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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Parents taking literacy lessons, learning Bengali for kids’ admission in Bengal

More than 100 guardians are now taking lessons in learning the Bengali alphabet at home, where their kids have turned out to be the teachers

education Updated: Jan 24, 2019 07:39 IST
Sreyasi Pal
Sreyasi Pal
Hindustan Times, Berhampore
More than 100 guardians started taking lessons a few days ago, holding the pencil for their first time.
More than 100 guardians started taking lessons a few days ago, holding the pencil for their first time.(HT File)
         

A school in Bengal’s Murshidabad district has found a novel way of raising the literacy rate among the parents of its students. The headmaster of Jot Kamal High School has made it mandatory for the guardians to sign the admission form and not accept thumb impressions.

Compelled by this step, more than 100 guardians are now taking lessons in learning the Bengali alphabet at home, where their kids have turned out to be the teachers.

Around 3,700 students study in the co-educational institution, about 250 km away from Kolkata.

Murshidabad is one of the backward districts of West Bengal that had a literacy rate of 76.26% according to 2011 census. The district has a literacy rate of 66.59% -- 69.95% foe males and 63.09% for females. Significantly, two-thirds of the students are girls.

“This year so far 285 students have taken admission in the school in class 5. It is mandatory for each guardian to sign the application form and some other government declaration forms such as building toilet in the house, not to marry off the child. In this school no thumb is accepted in the forms,” said Sibshankar Saha, the headmaster.

Classes started on January 1. These guardians came to the school last year seeking admission for their wards. The school is known as the best one in this area and parents try to get their kids admitted there, remarked Saha.

Compelled by Shah, more than 100 guardians started taking lessons a few days ago, holding the pencil for their first time.

“On Tuesday, 55 guardians, who have learnt to sign, came to the school and completed the formalities. About 45 applications are still waiting to be signed by the parents who are learning the alphabets,” said Saha.

“We have heard about the step by the school authorities. It is admirable. I hope other schools adopt the same approach,” said Bikash Nanda, the Trinamool Congress president of Jangipur sub division.

“The literacy rate in this area is low in the comparison to the literacy rate of the district. Most of the males here work as migrant labourers in other states. In their absence, the mothers are the guardians of the students. A good number of the women work as bidi labourers,” said Saha.

Most of the men and women can’t even sign their name, added Saha.

“For several reasons I couldn’t continue my education after class 1. I also forgot how to write my name. In the initiative of the teachers and my own child I have started learning once again,” said Julekha Bibi, the mother of a student.

Enthused by the response of the guardians, the headmaster is planning to push them further.

“From Saturday some teachers of the school will arrange special classes for the guardians who are interested to continue their education further. They need not stop at bare literacy,” said Saha.

First Published: Jan 24, 2019 07:39 IST

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