Tomorrow is our last day in Bijawar, and we’re wrapping up all the things we’ve started this visit.
We finally met with all three government officials a few days ago: the DEO, the CEO, and the Collector. They were all super positive about the work that we’re doing and the plans that we have for the future. The DEO wants a copy of my curriculum, and the Collector had some good suggestions about how to focus our work to proceed more effectively, including dedicating more time to teacher training, which is something we’re pretty committed to already.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll have time to actually train teachers and implement our plan at the girls’ HS school (above). That process will have to wait until next year.
We’re thinking of leaving a couple of donated laptops at a middle school, however, because they have a teacher who was trained through Microsoft’s Project Shiksha program in 2006. We’re still trying to decide what exactly we want the school to use them for – whether to teach students or simply watch educational English DVDs that we can provide them. We’ve been working with three eighth graders from this school for the last few days, and they seem to be picking things up just as well as the ninth graders I’ve worked with in the past.
The last – and best – piece of news is that the UPS units finally arrived at the boys’ HS school! Everything is now hooked up and in place for computer classes to begin again. All the government schools are closed from today through the 15th because of the crazy cold snap here in Madhya Pradesh, but as soon as they open again, I think the teacher will begin classes. We might run into the problem of final and board exams that are due to start soon, so it may well be that classes won’t begin in earnest until July, when the new school year begins. We’re trying to press the school to get the computers thoroughly cleaned with a special vacuum to get rid of all the dust that accumulates everywhere; the computers are getting really slow, and the dust is a big part of that.
Look at this boy! He’s grown up so much since I first photographed him a year and a half ago.
And here’s another cute little girl, wrapped in her mother’s shawl.