This is the second year in succession that we have been able to get 100% of our class 8 graduates from Hunar Ghar enrolled in secondary school. This is a particularly noteworthy achievement in the light of the latest report from Secondary Education Management Information System (SEMIS) maintained by National University of Educational Planning and Administration which shows that the transition rate from primary to secondary education in Rajasthan is 68%. The fact that we have been able to accomplish this in a community where over 85% of adults have never had school education, speaks volumes about the efficacy of approaches adopted by Hunar Ghar in transforming the way primary education is provided in a remote, marginalised community in India.
It has been a year since the first batch of class 8 students graduating from Hunar Ghar successfully transitioned to secondary school. Teachers at Hunar Ghar are once again busy with getting all the children who completed class 8 this year, enrolled to start secondary school in class 9. A total of 3 girls and 4 boys passed out from class 8 this year at Hunar Ghar. All these children are getting enrolled in class 9 in secondary hostel school run by our partner Rajasthan Bal Kalyan Samiti in Jhadol, a small town, approximately 95 km away from the village of Bakhel. It takes about two and a half hours to reach Jhadol from Bakhel. The journey consists of taking a jeep from Bakhel to Kotra and then a local bus from Kotra to Jhadol.
The secondary school at Jhadol where our children are getting enrolled has classes till class 12. It has multiple facilities like a computer lab and library and offers opportunities for other sports and co-curricular activities including Scouts and Guides. There are approximately 1,400 children studying at the Jhadol school.
Ajeet Sangia, Hunar Ghar Vice Principal, has been in charge of getting the children enrolled in secondary school. He has been preparing all the documentation needed for enrolment including photocopies of Identification proofs of children and their parents, proof of their “Below Poverty Line” status and certificates of them coming from a “Scheduled Tribe” (Scheduled castes and tribes are officially designated groups of historically disadvantaged people in India).
To assist this transition Ajeet Sangia, along with school coordinator and teacher, Gopal Joshi met with parents and children at their homes to assess the school readiness of children and explain the enrolment procedure to their parents. Previously, teachers teaching in classes 6-8 at Hunar Ghar visited the secondary school at Jhadol. We also plan to invite the teachers from Jhadol school to Hunar Ghar in July/ August, so that the two sets of teachers can work together to create a smoother transition. We will also set up a buddy system, so that a class 10 student who has previously studied at Hunar Ghar will support a new class 9 student graduated from Hunar Ghar.
We will continue to make efforts to conduct more and more experience sharing sessions between senior students from Hunar Ghar currently studying at Jhadol and the current batch to ensure a smooth transition. Similarly, we will also be organising meetings between teachers at Hunar Ghar and those at Jhadol to share our innovative approaches like Community Learning Mornings, Project based Learning, Child Learning Demonstration Days and will familiarise them with the background and learning journey of our students.