A number of students top their board exams each year, but perhaps not many stories can better this. A student, whose family migrated to Kerala a few years back from Bihar, topped the class 10 board exam from Malayalam-medium government school. The boy also secured A+ grade in all subjects. Ever since Muhammad Dilshad’s results were declared, he and his family have been receiving congratulatory messages from all quarters. Speaking about his son’s success, Bhutto Sajid, an immigrant worker from Bihar told The Indian Express that while he could not study due to lack of money, his son has made him proud.
Hum gareeb the, nahi padh paye. But mera beta mera sar uncha kar diya (We were poor so couldn t study. But my son has made me proud), Sajid told The Indian Express.
The 41-year-old Sajid was born into a family of poor peasants in Bihar s Darbhanga. His family didn’t have money to send him to school. He did odd jobs, first in his village and then in Delhi. He was among thousands of migrant workers who travelled to Kerala in 1999. Since then, Sajid has made Kerala his home, working in a small factory in Ernakulam district and living with his wife and five children.
The school where Dilshad studies is a six-decade-old government school situated in an industrial belt on outskirts of Kochi where a large section of inter-state workers are employed. There are 12 students in Dilshad’s class who appeared in this year’s board exams. Out of them, four were from northern states. One of the main problems that such students face is the medium of instruction. Teachers in these schools teach most subjects in Malayalam accept English and Hindi, which makes the learning process difficult.
In order to solve this problem, Ernakulam district administration came out with Roshni project a couple of years ago. Under this project schools with a large section of migrant students were identified. The project involves one extra hour of language proficiency class in the morning before the start of regular classes. Under this project, teachers were trained to use code-switching methods to help Class I to VII students familiarise with the Malayalam language. Nutritious breakfast is also offered at the school to attract students.