Village Primary Schools
It’s eight in the morning in a small North Indian village. Children at a Native Missionary Movement primary school start the day with a song, their voices mingling as one. After settling into their places they review simple phrases in English and practice their numbers. In this hardworking Mauchi and Gamit community where 70% of the people are illiterate, this school gives everyone reason to hope for better days.
In 2003 NMM established three such schools across India. English Medium Schools as they are called are conducted almost exclusively in English and provide an atmosphere that nurtures children in mind and soul. Today NMM has 6 schools that go from primary through high school with well over a thousand students.
Compared to the general population, the progress of schooling among tribal children in India up to this point has been poor. Some parents do not see the value of education their children, especially if they did not have the benefit of schooling themselves. With 80% of these tribal groups living below the poverty line, many parents need the income their children can earn by working alongside them in the fields or in factories. Those children who are fortunate enough to attend school may do so under a cloud of discrimination, made to sit in the back of the classroom, taunted by their peers, or even assaulted by higher caste children.
A Key to New Doors
NMM’s schools are open to any child regardless of caste. An English language education not only gives children a global perspective but opens the door to opportunities they would otherwise be denied, higher education and better job prospects.
Each school has anywhere from 100 to 300 students. Classes are assisted by native missionaries, member of NMM churches or Bible school students. The schools often make the love of Christ real to a whole community. The missionary couple Biju and Rajni are examples of that. When Biju first went from house to house to promote his plan for a primary school, parents found it hard to believe anyone sincerely cared about the welfare of their children. After much prayer, Biju finally won the adults over and started an English School with around 250 students. Today these children are learning not only how to read, write and prepare for the future, but they are also learning of a God who loves them and wants all of India to know of his son Jesus’ sacrifice for them.