The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 1 , 2014
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School takes forward Mandela’s message

Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world, the late Nelson Mandela had said and a Patna school is living up to the mantra.

DAV-BSEB, an institution affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, has started teaching children from financially underprivileged families, living in slums. For the past five months, the faculty members and senior students are conducting the classes in the afternoon.

The institution recently adopted the slum children of Kaushal Nagar, an area near the Patna airport. Every day, the administration sends a school bus to the slum area to pick up the children for classes. The classes are held from 1pm to 4pm.

The children are brought to the school before 1pm.

DAV-BSEB principal Ramanuj Prasad said: “We have provided the children with clothes, books and pens. We decided to teach the children on the school campus instead of somewhere else because we wanted to provide them a good environment to study.”

He added that the senior students are sometimes involved in the classes. It is to help them know the children better, the principal said.

The students brought to the school are a happy lot with the opportunity be- fore them.

“Earlier, I did not have much interest in studies but since I joined this school, I have witnessed a change in myself. I love to study now. The encouragement of the teachers here has made all the difference,” said Munna Kumar, who dropped out of a government school last year. He was in Class IV.

Rani Kumari, a 13-year-old from Kaushal Nagar, said: “My confidence level has increased after coming to this school. Now I know how to greet people in English. We have been taught when to say good morning and good afternoon. I never knew these things.”

Principal Ramanuj Prasad said most of the children being taught in the afternoon are dropouts.

“We provided them clothes and books to motivate and encourage them to study. We have also taken the responsibility of bringing them to the institution so that the distance isn’t a deterrent. Some of them are extremely meritorious and can do anything. What they need is the right environment.”

Kaushal Nagar is around 3km from the school.

The principal was full of praises for the children.

“All of them are very active and the best thing about them is that all of them have very sharp minds. We just have to bring all these kids under a system,” he said.

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