Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Drive to Learn

One of the first things that struck me at the school in Matendla was the difference between kids here and kids in America. I don't mean the physical differences, though the kids here are certainly smaller on average. I mean the difference in how they approach school.

School is not a task for them. It's not something they play sick to get out of. They really want to learn. At school, they get to eat their fill with the mid-day meal, with no limits on the number of time they can ask for rice or curry (though they are limited to one egg each). At school, there are balls and nets and bats and rackets to play with. There are grounds for running and high jumping and playing basketball and kho-kho (which is a seriously confusing game if you have never seen it before).

Here's an example of what I mean: the school has one English teacher spot vacant. Usually, either one of the other teachers will take over the class, or the class will just sit there for that period and do whatever they want. When we got here, however, the students would come seek us out when they had no teacher and ask if we would teach their class. It still astounds me how much they really want to learn.

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