fun. In holidays also we visit him, help him clean his room and also we discuss about freedom fighters and other heroes.
Do you tell your parents about what you’ve studied in school?
Yes our parents ask about our school and then we tell them.
Does Ishwar come to village to meet your parents?
Yes he comes to village sometimes and when our parents meet him they tell him that if we don’t listen to him, he should beat us. But he does not beat us.

INTERVIEW – Kishore And Domru

When did you join Lakhris School?
I joined in 1st standard. (He was answering yes to most of the questions, when asked how many years he studied in residential school 2years or 3years, he said yes to both. At last Abhiram bhai mentioned 2 years he studied in residential school.)
What did you learn there?
There was no learning there; we used to play all the time.
Did you used to go to school every day?
Yes. On Sunday I used to go uncle’s house. And in holidays I visit my village.
What did you used to play there and what do you play here?
We used to fight with each other there to check who is stronger. And here we don’t play after school, but in school we play with Monkey doll and cars and more.
And I like helicopter in toys.
Which did you like more, this school or the other one?
I like this one more.
What do you like in this school Kishore?
Reading and learning.
Which poem, story and song do you like?
Choka-Choka (Kishore) Sambhalua (Domru).
I don’t understand science. I like literature, English and Kau Da ke “Ka”
Why are you terrified Domru?
I feel terrified answering questions.

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