A Year in India

Site Visits Begin
September 25, 2008, 4:18 pm
Filed under: In the Field | Tags: ,

A singing lesson at Christel House

My first week of visiting DE program sites (NGOs and schools) is coming to an end.  Today’s experiences were particularly interesting.  In the morning, we visited a government-run school.  My coworker spent the majority of his time checking the lab’s computers to make sure teachers are not logging into inappropriate sites.  There was visible tension and a lack of warmth between the school officials and us.

Our afternoon visit to Christel House School was a real contrast.  Christel House is a privately-funded school that serves 850 slum children, grades 1-10.  I can’t even describe how beautiful its grounds are, how dedicated its teachers are, and how innovative their teaching methods are.

For example, the music program goes above and beyond expectations.  Kids learn to play instruments, write lyrics and songs, perform, record, and make music videos.  All of their activities are supported by their teacher who, in addition to instruction, invites music professionals to work with the kids and organizes a large music festival for Christel House each year.  The classroom has high ceilings, big windows, bright music murals, and posters and instruments galore.

Christel House grounds

The music program, then, is comprehensive, connecting the learning process, the space, the outside world, the teacher, and of course, the students.  The investment in all of these components creates a context – a culture – for the program.  (When I had a chance to interact with the students, I was blown away by their enthusiasm, intellect, and appreciation for the school – all evidence of this culture.)

It a city where western glamour is everywhere (ads, movies, malls, etc.), it is refreshing to see money being poured instead into an establishment like Christel House.  I only wonder how these kids reconcile their lives at schools with their lives at home, in the slums.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

thanks a lots……
love and hope,

Comment by Dhanaraj Keezhara

Thank you for the wonderful message.

Thomas Joseph

Comment by Thomas

Thanks for the lovely post. Makes one realize that education should be everyone’s priority (which, sadly, isn’t the case).

Comment by Pria

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