Monday, July 15, 2013

Visiting an Urban Learning Centre

By Serdane Baudhuin
Intern, Pratham Education Foundation

"Piggy lost his mother, so he went out to look for her. Around the corner, he encountered Mr. Dove. Oh, you must be my mother- Piggy says. Coo coo - answers the dove. Oh no says Piggy, that's not the right noise, you can't be my mother. So Piggy walks away, and encounters Mister Crow."

The children of the Dallupura Balwadi Centre are engrossed in the story of piggy searching for his mommy, sometimes even telling it along. And when piggy eventually finds her, all cheer with happiness.

The Pratham Balwadi Centre aims to inculcate school going habits in children with a focus on their physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. These children are aged three to five and the Balwadi teachers engage them in various activities which include telling stories and poems, singing and art and crafts work.

Upstairs, a group of older boys work on improving their reading skills with the help of a teacher. At first the boys appear to be rather shy. But the mood rapidly changes and in no time, we are surrounded by the whole group enthusiastically opening up about their thoughts and narrating their experiences. The children are also eager to share their dreams for the future : we have a soldier, a choreographer, and an entire cricket team !

In the afternoon, we meet a class of girls aged 5 to 7 as a part of Pratham’s Balwachan programme. The group meets us with a great deal of curiosity, giggling and whispering ideas about what our names might be, or where we may have come from. It is soon clear that the witty girls will only answer our questions once we have answered all the ones that they have about us.

Documenting the Center has been an enriching experience. I have greatly enjoyed observing different teaching methods, participating in some of the activities, and meeting the children. Talking to them has given me insights into their situation that I could not have gained from reading reports. This has convinced me of the need to actually confront ourselves with realities different from our own in order to truly understand them.

It has been truly gratifying to have had the opportunity to visit one of Pratham’s Educational Programmes. However, let us not forget that bringing actual social change to the world takes enduring effort, part of which consists of hours spent sitting behind a desk. Participating on the field is something that brings perspective those the hours. My understanding of what goes on in reality is something which I hope will be  able to aid me in my work during the rest of my internship at Pratham.


  1. Urban Learning Centre is a very good and need full way for the education of children's of Urban areas.

  2. To provide the education at urban areas is a very good and social work..
    Good post..

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  6. I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the format to your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent high quality writing, it is rare to peer a nice weblog like this one these days..

  7. Impressive And Interesting Article.
    I went to Urban Learning Centre once and I have learned so much from it, and realized how much it impacts underprivileged children in India.
    Amazing Article.

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  8. Teaching is a good skill gifted from god. Especially for small kids. They are new to the world of words. Education will never ends and it will not loss from us.



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