December 2016 – Kolayad
In its pursuit to improve the quality of education imparted in the government schools and to obliterate the English language barrier, DEVISE operates at two levels. The first level involves reaching out to the government schools which are easily accessible from the nearby universities/colleges and carrying out the teaching activities on an everyday basis while the second level involves reaching out to the government schools located in remote areas. The remote location of such schools renders it impractical to conduct classes on an everyday basis and a different approach has to adopted and implemented in order to ensure that these schools are not left out of the inclusiveness drive.
A viable strategy to reach out to such remotely located schools would necessarily require proactive volunteers to take the driving seat. A ‘volunteer for a school’ project comprising of, a couple of volunteers who will be required to teach at a particular school for a fortnight or a two, an effective mechanism to send practice material to the school on a continuous basis and a mentor who can visit the school personally to assist the school administration, analyse the students’ contemporaneous requirements and improvise the material accordingly.
Going ahead with this strategy, DEVISE identified and approached ‘Palayathu Vayal Government Upper Primary School, Kolayad’ where almost all the students belong to the Kurichya Tribe. Located in the Kannavam-Peruva reserved forest area in Kerala, this school was actually built to serve as barracks for the Kurichya warriors, a formidable force loyal to the famous king ‘Pazhassi Raja’ who revolted against the British for what is acknowledged to be the very first but unnoticed revolt against the British in our struggle for freedom. These barracks were later converted into the school in its existing state. It’s an honour to be able to initiate our project at a school which is symbolic of the struggle to overpower the existing oppressions and inequalities.
We are thankful to Adv KJ Joseph for being our resource person and for constantly assisting us throughout our stay. He was instrumental in familiarizing us with the local people, getting us the required permissions from the President of the Kolayad village Panchayat and arranging our stay near to the school, just to list out a few of the many. It would have been impossible to carry out the project without his help.
We also thank Shivam Sharma for volunteering to accompany and aid us in our pursuit despite his packed schedule.
The exact details of the undertaken project will follow soon.
– Avinash Reddy