Saturday, May 31, 2008

Students of the Gifted Land

I had two meetings scheduled with students in two different schools. The first was at Adolf Reiswann Schöle, on 29 May, ( a Higher Secondary School as in India, but has only the 11th & 12th Grade) - they call it, the Gymnasium. About 2,600 students are enrolled here, though not all of them need to come every day, as they have their practical trainings in their place of work. We could meet students from various subjects : nutrition, health, bakery, florist, dentistry, and even hair dressing! There were many other subjects, with separate class rooms, all of them well furnished (to the Indian standards, they looked elitist--not for Germany), with plenty of teaching aids. I could speak to the boys and girls from the the Health Section. The students here must choose their line of study by the time they enter the Gymnasium and for getting any job, a minimum of the 12th grade with other statutory education is required. Let me explain with an example. How many hair dressers do you know who have been trained for at least two years in a professional school for Hair Dressing? In Germany, one cannot work in a salon if the person has not got a Certificate, and has done the required practical trainings!
On 30 May, we went to a School of Nursing, attached to the St. Vincenz hospital in Limburg. There were about 25 students. In both the schools, the students were very enthusiastic and interested to know more about India. Many of them know India only from Bollywood movies, the technology and the booming economy as projected by media. They have no idea of Indian villages. And that was my main task. Ms. Jennifer Poidatz, the Country Rep of CRS India, had just sent me a mail on the previous day with some suggestions on what I could do in my various meetings. Her tips came in handy. On both the occasions Mr. Wieser and Fr. Norbert did a bit of assistance by translating and explaining things in German.

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