parents involvement in education of children in India
At Lakshmi Devi Academy (LDA), KHEL’s school for underserved children in Dehradun, India, educating our kids is a community effort. Parents are welcome to come in and discuss issues they’re having at home, with their kids or in their community, and we have several general meetings during the school year. Our most recent meeting focused on new, required, security regulations put in place by the government to keep schools safe for kids. There have been some recent incidences of children being assaulted in their schools, thankfully not in our community. Because of this the government has become very strict about school safety.
We are now required to have specific times that the main gate can be open for the kids to be dropped off or picked up, and parents are no longer allowed to come on to the school grounds during this time. LDA doesn’t have a waiting area outside the gate. This means parents will be standing in the street when they drop off or pick up their children. We will be posting a staff member at the bend in the road to make sure cars slow down as they come around the blind curve. If a parent needs to have someone else pick up or drop off their child, they must send a note. This will be challenging for illiterate parents, parents who’ve been kept late at work, or for some other reason cannot get to school on time.
We asked that parents please send their kids to school in their uniforms. This has also become a security issue – safety officials want children coming and going to school to be easily identifiable. If any parents can’t afford a uniform, KHEL will offer aid to purchase one.
We discussed other safety issues such as not sending coins to school with young children because they put them in their mouths. Not only is this unsanitary but they can choke. Children are not allowed to bring any kind of a knife or razor blade to school. Many children still use a razor blade to sharpen their pencils so parents must buy a safety sharpener. We asked parents to regularly check their child’s book bags to make sure they don’t bring any unsafe items to school.
Not all our parents have the ability to be actively involved at LDA. Many of them work long hours or work far away from home. As communication becomes easier due to the proliferation of cell phones, we are working on ways to be more in touch with all our parents. Keeping them up to date on security and other issues is just one of the many ways we’re working to keep our kids safe so they can focus on getting the education they deserve.
KHEL provides equal opportunity education, support and employment, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation. We believe that it is only through one’s own efforts that success is possible. KHEL gives future generations the necessary tools to change their lives.