With Christmas coming up, the holiday season is in the air, and everyone is looking forward to a relaxing two week holiday, complete with festivities. However, I hope that this holiday will give enough time to the Organizing Committee and our volunteers to make a change to the way of teaching in the Aspire Initiative; a change which we hope will gain us more students.
Earlier this year, when we first recruited students by personally talking to the maids, we were excited when we ended up with a list of 20 names. Our high hopes were dashed when only 4 students showed up for the first class. We thought that maybe more students would show up overtime as the word spread. At one point, we did have about 10 students, but now the number has dwindled to three. Though those three have made a lot of progress in their learning, all the volunteers are disheartened: we feel we are not making enough of a change. Last weekend, 10th and 11th December, only one student showed up on the 11th and the class on Saturday (10th) had to be cancelled due to a lack of teachers. There is no doubt that we have to do something to recruit more students, and fast.
Two of our volunteers, Padma and Manisha, had a bright idea: to convert the classes from being pro-bono English classes to free tuitions. Instead of only teaching the students to speak and understand English, we are thinking of having an hour of tuitions for English. Since the domestic workers usually pay up to 500 rupees towards tuitions for their children, we hope that free tuitions will attract more children.
We have yet to discuss the plan completely with the rest of our volunteers. There will be a meeting on Monday, 19th December, to discuss and decide what to do, and we hope to implement this plan after the holidays.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas!