Student attrition is one of our biggest problems. Kids float in and out of the school almost on a weekly basis. Many of the kids we originally started with are no longer attending. Some have moved, some have been sent ‘home’ against their wishes, some have been put to work, some would just rather play. Or, there is simply a lack of commitment given that our school is free!
The reason we house the school in a shack right in the midst of their neighbourhood is to specifically address this issue of apathy. Kids who want to come to school should be able to get there on their own. Kids who don’t should be within reach of our house visits and cajoling.
And when Sama does not work, there is always Dana. While we try and make the entire learning experience fun and play, also sometimes resort to out and out bribing. Kids who attend a whole week without missing a single day get to take home one crayon from their box. Let’s see who earns their whole box. For long term retention, promises of a year end celebration where all students who attend regularly, work at their studies and make progress will receive prizes.
Hopefully, we will not need to apply Danda or Bedha. 🙂
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