JIVA STUDENT: Radha Kumawat, Ninth Grade Student

Part VIII: This is part eight of an eight part article series on JIVA, the Joint Initiative for Village Advancement, an integrated community development program jointly created and implemented by PYXERA Global and the John Deere Foundation in three rural villages of Rajasthan, India. This series reflects the impact of the JIVA program on its contributors and communities. To learn more visit the JIVA Homepage and the most recent project update

Radha's Story

This year I am in ninth grade. I served in the Child Parliament at Morra School for each of the past two years, most recently as the Deputy Prime Minister. I am also one of nine girls who participated in JIVA’s Figge Art Exchange program last year, when girls from the JIVA villages exchanged art and letters with a group of 8th grade girls who study at the Creative Arts Academy in Davenport, Iowa.

JIVA’s Impact on Parents
During my time in the Child Parliament, I saw parents become more involved in their children’s education. Before JIVA, parents wanted their children to study but had hardly any interest. Parents’ attendance at school meetings was low and they were generally not engaged. When JIVA began organizing regular meetings, parents observed JIVA’s good work and became more dedicated to their children’s education.

"Through my involvement in Child Parliament, I have seen parents become more involved in their children’s education."

- RADHA KUMAWAT

JIVA’s Education Resource Centers
The ERCis a place where children meet and study in a less formal setting than the school environment. Different activities conducted at the ERC have helped build the confidence of children and improve their interpersonal skills. Along with significant improvements in the academic standards of the children, one of the most visible changes is in their cleanliness. Children have become aware of the importance of personal hygiene and cleanliness, as well as the cleanliness of the village.

Committing to the Future
As for the future of education in the village, though parents are engaged in schools presently, I am not sure whether the levels of engagement will remain the same or decrease. However, I am very sure about one thing – when the other children studying at Morra School and I grow up, we will work towards achieving better education in our school and keep up the good work done by JIVA.

1 Education Resource Centers (ERCs) are afterschool tutoring centers located near students’ homes and are available to any girl or boy between the ages of 5-16, irrespective of caste. The ERCs are designed to offer dynamic, hands-on learning in a relaxed and welcoming environment. ERC instructors teach reading, writing, math, and science using creative methods as well as art and, in the summer, skills-based classes. To connect students with their communities and practice leadership, ERC students organize community service activities and events that bring together families within the villages.

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