It was 20th July 2018 when the curtain came down on the Adult Literacy Class (ALC), which soldiered on two years after the Andrean Social Service Centre classes (ASSC) ended.

The ALC was a part of the ASSC and came into existence about 10 years ago, seeing  an opportunity for the mothers who brought their children to the study classes and whiled away their time as they waited to take their children back home. Our dynamic pioneers of the Evening Tuition Classes and a few volunteers got the ALC started. It received an enthusiastic response from the mothers who were happy to spend their time usefully and were more than happy to learn to read, write, and communicate in English as their children were attending English medium schools. Creative methods were improvised to conduct the ALC as there were some who had never attended a school before and others who had some knowledge of the language as they had attended vernacular schools for a few years and studied English as a second language. Very slowly, the ladies began to talk English hesitantly and imperfectly, but slowly gained confidence.

When the ASSC shut down in St. Andrews School premises, the Navjeet Community Health Centre of Holy Family Hospital offered their premises to ALC. It was a sad day when teachers and ex-teachers, students, and ex-students gathered for a farewell party when every student shared how much they had gained from the ALC-the ability to read, write, understand spoken and written English and communicate somewhat though not fluently. More than that, they expressed their gratitude for the mentoring they had received from the teachers and the friends they had made in the class. Also, teachers expressed their joy and satisfaction in their challenging role of teaching English and good values to adult women. As important as learning English was the confidence and self-esteem the women gained through the classes.

Snacks were served and gifts were presented to the students and thank-you cards to the teachers, as all left with heavy hearts exchanging hugs and cell numbers. Praise God for the successful project of the ALC and all those involved in the execution of it.

Carole Alva