The ZP primary school of Devandara in Ausa tehsil of Latur district, holds some of its classes in a well! Astonished, are you? But its true. For a few months every year, some of its classes are held in a shallow dry well in the village. The school has had to come up with this solution to the overcome the shortage of space. Though the school is up to 8th standard, it has only two classrooms. Unlike lower classes, it becomes difficult for the teachers to club the higher classes together while teaching.
Madam Sangeeta Kanadi of this school came up with this unusual solution. She says, “ Though the school has started the procedure to acquire more land, I could not bear to see the students suffer due to lack of proper space. I had noticed that this shallow well has a little water only for a few days during the monsoon. The villagers have been trying to fill it up by throwing garbage in it. After Diwali, the water dries up. Then we remove the garbage, put some stones and soil in it to level the floor. Then we spread mats on this make-shift floor and make space for our students.”
She further states, “We teachers also help to clear out the well. At times we have removed almost two to three truckloads of garbage. Then we hire one or two labourers and fill up the pit with stones and mud, level it with black soil and then hold our classes there.” In 2016, Kanadi Madam even organised a science exhibition in the well, in which all students from 1st to 8th standard had participated.
During this exhibition, Madam conducted experiments to show how oxygen was needed to sustain fire, generation of static electrical energy, and how a light weight object may float on water but a heavy object will sink. The school invited the parents and the entire village community to participate in the exhibition so that they would get interested in the school and its activities and subsequently its progress.
The school makes special efforts to improve English language skills of its students by speaking only in English during the English class, organising spelling competitions, crossword puzzles and other such games. They also play dumb charades where the students are expected to guess the English words based on the actions.
- Children demonstrating a math problem to a grandmother through a teaching aid
- Sangita Kanadi madam of Devandara school talking about the Spoken English course of the school
As Kanadi Madam says, “We are trying our best to improve the quality of education, now all we need is a space for our school.”
Blog and photos: Snehal Bansode-Sheludkar
Translation & editing:samata.shiksha team.