Eastern Lake Ontario Environmental Research Group 2000 (cont'd from eloerg.tripod.com/waupoos)

Mr. Kumar and the Super 30, November 2011
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Mr. Kumar and the Super 30, November 2011
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Alban Goddard Hill, web site manager

Enter subhead content here

“Do not  sleep.    …….Work hard….

In 24 hours, study 14 or 16 hours.

No Television! No newspapers,

no sports, no games!

Just study, study, study”

 

M. Chairman,

 

Today I want to take you to

an impoverished section of the  city of Patna

 in South East Asia (India)

and tell you about a teacher…..

a student….. and…… two..  schools.

 

Now I have never been to India

but I pass along the description

as seen through the eyes of Stephanie Nolan

who is a foreign correspondent

who now lives in India

where she writes  for the Globe and Mail.

 

 

We all know how important are….teachers.

 

Our TEACHER  today is Mr. Kumar, Anand

and he is a 39 year old mathematics teacher

in the city of Patna,  India.

 

Mr. Kumar has done an interesting thing:

he has started a very successful program there

in his own SCHOOL   (that’s our first school today)

which is called ….Super 30…within his own school.

 

The purpose of the Super 30 program  

to get smart ….but very economically poor….. young students

into the prestigious ….. but  expensive…. IIT,

the Indian Institute of Technology,  

(that’s our second SCHOOL today, the IIT)

 

In the usual scheme of things

these impoverished pupils

could never hope to attend the IIT.

 

However Mr. Kumar has his own ideas

on that subject.

 

The name of our  STUDENT  today

is Dhar…..Dharampal Yadav

and he is 18 years old, and his family is very poor.

This is a photo of  Dhar, in his home.

He is an example of someone who usually

would NOT           be a candidate for the IIT….

due to his poverty.

 

The IIT is

is an engineering college in India

with 16 campuses across the country

getting  500,000 applications  from Indian students

for admission each year.

Of these the IIT accepts 8000

which makes it more difficult to get into

than Harvard , or Oxford  universities.

 

There is a big demand these days

for engineering graduates in India,

and there is a shortage of  schools

 

So the IIT schools have become very exclusive.

Poor people normally need not apply.

 

But the exciting thing is that our student, Dhar,

against all odds

has won  admission to the IIT this year, 2011

 

And just how did he do that?

 

Well  partly through his own hard work,

and partly, due to good fortune

as he was lucky enough to fall under the tutelage

of Mr.Anand Kumar.

 

Here is a photo of Mr. Kumar, at work,

in front of his class, at the blackboard,

chalk in hand, slashing out mathematical formulae

 

According to the writers’ description

at the particular moment when this photo is taken

the teacher is actually yelling with excitement

over ….quadratic equations.

 

And as a subtitle  there is another kind of  equation written here:

“Passion + Drive – money = a chance to change your life.”

 

That is Mr. Kumar’s Credo:             (repeat)

 

And so to that end,

Mr. K is part teacher…..and part motiviational speaker.

 

And here is a photo of Mr. Kumar’s students

in their classroom in Patna.

taking notes  and  paying close attention to their teacher..

 

There must be about 100 students in this photo

of about 150 who attend the Kumar school.


Why would Mr. Kumar do this?

Why would he bother to encourage

impoverished students in the slums of a big city in India?

 

One reason is that he has not forgotten

his own background.

 

He was from a poor family.

His father was a  clerk in the post office

 

But as a pupil  young Anand was brilliant in mathematics

and his genius was noticed in his public school.

He got accepted at attend Cambridge University in England in 1994.

 

But, he never got there.

 

His father died suddenly,

so Anand stayed home instead,

pedalled around the city on his bicycle

selling food  made by his mother,

to support his family.

 

However he began working

for a math professor at the Patna University,

and before long the two of them were publishing papers

in  international math journals.

 

Mr. Kumar also began tutoring poor children

and in 2002, 9 years ago,

he started his own school.

 

Most families were able to pay the modest fees

that Mr. Kumar  initially charged all of his students,

 

but one day one of his brightest students came forward

to ask  if he could pay the fees in installments.

 

This was a little unusual, and

when Mr. Kumar  looked into this further

he found the student had virtually nothing,

he worked as a servant at night,  

slept in a stairwell, and studied when he could.

 

And it was then Anand resolved

to find 30 bright students like this Stairwell Student

who were penniless…..

 

and he subsidized these students

with fees from the others

and this  allowed him to run

the Super 30 program and break even.

 

Stephanie Nolan describes Mr.K  teaching

in an old shed

in a very poor part of the city…

in other words a slum

 

The heat  and humidity  are stifling.

 

The students sit on rough wood benches.

 

The teacher  wears a microphone,

but he hardly needs it.

He gets  very  excited about mathematics

 

and in his motivational sermons.

he preaches to the students

“Your backgrounds do not matter,

You are smart enough for any test,

 All you need to do is work hard,

and to believe that you CAN do it.”  

 

He expects total commitment:

 

“Do not sleep.    …….Work hard….

In 24 hours, study for 14 or 16 hours.

No Television! No newspapers,

no sports, no games!

Just study, study, study”

 

And it seems to work.

 

Mr. Kumar teaches his preparatory course to these teenagers

for seven months each  year.

 

The results are pretty amazing.

 

The Super 30 has been running for 8 years

and  in 3 of those years,

all 30 made the IIT admissions cut…

a 100% success rate.

 

This year, 2011, 26 of the 30,

including our student, Dhar Yadav

got admitted to the IIT.

 

By comparison

none of the so called

elite ….IIT entrance coaching schools

anywhere in India can match this success.

 

In conclusion,

 

although I have never met this teacher,

I am grateful to Ms. Nolan for writing

her description of Mr. Kumar.

 

I salute him, and his students,

and indeed, dedicated teachers,

not just in India,

but everywhere.

 

M. Chairman

 

Adapted from Stephanie Nolan, the Globe and Mail Newspaper, 2011

Eastern Lake Ontario Environmental Research Group