As I write this piece, I’m heading home for a short visit. And as I bask in Barbados’ world-renowned sun, sea and sand, I’ll ruminate on the logistics of a Caribbean ASER in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, Wilima, Rukmini, Ranajit and the team are tirelessly preparing this year’s ASER report in time for the January 18th deadline.
Not only did I want to observe ASER’s methodology first-hand, but I also wanted to determine whether and to what extent it may be applied in the Caribbean.
That an effort led by a handful of individuals can change the education landscape of the second most populous country and, arguably, the most diverse country in the world has helped me expand my horizons of what an individual, or specifically, a small team of individuals, is capable of achieving. I am sure every single person who has ever been part of the ASER experience will subscribe to this Asar (impact) of ASER.
Crafting a tool and a program like this takes humility to go back to the beginning, thoughtfulness to cut to the heart of an issue, and imagination to understand the potential of such an effort.
As they persevered and finally reached the highest point, 18380 ft. above sea level, they raised the ASER flag. Within minutes they were back at work, completing their monitoring and rechecking task in adjoining villages.
Yet another milestone was achieved by ASER as we reached new heights.
Then I thought –“Did they do it because it is related to national interest?” I don’t know the exact reason but if it is because of their concern for the national interest, then for me it is an amazing thing to know. I must appreciate the spirit of these youth, and also congratulate ASER who could identify it and were able to utilize it.
At a personal level it was a wonderful opportunity to experience – albeit very briefly – an Indian village and to see community-level data collection in progress.
I realized that what made ASER so successful was because of the fact that Pratham/ASER Centre has been able to work/collaborate with local organizations and people from that particular area.
रास्ते में साथ गए छात्राअध्यापकों की खुशी चहरे पर साफ़ दिखाई दे रही थी और उनका यही कहना था की आपका बहुत – बहुत शुक्रिया जो आपने जिद कर हमें ऐसी जगह लाया व हमारी अवधारणा जो इस गाँव के प्रति बनी हुई थी उसको अपने से देखने का अवसर दिया |
उस लड़की के बारे में इतना कुछ जानने के बाद बहुत अच्छा लगा | अक्सर माता – पिता अपने बच्चों को अच्छा बनाने के लिए कितना कुछ करते हैं | पर ऐसे भी बहुत बच्चे हैं जो अच्छाई के रास्ते पर चलना खुद सीख लेते हैं | ऐसी दीदी को हर गाँव की जरूरत है | अगर हर गाँव से ऐसी लड़कियां निकलेंगी तो बच्चों की पढ़ाई जरूर अच्छी होगी | यह मेरा विश्वास है !