Compared to the board exams held in February-March, the examinations conducted by the state board in September-Octoberfor repeaters do not receive much attention. However, over the past seven years, a one-of-a-kind project is providing assistance and motivation to students who failed to clear the SSC in their first attempt.
‘Himmat Shala’ is the brainchild of AL Deshmukh -- a former recipient of the President’s award for best teacher and ex-supervisor of Laxmanrav Apte Prashala. For the current edition of the exams, 47 students from the city who have prepared at Himmat Shala for the last four months are appearing.
For most of the students taking the exams, subjects like Mathematics, English and Social Sciences are the real impediments. Considering this, Himmat Shala has designed a special syllabus for these subjects, which has helped the kids immensely.“When I was employed, I was shocked to find that many repeaters hardly managed 15 per cent scores in the boards. A thought came to my mind that as a teacher I can make contributions to change this picture. This is how Himmat Shala began,” Deshmukh said.
To promote this unique cause, Maharashtra Education Society (MES) has voluntarily allocated some classrooms of Vimalabai Garware High School on Karve Road for Himmat Shala.
“The main aim of these students is to clear SSC, so that they can once again join the mainstream of education. That’s why we have designed a special syllabus for Himmat Shala, and it is indeed helping students, as every year the pass percentage is on the rise,” Deshmukh added.
Harshawardhan Degvekar, who has was unsuccessful in Mathematics and Social Sciences, has been a regular at Himmat Shala. “I think I failed in maths because I didn’t have conceptual understanding of the subject. But here in Himmat Shala teachers have been providing personal attention, and now I am comfortably solving mathematical equations, after attending classes for the last three months,” he told MiD DAY.
When Himmat Shala started, for the first year, the passing percentage was 38 per cent, which climbed to 82 percent for the 2012 batch. Four teachers, including Deshmukh, conduct classes held between 6.30 pm and 9.30 pm on weekdays. A session of Himmat Shala lasts four months, beginning after the declaration of SSC results in June.
“I joined Himmat Shala by challenging myself that all students studying here should clear the board exams. Most of the kids are regularly attending classes, and one can perceive the upsurge in their confidence level,” said Nisha Dixit, one of the teachers of Himmat Shala.
82% Of the students from Himmat Shala managed to clear the board exams in 2012
47 Students from the city have prepared at Himmat Shala and are appearing in the current edition of repeat exams