In Delhi, one of the slum schools, it’s a school for girls, it went brilliantly, the quality of the English and the behaviour of the girls just changed dramatically within six months. I went and talked to the school principal and said, ‘Do you like it?’, she said, ‘Yes’. I said, ‘There’s something you’re not telling me’, she said, ‘The girls have become very badly behaved’. I said, ‘Why, what have they done?’, ‘They’ve been saying to their teachers, ‘We Googled what you said for 15 minutes, we could’ve learnt what you were teaching us in five minutes and you made two mistakes in it’’. So I said, ‘That’s terrible, but were they right?’, and she said, ‘Of course they were right, but that’s not how you talk to your teachers’ [laughs].
Everybody told me it won’t work in Harlem, the children are poor, they’re homeless, they’re all orphans, they’re very violent, they’ll grow up to be drug addicts and monsters. I did the first SOLE [in Harlem], it got filmed by PBS. The children had a question: ‘Why do dogs chase cats?’ — eight-year-old Harlem children — and I said, ‘I really don’t know’. So they came back in about 40 minutes with: ‘Between two people a friendly gesture can be misunderstood as violence, that leads to a real quarrel and the bigger, heavier side wins’.