On a recent trip to Mumbai, India, I met with 8th and 9th grade students at the India Educational Society Digambar Patkar School.
With the help of my mother acting as a translator, we had a great conversation with the students about our interests, educational experiences, and goals for the future!
The opportunities available for these students and students in the U.S. are pretty similar. No matter what subject a student was interested in, the school provided resources for that particular subject. Students could join clubs and participate in other activities related to their interests. In fact, two students who were interested in German won a trip to Germany through an essay contest – how cool is that?!
The overall consensus among the students was that boys and girls had equal opportunities at their school. Students could study any subject that they were interested in, regardless of gender. However, the students explained that one of the main reasons that boys and girls were able to have equal opportunities was because the school was located in one of the biggest cities in India. In smaller, more conservative areas like rural villages, there is a greater chance that girls wouldn’t have the same educational options.
One of the programs at the school used government grants to help children from a local orphanage pay for school supplies. These children were also given tutorial sessions after school so that they would not fall behind in their classes. Hearing about this program made me realize that there are schools all around the world that are making an effort to help everyone receive an education.
I had a great time talking to the students and hearing about all the amazing things that they’re doing! It was a cool reminder that, when given the right resources and an education, every student has the power to do incredible things – regardless of where they live or what language they speak!