Muskaan is nine years old, chirpy and fun-loving. She comes from a poor and vulnerable family in an urban slum in Jaipur. Her three elder siblings had to drop out of school in the fifth grade, but Muskaan is determined to study. Thanks to the Remedial Education Coaching (REC) Centre in the community where Muskaan can develop her learning outcomes, without having to drop out of school.
Being the middle one among seven siblings, Muskaan is also the reason for change between the older and the younger in the family. Since when Muskaan was sponsored by World Vision India and her mother joined the Self Help Group (SHG) in the community, the importance they give to education has increased. Muskaan’s mom, Abida, who is a housewife says, “My elder kids have studied only till fifth because we didn’t think of education as very important. We also married off our eldest daughter when she was still young. But now, my understanding has changed. It is important. I’ve decided to educate all my four younger kids”.
Mumtaz, Muskaan’s father, works as a plumber and earns an income of Rs. 200 every day. Sadly, this income is not stable. There are days he comes home with less than Rs. 100. With this income, it is extremely difficult for him to look after the family. But through Muskaan’s sponsorship, she received gifts like chairs, blankets, pencils, books and bags – which from time to time have helped Mumtaz reduce his expenses. Now even her siblings have dreams for a bright future.
Muskaan loves going to the Remedial Education Coaching Centre where she gets to improve her reading skills and learning outcomes. She enjoys learning English, which is not taught at the government school she attends. All the children love what they learn at the REC.
Muskaan enjoys the company of her friends at the REC Centre. Her mother says, “She never misses going to the Centre. Even after a tiring day at school, she takes some rest at home, freshens up and rushes to the REC.”
But amongst all the wonderful changes in Muskaan’s life is the hobby that she identified through the REC Centre – dancing! Muskaan loves dancing. A little music around and Muskaan is on her feet choreographing her own steps to match the beat. She was able to identify this talent in herself when children were taught Play for Peace activities at the REC Centre. Asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she says enthusiastically, “a dancer”.
Children like Muskaan, from poor and marginalised communities, would love to study and discover their talents. Unfortunately, most times they’re not given the opportunity or they lack the skills to cope with it because of the surroundings they grow up in. Through a model called Remedial Education Coaching (REC), World Vision India is assisting children across such communities in several parts of India to improve their learning outcomes and skills at the primary level.