Foster Parenting at St John’s School in Chandigarh
When quality education is inaccessible to many students from economically weaker sections (EWS) of society, St John’s High School in Chandigarh has kept its doors open for them, according to Kavita C Das, Principal of the school. There are 300 of them who are now fully integrated into the everyday life of the school. One staff member (foster parent) is in charge of three EWS children for grooming and nurturing them as their parents don’t have the time or awareness to bring them up to meet the challenges of life. The foster parents make annual visits to their foster children’s homes to interact with parents and apprise them of their child’s milestones.
The students are encouraged to discover their latent talents in sports and games. The Covid-19 pandemic had caused misery for their parents who had migrated to the city in search of jobs. Many of them faced a financial crisis and joblessness. Children could share their feelings by talking to foster parents who provided mental strength and also provided books and daily necessities of life. They ensured rations were delivered to their houses and those not having mobile phones were supplied one with the support of the alumni of the school. The foster parenting of St John’s School is enabling inclusive learning and has become a role model.