By Hasanthi Jayamaha; Edited by Leanna Cappiello
Many would say that teachers are the pillars of a school. What would a classroom be like without a teacher to lead it? This was the reality of the grade two students in the local village.
“For a long time, there was no teacher for my child’s class,” says Yogeshwary, 43. “We were unable to change schools. Our child was falling behind and we were very worried.”
There were times when a teacher from another class might take over a few lessons, but most times the students just played outside the class, unattended. School attendance began to drop.
A group of mothers had endured enough and met with the principal through the education department officials. It didn’t go well. “We did not know how to approach such officers, and we argued with them,” explains Yogeshwary.
But this initial failure did not deter the mothers. Parents took action by sending letters to the board and raising the issue of absent teachers at every meeting they attended. “But the school was still not providing teachers,” says Yogeshwary.
Around December 2013, World Vision facilitated a community group and conduct trainings on interacting with the education department. Once the group understood how to interact with the officials, the absent teacher issue at the school was brought up peacefully and mindfully.
“World Vision supported the group to formulate a letter. We directly discussed our issue with the officer, who respectfully listened to all we had to say. We felt motivated,” explained Yogeshwary, who was one of the 13. The group collected the necessary evidence, documents and request letters to prepare to approach the government officials with a formal case.
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