Tackling deprivation in a slum community
- Prize Category: Overcoming Adversity
- Format: Lecture
- Country: India
- Languages: Streamed live in English with automated captions in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Filipino, Malay, Serbian and Hindi.
- Learn more about the Top Ten Shortlisted Schools in the Overcoming Adversity category on the World’s Best School Prizes website.
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About the school
Samaritan Mission School, a school in Howrah, India, is located in the Tikiapara Slum, which has long been prone to poverty, inadequate sanitation, overcrowded households, poor health, domestic violence, and is vulnerable to natural disasters. The school came into being with a vision to address the prevailing community issues through education and holistic development.
For many years, education was dismissed within the wider community as families prioritised earning a wage, often asking their children to work alongside them. The school introduced an effective pedagogy based on integrating technology in education, encouraging self-learning, and self-reliance. The school also organises visits to institutions such as banks, the municipal office, and health centres to give students a bigger picture of society and encourage them to want to contribute to it. The school conducts science workshops, quizzes and cultural programs to enhance the spirit of learning through co-creation and cooperative learning practices.
The school initiated community development programmes and worked to unite people of different socio-economic backgrounds and help slum residents realise the need for communal harmony.
Major concerns such as sanitation, safe drinking water, cleaning of drains and the enrolment of students are addressed by the community volunteers, who work closely with every party involved to find a beneficial solution. In the case of domestic violence and child marriage, staff at Samaritan Mission School hold interventions, and in the past few years the rate of domestic abuse in the community had significantly decreased. The school also works with women from vulnerable backgrounds to develop skills that could help them gain employment. Community members have also been connected to different government programmes and initiatives that help grant financial aid, lessening the burden on families to get financial support from the school directly.
The school’s efforts to improve education has led to it having nearly 50% female students, a 98% retention rate, and 100% of students have been successful in 10th and 12th grade board examinations in recent years.
Join us for an educating session on inclusion in low resourced communities.
Moderator: Khursheed Anwar Sufi
Mr. Khursheed Anwar Sufi, the Principal of the school is having masters in English with B.Ed. Mr. Sufi bears a versatile personality and very much student friendly. He maintain very good and effective relation with the parents and community people. Facilitation in strengthening process is one of his prime jobs. He believes and practices continued monitoring & evaluation of the activities conducted by the school and extend need based input to develop resilience among students, teachers and other stakeholders. Mr. Sufi is also a good writer who wrote few books on different aspects to enlighten the people in general.
Speaker 1: Mamoon Akhtar
Mamoon Akhtar, founded the school, was born on 22nd September 1970 in Tikiapara slum. His father was a labourer. His left hand was affected with polio. He left school while in Class VII. Mr. Mamoon determined to continue his education. He started part-time job to pay his school fees from the age of 14 years and studied up to Class XII. He managed to get a job of a Librarian in a private school to continue his education and to support his family. He was deeply moved by pathetic condition of poor children who get involved in many nefarious activities.