Monday, October 12, 2009

Passing it forward

Every now and then, I read a news report that really stuns me - and this story from the BBC is one of those. It's part of a series the BBC is running at the moment, called 'Hunger to Learn'. At just 16 years old, Babar Ali has set up a school in his parents' yard that now serves around 800 pupils. Each day, he goes to school himself, and then he returns home to transmit the day's lessons to others. Though he started by teaching a handful of friends when he was 9, other student-teachers have now joined him and together they give lessons in a range of subjects to children aged 5 to 14. For many children from poor families, this free school is the only chance they have to escape illiteracy. Most work themselves - as laborers, farmers or domestic workers - in the morning before attending Babar's school in the afternoon. The commitment of these children to better themselves is as inspiring and humbling as Babar's desire to pass on his own knowledge. There's a lesson for all of us there...

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