If I was asked to look back at my school years and think of my favourite teacher, I would probably just shrug my shoulders and would really have to make an effort to think of any favourite; I never had a life changing experience with any of my teachers and today I envy all those girls at Jijabai ITI who have had amazing people to learn from such as Parul, Farhan and Tridib.
The students have had an amazing journey with their facilitators lasting 6 months in the EECS (Employability Enhancement and Communication Skills) program and learning how to come out of their shells, stepping into a world full of challenges and making it through, one of the important tools being the ability to communicate in English.
I only happened to be present on the last day in which ETASHA held a program in which a JAM Session (Just a Minute) was run for their trainees. From what I saw and heard, I could gather how well and how much they had learnt from and looked up to the facilitators at ETASHA. The day’s program began with all the students sharing their experiences with on the EECS program. Nisha, one of the many enthusiastic trainees said, “NEVER GIVE UP” and, “SAY NO TO FEAR”. When I heard her say this I also felt her passion reach out to me and to all others present there that day. Her respect and regard for her favourite teacher Pearl who had taught her “to be strong and never give up” was so evident Well, it wasn’t just Nisha but many more who spoke well and narrated their experiences, and most of them were already looking forward to studying more in other ETASHA programs.
For a teacher, there cannot be a more fulfilling and a more rewarding moment than to see their students do well in life and turn to them to thank for the right guidance they have received. Such students can never be obliged enough for the interest and guidance shown by their teacher, and often its just the presence of a good teacher and the way of his or her teaching that can transform them into confident empowered individuals. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’’ and I believe it lies in the hand of the educators to use it constructively.
The program was followed by the JAM session, the highlight of our afternoon. The girls spoke in sets of three on topics such as crime, dowry, Delhi traffic etc. It’s main objective was for the girls who have studied in the program a chance to show off in public their new developed language skills, and both more confident and shy girls were given an equal platform to speak. The judges were in particular quite impressed with the standard and quality of English because it was better than they had expected; I have to admit I was too was quite surprised to see how they managed to jot down important points for certain topics and frame them into proper sentences. They repeatedly checked how much time was left so that there were less pauses. The program came to an end with Admiral Malhotra, the Chief Guest for the program praising all the girls who had participated. He talked on friendship and positivity in life. He was particularly impressed with Nisha who talked about NEVER TO GIVE UP. A lesson that may be for all of us.
Sania, Sophia College, Mumbai University