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Haryana schools migrant labourers kids

Jun 17, 2007 12:31 PM IST India India

Jhajjar (Haryana): Six-year-old Meenuke Ibrahim, who is attending classes in Haryana's Jhajjar district since last December 1500 kilometres away from her West Bengal home, seems to have mastered the lesson. When asked if there’s any use studying, Meenuke says, “No.” When the six-year-old goes home, she shares the new lessons with her family. Her father, Miya Ibrahim , a brick kiln worker laments not going to school as a child. "She is curious to know about things. I want my children to study,” says Miya Ibrahim. If it weren't for an idea - Meenuke and nearly 1200 other children - wouldn't be in a makeshift school. The Bhatta Shala - a seasonal school for children of migrant workers - ensures they do not end up working with their parents at the brick kilns. "This is the most ignored section. Universalisation of education would be incomplete without including these children,” says ADC, Jhajjar district, Ajit joshi. Alternative education is also about drawing on alternative means. "Because regular syllabus is not going to attract them, we found, we designed a new syllabus,” says Joshi. And in six months, the results are showing, aspirations are being spelt out, plans drawn and students say they want to be doctors and teachers when they grow up. The Bhatta schools, with an average of 70 per cent attendance, prove to be extremely popular with the migrant labourers in Jhajjar. But only when they go back to their respective states and enroll their children in schools again, will this experiment prove to be truly successful.