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A child’s mind is not a bucket to fill but a fire to ignite!

A proactive principal and a bunch of motivated and hands-on teachers is fuel to ignite the fire of learning in a school. That’s exactly what the students of Smt. Kamalaben Badhir Vidyalaya also popularly known as MookhBadhir School had going for them.

This special school for the hearing impaired has more than 250 deaf students whose only challenge was that they had no faith in their ability. Two years ago, in 2016, ARCH Foundation in collaboration with L&T Technology Services Ltd. under its CSR initiative installed the Mini Science Lab in the school whereby apparatus and infrastructure to carry out simple science experiments was provided.

Over routine visits we realized that the benefit that we wanted to extend to the kids was not being exploited to the fullest. The enthusiasm and spirit of the teaching faculty and school administration was met with a response that was rather lackluster from the students. They were devoid of motivation or the zing to enhance their learning.  Their disability was overpowering and created a sense of aloofness in them. In such an environment when we first suggested the idea of the students participating in a science quiz and fair the principal was grateful but also highly doubtful about the response of the students.

Mini Science Lab is an initiative where concepts of rational thinking, curiosity and principles of science are promoted in a fun, hands-on and engaging atmosphere. Yet, after much persuasion and counseling, to everyone’s surprise, the students agreed to give it a shot and participate in Eureka Science Fair 2017!

What happened after that was sheer magic. Little did we realize that the impact of this decision would see a 360 degree change in their attitude and body language. The students matched step by step with their teachers and each other to prepare for their science outing while putting their best foot forward. Listlessness and boredom was replaced with teamwork and total dedication. All the time spent on preparation was full of fun! Courage can move mountains, that’s what Mr. Deepak Barot, the principal of Mookh-badheer School saw at the end of the Eureka Science Fair 2017 when his hearing-impaired students competed with hundreds of children from various schools and bagged the BEST SCHOOL trophy.

“This award is a reward of the hard work that my students and teachers have put in! I’m looking at this as a game changer for our student community who now believes that they are as capable if not more than their normal peers!” he said.

This year, in Eureka Science Fair 2018 the competition was stiffer and the expectations higher from Mookh-badheer school. And guess what? The students did not disappoint!

They won 1st and 2nd position in all categories of awards leaving the judges spell bound and the audience awestruck with their performance. Never had anyone imagined that hearing impaired students could manifest such confidence, endearing teamwork and immaculate presentation to put forth such a stellar performance.

Mr. Deepak, livid and emotional was at a loss of words to explain his happiness. He gave full credit to ARCH to introduce his students to a world unknown to them. Competing as the dark horse last year and winning the school trophy was the push that they needed in the right direction. They victory got them obsessed with science and maths and they began to use their knowledge in experiments and reasoning. For months they were mesmerized by what they say at the science fair. And when the time came to participate for this year the whole school came together as one outfit and did wonders! Preparations started just one week prior to the event as most of time was spent in brainstorming. The last three days saw utmost dedication of students and teachers who worked from 6 am to 9 pm in getting the working models up and about. Difficult concepts were discussed and understood, presentations rehearsed and perfected and finally the burning ambition to do well was ignited! The rest as they say is history! 

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