When the SSLC board exams were to take place, children of Devadasis from Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ Children GOOD project were very anxious. SSLC board exams stands for Senior School Leaving Certificate exams, the tests for children to be secondary school graduates in India. For children of Devadasis coming from an impoverished socio-economic background marred with abuse and exploitation, this achievement would be a milestone.
To boost their confidence and guide them on how to take the exams, the Children GOOD team conducted a virtual lesson with counselors Mahesh and Veena Mohan. Both of them have the expertise in guiding and counseling children and have worked directly with several government schools, as well as private ones.
During the meeting, Mahesh guided the children on how to prepare for all the subjects. He suggested they split subjects into different sub-topics and recommended revising concepts among others. Children considered his suggestions to be very useful and said they would practice them every day. Veena Mohan explained to the children how the paper would be designed and evaluated. With the pandemic, children had to write exams on OMR (Optical mark recognition) sheets that were unfamiliar to them. With the help of a sample OMR answer sheet, she guided the children on how to attend the exams with ease.
They counselled the children not to compare themselves with others, and this made them feel more relaxed. They also instructed them to eat nutritious food, sleep well, and to take care of their health. After the counseling session, the children were allowed to ask questions and clear their doubts during a small Q and A session. With motivational support provided, the children were able to do really well in the exams. Ms. Priyanka from Ballari district in Karnataka topped the exams amongst other girls, with a total score of 97.4%