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Libraries in Schools
Of Rain, Snails & Tales…at Kasturba Matoshri High School
July 13, 2013
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We’re always on the lookout for schools we can work with. In this search, we went to visit Kasturba Matoshri. A school nestled in a quiet corner of the heart of Panjim, I didn’t know until a couple of days ago that it was there.

2013-07-13 11.55.48Having carved a time on their time table, I went armed with a book and stationary box to their 5th STD class.

As I introduced myself, my eye caught a face that was trying particularly hard to catch my attention. Full circle moment, when I realised that that face was Rohini from our Tonca MOP site. To her, I was familiar, as was the book that I was carrying!

The rest of the class welcomed me warmly. There was an air of great curiosity as I began to speak to them.

“What are the animals we see in the monsoon?” I asked them.

It is said that teaching-learning is a 2 way process. Indeed it is! Their responses required me to think twice and ask them for a meaning; and they explained rather patiently. “Gogolgai woh hai jo gol ghar uska peet pe hai.”, “Ahhhhhh….usse English mein snail kehte hai!”.

In many ways, they spoke about the rain as they saw it, through their experience with it. “We dance in the rain. We collect the water. Everything around us becomes green. We throw water with our umbrellas.”

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We got to the book. As always, that ‘listen’ moment happened. That is to say; the moment they stop to listen intently to the story, and the moment that I can hear nothing else around us, spare the turning of the page.

In the course of the story, I said, “…a tiny crack appeared.”. Now what was the word I was looking for in Hindi, Konkani….a simpler way to describe it in English. Think Krystal, THINK! And before I had to worry any further, a small boy on the first bench stood and responded by pointing at the wall; “Teacher, crack!” “Yes, exactly!”

“PHEW!”

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As we moved on to the extension, it was clear that there was some apprehension about writing in English.

While some chose to express themselves in Hindi, others made attempts in English. While they did this with some difficulty, I recognize that they made an effort, asked for help and brought up thoughtful displays of their work.

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When it was time to leave, they asked if we could ‘make the rain again’. And so we did. Gentle pitter patter…..slow drizzle….mild shower…..thunderous storm!

They asked, ‘When will you come back teacher?”

And I told them ‘Hopefully soon!” I said as they waved.

It is time to visit the time table…. 🙂

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