Garib Nagar’s fire-ravaged slum in Bandra (East) saw only five of the 39 Class 10 and 12 students clear the board exams this year.
But the organisation that helped them after their books and hall tickets were charred in the March 4 fire is now determined to improve the performance of the slum’s next batch of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) students.
In July, the Mumbai division of the non-profit Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) plans to organise a series of educational guidance programmes for Garib Nagar’s new class 10 students.
The workshops will include interactive lectures on the importance of education, preparing for board exams, how to improve memory and special parental guidance sessions.
After the fire, the 29-year-old organisation had arranged for immediate replacement of burnt textbooks along with several all-night study rooms in two civic schools nearby.
However, two of the six Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) students failed the exam and 32 out of 33 failed the SSC exam.
“Despite our efforts to rehabilitate the students, their results were not very good, as they were still recovering from the shock,” said Mirza Kamran Baig, president of the Mumbai chapter of SIO, which is the student wing of the Jamat-e-Islami Hind.
“But there is now a general lack of will to study among students in the slum, which we want to address with the new batch.” The SIO, which is organising career guidance sessions in several schools and colleges across the city, will confirm the dates of its Garib Nagar programmes in ten days. “We will also provide books and financial aid to needy students,” said Baig.
For Mohammed Khalid Shaikh, a plumber whose home was among the many that were damaged in the fire, the workshops mean more hope for his 15-year-old son Shahid.
“He already has a benefactor to pay his Class 10 fees, and I know people will be ready to give him a job if he scores well and studies further,” said Shaikh.