Our debating program was struggling to get a grip on Gurugram kids. May be the kids wanted or needed something else here? The moment we found out that the program wasn’t serving its purpose we started brainstorming solution. What do kids in Gurugram need to make their learning experience better?
A Quality Circle is a group of employees who meet every to find solutions to problems in their work environment or in their department. Sanhita, one of our team, attended one of those meet ups and observed the way they work. She saw potential for kids to learn problem solving using the Quality Circle processes and systems. This idea struck us, as a good option for Gurugram. Isn‘t it empowering when we identify our own problems and also understand that we can solve these problems ourselves?
We weren’t sure at the start if the kids would be mature enough to recognise their own problems? Initially, as Ruchi experienced, kids started talking about the vague problems which cannot really be acted upon; problems about their personal li wanted to start with something actionable. We couldn’t really get into their households for a chat, so we narrowed our question to problems at their schools. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a clean environment where we learn? Something as simple as that can support and help us in learning.
After a lot of efforts put in to make kids think of actionable suggestions, there were a lot of things that could be done. Why not just paint these walls fresh; or why not just pick up all the garbage and clean out the surroundings? The kids cleaned their school and the volunteers helped. Looking at kids clean their school and enthusiastically painting the walls of the school, our volunteers felt excited and motivated. The kids knew what they were doing. A lot of times it feels like thinking leads us nowhere; we cannot come up with a tangible output. Or we think that because problems have an external cause, the solution must also be external. When kids were cleaning their schools they developed a sense of belonging; a feeling that this is my school and I am responsible for it. It is a productive kind of thinking where we can take actions towards the execution. We like to spark the kind of critical thinking that allows them to find and implement solutions for the problems they see around them.