She is their ‘English Saviour’

For the 60 girls coming to Pune from villages to study and excel, learning the foreign from Isha Parkhi is inspiring in letter and spirit

These sixty girls, who hail from rural areas and have moved to Pune to study, love their 17-year-old teacher Isha Parkhi, who has come as a saviour to overcome their English learning fear. They come to Pune for better educational opportunities that will land them a decent job, and help them take care of their families back home. While they score good marks in many subjects, English is the main drawback for students from Marathi medium as it is a foreign language. While a normal teaching programme adopts the natural order of listening, speaking, reading and writing in their teaching schedule, for these students each skill cannot be neglected. It needs a lot of attention from the teacher and the student because it is necessary in academic and professional life.

The students of Isha Parkhi loves to share their experiences in the class held at Vidyarthi Sahayak Samiti hostel hall on FC Road

The students of Isha Parkhi loves to share their experiences in the class held at Vidyarthi Sahayak Samiti hostel hall on FC Road

“I went to an English medium school and had the best of education. When I decided to take a gap year I wanted to do something that would help the society at large. I contacted Vidyarthi Sahayak Samiti that has been running hostels for the past 60 years for students who come to the city to study. I requested the social organisation to allow me teach English to these hostelites and they readily agreed,” Parkhi said, adding that she takes classes in a hall at the hostel on Fergusson College Road.

Parkhi tries to make her classes as creative and fun for her 60 girl students. The girls are divided into three batches according to the college year that they are in. It helps her plan classes better as some them are studying in Pune for long and know the language a little better than the newcomers. She has chosen to teach English only to girls as she wants to develop a rapport with them. “Once you develop trust with the girls, you can help them succeed in life. I am taking classes for the past one and a half month and the positive change that I see in these girls makes me proud,” she said.

Isha Parkhi

Isha Parkhi

“We have a lot of resources at our disposal but don’t make the best use of them. While I know that what I am doing won’t make a big difference or get rid of the problem itself, it is my way of doing something about the situation. If everyone starts walking down this road, the change might just be round the corner,” she said. It is when the girls walk up to her and ask her to get more books for them to read or perform well in the exercises that she gives them is when she knows that she is headed in the right direction.

Parkhi, who plans to go abroad next year for further studies, has decided to dedicate her time till then towards these girls. Believing that she works better on her own, she is not thinking of a team right now. “It is a time-consuming responsibility and requires total dedication, but the end result is worth it,” she said.

Originally published on The Golden Sparrow

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