Kutty teachers

22 Dec, 2017

Priyadarshini was happy when Savithri, asked her to be the ‘Kutty Teacher’ for  Rubini and help her in reading and writing english. Savithri had guided Priyadarshini a class 9 student to become a ‘Kutty Teacher’ to support children with low competencies in reading and writing  in English. 

Rubini, too was excited, and looked forward to be guided by Priyadarshini. She liked the language but was shy and hesitant in seeking support from Savithri repeatedly. Savithri was he incharge for the child development centre. She  was trained to provide educational support to children. The children liked her very much. Priyadarshini too liked her very much but felt uncomfortable and shy to reach out repeatedly for support. There was a sense of inferior complexity too, somewhere within her. 

Priyadarshini and Rubini, connected well. Rubini enjoyed the company of Priyadarshini and quickly accepted her as her buddy and guide. There was no inhibition or hesitation in seeking support and gradually competencies improved. This was a win – win situation for both ! Rubini’s school teachers appreciated and commended the progress made by Rubini who too is happy with her ability to read and write in English – the language she loves !

Children connected better and learned faster with support of a peer member. Based on this observation, the Enlight project developed the idea of ‘Kutty Teacher – Little Teacher’.  Children with low competency levels are demotivated, shy and resistent to learning due to the fear of failure and rebuke.  

They develop an inferiority complexity that becomes a big barrier. But, they feel assured, comfortable when support comes from their peer group. They also feel assured when there is someone at close call for support, dependable and understands the situation. Someone with whom they can share their fears, doubts, inhibitions and aspirations without hesitations.

Children who score ‘A’ in the competency assessment exercise are encouraged to become mentors for those with low competencies. But before becoming a mentor they first undergo training on basic teaching techniques, use of simple TLMs, use of apt rhymes/ folk songs. They are also made aware of how to manage health & hygiene, environmental cleanliness and the baic code of conduct to be followed when they engage with other children. 

These mentors are called the ‘Kutty Teacher – the Little Teacher’! The idea was first experimented in Trichy Enlight Project. The results were quite positive following which the idea was replicated in Chennai, Salem and Bangalore. Each Kutty Teacher supported two/three children. Today there are a total of 64  Kutty Teachers in action. The Kutty Teachers not only help in faster learning amongst children but also builds a sense of solidairty and support for the weak! They are embodiments of courage, hope and positivity for those with fear & inferior complexity. They are accepted well as they come from the same socio-economic and geographical area and is well aware of the dynamics. Several children who were supported by Kutty Teacher, have themselves volunteered to become one! The Kutty Teachers also manage the centre in the absence of the centre co-ordinator. Thus Kutty Teachers are turning out to be a big help for both children and the Team.


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