Children….education needs a chance to change!

Quote from Inger Ashing, CEO of Save the Children International:

The poorest and most marginalised childen are being hit the hardest. Around ten million children may never return to school – this is an unprecedented education emergency and governments must urgently invest in learning.

500 million children had no access to distance learning during the lockdown. So children now face the increased risk of child marriage, teen pregnancy, forced labour or recruitment into armed groups. This situation is of course happening in some countries in Africa, but educational difficulties are faced worldwide in developing countries.

My heart bleeds; I’ve seen the struggles with our own students, trying to learn after a year off school. One reason we try to keep our girls at school through to twelfth and even into college if possible, is to avoid the risk of them getting pregnant too soon. For the boys there is the risk of delinquency and drug and/or alcohol abuse. After twelve years in operation, we are at the stage, where a few students are now doing Class 10 (board exam) and Class 11 and 12 and one has just entered college. They leave our school in Class 5, but we keep in touch wherever possible and often help out in various ways including financially with school fees. We also hold reunions every couple of months so we can continue to encourage and support them.

One of our original students had to be rescued from a small leaky hut, when her mum left her there with three sisters, just taking her youngest toddler with her. Fortunately, her grandmother took them in, for three years. Her older sister was too old to attend our school and fell pregnant at fifteen after her mum abandoned them. Iuniki is a very attractive girl and I have fought to keep her in school. She is now doing first year college. Her results are not great, the pass mark in India is an unbelievably low 30%, but she’s home, studying and just passing, working part time and looking after her younger sisters. Her mum has fortunately disappeared (physically) out of her life again, after returning for a while, but she has caused a lot of grief along the way. She herself didn’t study past Class 3 and first gave birth aged fifteen.

This is a quote from the @justice_rising account concerning the girl child:

She is fierce. She is courageous. She has seen war, she has seen violence and she has learned the value of peace. Every day in conflict zones, girls are overcoming the odds and pressing on to create change.

This is a girl sponsored by the Asha Society. You can see the extreme poverty she is living in and her story also reveals major heartache, her father has died and her mother is a cancer survivor, her sister is severely malnourished. Yet despite all this, she studied hard and achieved a final score of 96% in her matriculation exams, which is outstanding. When we give children a chance, amazing outcomes may follow. The Asha Society is now going to sponsor her through university.

Today’s digraph is of course the ‘ch’ sound, that students just need to be reminded to read as one sound and not two separate letters. To alleviate today’s tough subject, I’m ending with a photo of one of Western Australia’s fragile and delicate wildflowers that bloom in abundance in spring.

It is a purple fringe lily (this photo is larger than life size)

5 thoughts on “Children….education needs a chance to change!

  1. Your work is literally life-saving. When we tell our students that each of us can make a difference, I will think of you as a mentor. One person reaching out, keeping tabs, not forgetting can make all the difference. Thank you so much for sharing your work!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. Education should be properly funded so that all can benefit from it. I’m glad I was able to read about the work that you and others do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I echo Beth’s comment. These stories remind me of how arbitrary the world is while also being so intentional. It’s not lost on me that I am an extraordinarily privileged person and must do more to help girls achieve their potential.

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  4. I love how you keep in touch with the students even after they leave your school. They are always on your mind, I see. These stories are touching and show how much work it is for both the girls and their teachers to keep focused on learning. Every bit of success they and you achieve is earned. Thank you for sharing.

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