The end of our academic year is always a busy time, with 1,500 school reports to write and translate and, of course, the enrolment of hundreds of children into our schools.
A new feature of our enrolment this year is that we are offering places in our middle and secondary schools to children from outside. Most of the children who apply come from Government schools. As the teaching there is not very good, the children are at a disadvantage to Mala children, so we add an
additional IQ test. One child, Monu, failed our entrance test for middle school, but he achieved exceptional high marks in the reasoning test, much higher than anyone else (including Mala children), so we have given him a place and hope his intelligence can help him catch up.
Sadly, we only admitted one child in to our secondary school, as it is almost impossible for external children to pass the test because they are so far behind. In particular, their English is barely up to grade six level, which is a great handicap in secondary school.
The results of our primary enrolment brought some surprises. In a report from India, Anne Bate, our Trustee Education Adviser, comments "I'm really horrified by the quality of the children coming forward for the entrance tests in Hasra and Turkahan". These two schools are always at the lower end of the scale, as they are in very poor tribal areas on the borders of bandit country. The average pass mark to get a place in our Hasra Primary School was below 24%, but seven miles to the west in Amoi, the average was over 50%. You will note from the above results that 71 children applying for primary school were unable to get a single point in the entrance exam.
The 1st April was the first day of the new term and Mukesh was pleased to see the smiling faces of all the children who had won a place. This joy was tinged with sadness as a number of the children who failed to get a place also turned up.
We now have many new children available for sponsorship. Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested.