Shahin Sabir is a Grade 10 student from Kolkata. She belongs to a low-income family; her father is a daily wage worker, her mother a housewife.
In 2021, when schools reopened after pandemic-induced lockdowns, Shahin had lost her confidence and interest in learning and lacked basic conceptual skills to excel in English, science and maths. Her father had also lost his job and she could not access additional learning support.
BT, the British Asian Trust and Transform Schools saw the need for an innovative way to help students like Shahin re-engage with learning and launched the Masti Ki Paathshaala (School of Fun) digital programme in 2021.
Masti Ki Paathshaala (School of Fun) digital programme curated interactive learning content for English, science and math streams, aiming to spark the curiosity and interest of students to learn more and interact with their natural and social environments.
Soon, Shahin immersed herself in a new world of learning, thinking critically, creating travelogues, representing data in pie and bar charts and creating mind maps for better visualisation and organisation. She learnt how to read better and her comprehension improved.
Learning about environmental ecosystems, the food chain and other topics, she became more aware of climate change and the impact on future generations. She started using the 4R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover) and planting trees, and convinced her family to do the same.
Shahin became excited about education again and more hopeful of achieving her dreams.
"I want to help meet the needs of my family... Studying and learning further will help me earn well and secure my family’s future. The Masti Ki Paathshaala programme helped me get back on track and motivated me to reach my goals," she said.
The feedback and learnings from this initiative highlight the importance of supplementary education programmes and how they can lead to the deepening of learning across subjects.