Perhaps it was during one of the many reading sessions that Anjali first realised that there were students in Ranisundari LP School who couldn’t identify letters or numbers. The number soared to 33 covering 2nd to 5th standards. Most of the children being first generation learners, their parents had little or no experience in supporting their children at home with their studies or tracking progress.
In classrooms she sat children according to their learning levels and began with the basics for the slow learners. Introduced them to vowels and consonants. Made them read from top to bottom and vice versa, then from left to right and from right to left until they were thorough with the letters. The letters transformed with them when they were arranged according to the everyday sound of words. More often than not the children didn’t do their home-works. As a result there had to be constant revisions before each class began.
Home visits of these children were done simultaneously, convincing parents about the importance of education; need to regularly attend schools and the progress made by their children were discussed. A toffee in return for a quick revision after lunch was the remedy to squeeze in the extra attention that escaped in the larger groups. It took her 6 to 8 months and several toffees before they began to read and write on their own.