In the United States we constantly hear of overcrowded classrooms and a shortage of teaching materials. Overcrowding in the United States generally means 35 students per class – oh, how we wish that small a number for our schools in India. At the Jag at Jyoti School in a nearby village we have two classrooms and a small overflow space. We are a small Christian School reaching out to the poorest of the poor and giving instruction in grades pre-school through grade eight. Our overcrowding looks a little different than the overcrowding in the US – you see, we have such a heart for these young people that we find it difficult to turn them away.
This small facility has been reaching out to about 140 students per day, but this year word of the students successes has reach to far-flung villages, and our intent of keeping enrollment at 150 has now expanded to 170. Most of you would think this is a good problem to have, but the reality is that we have many grades sharing the same space because of the limited number of classrooms available. We also have a very long waiting list of students desiring to attend our free school, but without additional space we just cannot accept them at the current time.
We are blessed to have the facility that we have, but the buildings are old and in need of repair. We did some work on the overflow building a couple of years ago, but this year we were starting to get many leaks in the main building, so we have spent our vacation doing minor repairs to keep the water from dripping on the students.
Most of our vacation time was spent doing renovations to the Jeevan Jyoti school near the city where a violent monsoon took the roof off of a temporary structure that we had at the back of our first building which was really just a porch covered with corrugated plastic sheets. This area has now been made into a formal addition to the building, and by God’s grace, despite a great deal of rain which He controlled on key days of pouring concrete, we are now under roof and the electricity, painting and tile flooring are all that is left to complete. This school is also overflowing – designed for 100 students, grades pre-school through eight, in two buildings; we are now at an all-time high enrollment of 130 students with more registering daily.