“I WANT TO BE A TEACHER!” - S.K. Sabir a student at The Open School.
Intervention: T.F.’s Open School had its inception in 2001 with a goal to provide customized options for continuing education, upward linkage to mainstream education. We provide the bridge for students who are long time dropouts, working and unable to attend formal school. With our help, they are able to continue their education- making them self-reliant through the means of academic instruction and vocational training.
The Open School primarily focuses in tandem with Tomorrow’s Foundation’s community programs and has evolved to include mainly working students who want to continue their education.
Social Awareness: Through street drama we conducted a social awareness activity. Eighteen children performed the play, “Kaun Jimmedar,” a play based on child labour. This drama was performed in three communities with the intention that each student would become a spokesperson in his own neigbourhood. It was highly impactful. (I plan to use the interview with Atish in the Culture section of the website)
Personal Story: Sk. Sabir is a young playful boy who lives at Dhapa, Tangra. Hi father abandoned him at a young age and he lives with his grandmother, mother and young brother. To fulfill the basic needs of his family, he has to work hard in a leather factory. He used to put hazardous adhesive to join leather pieces which was very much hazardous to him, but he had to work in this unhealthy condition to earn for his livelihood and to help his mother.
Following a base line survey conducted by the project team members, they came to know about Sabir’s struggle. The community mobilizers went to talk to his mother who was also feeling guilty for forcing her son to work with hazards, but they were helpless. When they heard about our learning centres they decided to send Sabir to study. As he had never been to school, he started from base level education. We conducted an awareness-raising program to point out the danger of child labour by the students of our open school, which was held in their locality- where many people live like Sabir’s family. Sabir also took part in the street drama. On seeing their child’s involvement and happiness in this new environment, they have decided to stop sending him to work. These popular activities forced the people to think about their children, who are damaging their life by depriving them of their right to education.
Now Sabir has bloomed. He wants to be a teacher. It will take time but he is on a path to a better life.