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Platform school at Mumbra opens doors to students

Volunteers from We Care Foundation ensured that parents send their children to the school and that the children are engaged in fun activities

mumbai Updated: Dec 08, 2018 00:27 IST
Ankita G Menon
Ankita G Menon
Hindustan Times
Platform School in Mumbra began with 12 students on Friday. (Praful Gangurde/HT)

When teachers urged eight-year-old Sakshi to come to class at the platform school in Mumbra, she wanted to wear her best dress on the first day.

“I am happy that I got crayons,” all she could mumble as she was engrossed in colouring.

On Friday, a corner of Mumbra station’s platform 2 was bustling with children. Around 12 children between 5 years to 11 years sat in a classroom made of container.

Volunteers from We Care Foundation ensured that parents send their children to the school and that the children are engaged in fun activities.

“We are not waiting till June for the academic year to begin as the children have to be prepared in advance. Also, they need individual attention and care so a strict academic pattern cannot be followed. Although the process was delayed, we have started on a positive note,” said Manish Joshi, deputy municipal commissioner, TMC.

Gradually, based on their age and schooling that they have received, they will be trained and prepared to appear for exams. It will focus on the overall development of the children with the help of skill development and grooming sessions as well as health and hygiene camps.

Since Tuesday, the volunteers have been going around the platform and counseling parents about the importance of education. “We managed to gather seven students initially; we have a small cycle and a few toys that are attracting children to the school. Yesterday we kept them busy with fun activities and hence today the students eagerly participated and voluntarily four others joined us today,” said Farzana Kazi, volunteer and teacher at the platform school.

Among the 12 students, only one went to school for a few years. “Currently, we will have classes for one and a half hours. Gradually, we will build up interest,” said Shaista Ismail Baig, a teacher.

What is a platform school?

TMC announced to open platform school at Mumbra station in 2015. It aimed at providing free education to street children who beg or sell items at railway stations or in trains. On a public- private partnership basis, TMC has entrusted the platform school to a social organisation. The students will get all provisions such as books, uniforms and midday meals like their civic counterparts.

First Published: Dec 08, 2018 00:27 IST