A great story

October 18th, 2009 at 2:57 pm by David Farrar

From the BBC:

Around the world millions of children are not getting a proper education because their families are too poor to afford to send them to school. In , one schoolboy is trying to change that. In the first report in the BBC’s Hunger to Learn series, Damian Grammaticas meets Babar Ali, whose remarkable education project is transforming the lives of hundreds of poor children.

At 16 years old, Babar Ali must be the youngest headmaster in the world. He’s a teenager who is in charge of teaching hundreds of students in his family’s backyard, where he runs classes for poor children from his village.

The story of this young man from Murshidabad in West Bengal is a remarkable tale of the desire to learn amid the direst poverty. …

But Chumki is now getting an education, thanks to Babar Ali. The 16-year-old has made it his mission to help Chumki and hundreds of other poor children in his village. The minute his lessons are over at Raj Govinda school, Babar Ali doesn’t stop to play, he heads off to share what he’s learnt with other children from his village.

At four o’clock every afternoon after Babar Ali gets back to his family home a bell summons children to his house. They flood through the gate into the yard behind his house, where Babar Ali now acts as headmaster of his own, unofficial school.

Lined up in his back yard the children sing the national anthem. Standing on a podium, Babar Ali lectures them about discipline, then study begins.

Babar Ali gives lessons just the way he has heard them from his teachers. Some children are seated in the mud, others on rickety benches under a rough, homemade shelter. The family chickens scratch around nearby. In every corner of the yard are groups of children studying hard.

Babar Ali was just nine when he began teaching a few friends as a game. They were all eager to know what he learnt in school every morning and he liked playing at being their teacher. …

Now his afternoon school has 800 students, all from poor families, all taught for free. Most of the girls come here after working, like Chumki, as domestic helps in the village, and the boys after they have finished their day’s work labouring in the fields.

Is that not simply an amazing story?

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8 Responses to “A great story”

  1. TCrwdb (246 comments) says:

    Awesome.

    <sarc
    Oh but it's the governments responsibility to do this, instead of bowing to the interests of big business blah blah blah maintaining an oppressed underclass blah blah blah
    </sarc

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  2. jabba (280 comments) says:

    is his school bulk funded and what decile is it?
    what a fantastic story but what a shame it is that way .. pity all people can’t have even basic education available .. lets hope he doesn’t get shot

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  3. homepaddock (429 comments) says:

    It’s wonderful that Babar Ali is happy to teach for free but also that so many children choose to learn.

    Ele Ludemann

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  4. dimmocrazy (286 comments) says:

    It just goes to show that it’s all about attitude and motivation, both from the person teaching and the person being taught.
    This is what has been destroyed and disrupted in our society, and that’s also why we don’t stand a chance long term against the Chinese, the Indian, whatever, where families are still allowed to instill basic values on their offspring, the desire to learn, to get ahead, to be better, and to look after yourself and your family instead of holding up your hand and wait for the State to solve your problems.

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  5. peterwn (2,940 comments) says:

    The PPTA and NZEI would want it shut down were it in NZ.

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  6. david (2,483 comments) says:

    Give that teacher a bonus!

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  7. radar (319 comments) says:

    “Most of the girls come here after working, like Chumki, as domestic helps in the village, and the boys after they have finished their day’s work labouring in the fields.”

    Ah, that globalisation is a beautiful thing isn’t it? Just ask Mike Moore.

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  8. Ryan Sproull (6,661 comments) says:

    But, Radar, globalisation has lifted millions out of poverty – haven’t you heard?

    Wait… Did Moore specify that it was millions of people, and not millions of dollars?

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