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Reading Room Classes:An alternate to commercial coaching
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Reading Room Classes:An alternate to commercial coaching

Post by Javid Sofi on Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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Naila Farhat, a class 10th student at a private school in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district had never been to a coaching classes before the lockdown which was imposed to contain Covid-19 pandemic.
When schools in Kashmir were thrown open after lockdown, she started struggling with multitude of learning gaps.“My basic concepts were not clear, I was having much confusion,” she told Rising Kashmir.
Anxious Naila was looking for ways as to how she could overcome these deficiencies. She was told by some one about an initiative, Reading Room Classes ( RRC), supported by some in-service doctors, engineers and administrative officers.
She found Reading Room Classes (RRC) at New colony locality of Pulwama as a unique initiative where she is taking classes for past seven months.
The girl has improved very much and looks confident. Today she is one among the good performers of RRC.
She looks at RRC as an initiative not driven by the motive of profit.“It is not a commercial educational enterprise to me because students from humble family backgrounds and orphans get free of cost tuitions,” she said.
She said, in addition to tuitions all students get counselling by professionals, mentorship by administrative officers, guidance from achievers like doctors and engineers, motivational lectures, special sessions on how to prepare for competitive examinations and coding classes by IT professionals.
“Student’s inclinations are assessed at a young age and an appropriate career option is suggested to them,” another student at RRC, Aayat Farooq said, adding that in the counselling sessions their parents are also taken into confidence.
Aayat is a class 10th student at another private school in Kanipora village of central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
She said that RRC has not prescribed any fixed mandatory fee for students.“Students pay a fee as per income of their families,” she said.
An administrative officer who wished to remain anonymous said that the idea came to him two years ago when he used to visit a cafe in Pulwama, Read Coffee Cafe (RCC).
The administrative officer said that he observed that books were kept available at RCC free of cost for customers.
“The idea inspired me and we started an initiative, Reading Room classes,” he said, adding that initially it operated from a single room for quite time.
Peerzada Salik, Convener RRC, told that they institutionalised their initiative in 2021.
“ Our aim is to create a competitive culture,” he said, adding that their focus is on the students who come from far-flung areas and lack exposure.
He said that at typical commercial coaching centres such students remain at a disadvantage because they usually come from humble family backgrounds and can not pay huge amounts as tuition fee.
“We want to groom these students so that they become future leaders in their respective faculties,” he said, adding that they are also working on a library in Pulwama which will remain functional all days of the week.
“In today's commercial environment it is really hard for parents from lower rung to afford good education for their kids as from city centres to district headquarters no norm is followed when it comes to fee structure. RRC has been started to end that all,” a faculty member from RRC said, adding that the passion to create an alternative to commercial coaching drived 25 young dynamic teachers to work on zero salary.
He said that they look at RRC as a noble idea that needs to be nourished because of which they have been tirelessly working to make this idea successful. He added that the expenditure to run the institute is borne by the faculty members out of their own pockets and rent is paid through contribution by some noble hearted persons.
RRC has also developed an app which can be downloaded from play store with name READINGROOMCLASSES.It also flashes their basic ideas on their website.
RRC plans to train students from 5th to 8th grade with arithmetic, logic, reasoning, ALOHA and coding skills to prepare them for future challenges.
"Students will be getting all these things right at one place," said Mr Irshad who is front line counsellor at RRC Pulwama.
RRC has started booster classes for 9th to 12th standard in view of March session .
“This coaching model and in larger context the educational model is need of hour and needs to be replicated every where in Kashmir,” said Riyaz Ahmad, a teacher and father of RRC student, Bisma Riyaz.

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