My daughter Samhita Munipella has been studying in Legacy from Pre-Nursery and she is now in Grade 5. It has been a wonderful journey for her and for my husband and me. She is our first and only child, so every step has been unique. Her experiences have enriched us and given us an insight into schooling in the current time. It has also taken me back to my own school days. How times have changed!!! Like all mothers I am very involved in my child’s schooling and have always wanted to be a part of this experience. Legacy offered me that opportunity in many ways over the years.
Right to Education (RTE) introduced by the government was first instituted in Samhita’s batch- in Grade 1. I am a firm believer in the adage “No child, left behind” and was happy when the school echoed my sentiment. Economic diversity can be overcome by hand holding a child through phases of learning difficulties. Last year Legacy provided me a unique opportunity to engage with the school to help children who required additional support with English. Under the leadership of teachers of the primary grade we started conducting, twice a week, a reading improvement programme for these children. My knowledge in Kannada was an added advantage here. We ran it through the year. The experience built a strong resolve in me to make a difference. Legacy provided the perfect platform to achieve this- very supportive and aligned with wanting to do good beyond the normal call of duty.
This year has been a very difficult one for all students. The Pandemic has completely changed what our normal idea of a school is. Online classes, study from home, virtual study tours- who would have imagined all this a year back. As we struggled through this the impact this was having on RTE children was multi fold. Lack of online access, economic struggles at home due to the Pandemic, parental support for the children and many other things which we take for granted. Having Wi-Fi or an iPad/Laptop is something that is very normal for most of us. Imagine a home where even a Smart Phone is a luxury. How will children with such lack of access cope with assignments and studies? What will be the learning outcomes? These questions got me thinking and when I discussed this with the Grade 5 teachers they were also grappling with this dilemma. So quickly with the teacher’s support we formed a task team to help the RTE children. At the beginning of the year we ran a drive to recycle text books to help the parents in this difficult economic climate. We had parents and teachers donating laptops as well!!!! I volunteer to guide the children and the parents through the online learning process. We help them in uploading their assignments and the teachers’ run special classes for them to ensure they are coping well. The passion and commitment of the Grade 5 teachers in going the extra mile to help these children is outstanding. And all this driven simply by the spirit of wanting to do good- embodying their vision of “See the Good, Feel Great!”.
My experience over the years has been that volunteering gives the parents an insight into the school’s philosophy. It is also a feedback loop to the teachers. A school that encourages this synergy continually improves. My volunteering has helped me contribute to the learning outcomes for Samhita by working closely with the teachers. I am very happy that Samhita has imbibed a spirit of generosity and caring for the community in difficult times. I can see that this is shaping her to be an empathetic human being which is going to be a key life skill for our children in the 21st Century.