Klasse 6
April 2021 The school year in Darjeeling usually starts in early March. This year the college decided to start the exams at the end of February, which could not take place at the beginning of December due to the pandemic at the end of the school year. The students in class 9 took the written exams at school, while the other classes were given the tasks digitally. The good news: All students have passed the exams and have been promoted to the next higher class. Unfortunately, the situation up to now has been very confusing, as many families have left Darjeeling in the winter, stayed with relatives in the lowlands or even moved to other cities. Many families from Nepal also live in Darjeeling who are hoping to improve their living conditions in India. Although Darjeeling has so far been largely spared the pandemic and very few cases have been reported, schools have been closed all year round and public life has been affected in many areas. This is why some families have returned to their villages in Nepal or went to other parts of India to find work. Our headmaster Rohit Andrew Pradhan (Andy) once spoke of “suitcase families” who simply pack their few things and move on to find better living conditions. But these families in particular need our support, even if we can never be sure whether they will still be in Darjeeling after the winter holidays. Every year this affects around 5 percent of children. This year, due to the pandemic, it is unfortunately even 10 percent who have left our school or have not yet registered for the new school year. Our teachers also try to find out what happened to the families and for what reasons the students were not registered. Even if the children can no longer attend our school, it is definitely clear that the past time in our school and also the time of digital lessons helped a lot and provided a good foundation for the future. Let us hope that the children in their new places of residence will also have the opportunity to attend school in order to be able to build on this foundation. A total of 128 pupils from kindergarten through grade 9 attend our school. They are taught by twelve teachers, and three teachers also support the teachers, especially in the kindergarten classes. Our oldest students are now in class 9. We have decided to build our school up to the 10th grade if possible so that the students don't have to change schools. In cooperation with another school, it is possible to graduate with us. Hiring a qualified science teacher was a particular challenge. It is extremely difficult to find a teacher who specializes in physics, chemistry and mathematics. One week before the start of the school year, our headmaster managed to find a young and committed teacher. The parents very much want the other classes to be able to come to school one by one. But at the beginning of April the numbers of Covid sufferers in India are shocking, so that a quick opening is certainly not to be expected there either. Homeschooling at St. Anthony‘s School. Our students receive assignments via WhatsApp and send their work back to the teachers.. May 2021 On May 3rd, our dear founding member Günter Lücking passed away. Mr. Lücking supported our association from the beginning in many ways such as, participation in bazaars, support at general meetings and of course the construction of bird houses and bird nest boxes, which were sold for the association. Even after his death, he helped the St Anthony`s School in the severe Corona period with funds that were donated in memory of him. We will always keep Mr. Günter Lücking in loving and grateful memories. With these donations, food and hygiene items could be distributed to families in need. A short report on the situation in Darjeeling can be found here. June 2021 On June 5th, as every year, World Environment Day took place. August 2021 This year, our students took part in planting activities at home due to the corona. August 2021 We are overwhelmed by the large number of donations for our “Give Hope” campaign and thank you very much - also on behalf of our headmaster and the families in Darjeeling / India. "Give hope" campaign When the pandemic reached its peak in India in May and many fathers lost their jobs due to the lockdown and thus no longer had an income, we decided, after consulting our school principal and the teachers, that the families of our students (needy almost all of them) with food parcels. In a first distribution campaign there was food such as cooking oil, lentils, tea, eggs, ... also soap, toothpaste, masks and a chocolate bar for the children. Government agencies distributed at least flour and rice to families in need. In a second action, the teachers packed boxes of vegetables. Our headmaster wrote to us: "For 130 families our school became a place of hope and a light in the dark." In the meantime, the fathers, who mostly work as day laborers, find work again as porters, on the construction site, in the tea plantations, ... . Hotels and restaurants have also reopened. Our headmaster will be willing to listen to families in need who cannot yet make it on their own and who may then organize another campaign.. School closings continue Although there are hardly any new infections in Darjeeling, our school has still to remain closed by order of the government. The teachers try as best they can to teach digitally and to take into account popular campaigns such as the Environment Week, festivals and practical work. For the festival in honor of a poet (July) and for Independence Day on August 15, the students were asked to send video contributions. There was a colorful mix of dance, lectures, singing, ... We will soon publish some articles on our homepage. Practical work loosens up the digital lessons. The students were asked to make things out of disposable products. October 2021 On Teachers Day, which is celebrated in honor of the teachers, pupils spontaneously sent greetings by video. From 09.10. there is a two-week holiday to the Dashain and Tihar festivals, the biggest festivals of the year. Our headmaster hopes that face-to-face lessons will finally begin again. The schools have now been closed since mid-March 2020. The final exams are due again at the beginning of December. It remains to be seen to what extent the students can achieve the teaching goals without face-to-face teaching, as problems such as poor internet connection, lack of support from parents (who are partly illiterate themselves), psychological problems, ... affect the children's everyday lives. We have discussed with our school principal that children can repeat the school year free of charge at the request of their parents. This is certainly necessary for some ninth graders who will take the central exams next year. November/Dezember 2021 Highlight for science lessons The school principal used the emptiness of the school building to expand the science rooms. Since the materials were neither available in Darjeeling nor in the nearby city of Siliguri, our headmaster went to Calcutta and bought materials and equipment such as microscopes, etc. In November, a training course for science teachers took place under the guidance of a speaker from Calcutta. Let's hope that the students will be just as enthusiastic as our teachers and will be able to use the space in the next school year. . Classroom classes for our ninth graders The number of infections in Darjeeling declined quite quickly, but the schools remained closed. Since November the ninth graders have been allowed to attend classroom classes. Final exams in school The exams were organized for grades 7-9 in the school at the end of November, while the other students took their exams online.     Not all pupils were able to achieve the lesson goals, since problems such as poor internet connection, lack of support from their parents (some of whom are themselves illiterate), psychological problems, ... affect the children's everyday lives. Many students will take re-examinations in individual subjects in February. We have also agreed with our school principal that we will support all children who do not achieve the class goal - not just children who are supported by sponsors - in the next school year by paying the monthly school fees. Handover of certificates The handover of certificates with Santa Claus and small surprises took place in the schoolyard. The suit had to be taken out of the closet again.         Additional courses to catch up on the learning material All teachers are ready to teach our students in grades 7-10, who do not spend the winter with relatives in the lowlands, from January (the new school year usually does not start until the beginning of March) and to repeat the learning content that could only be mediated online for the last 2 years. In Darjeeling, public life is shut down because of the cold (Darjeeling is at over 2000m) in winter, because there is no heating, but teachers and students want to defy the cold. Let's hope the pandemic doesn't ruin this idea