It is 8:30 am on a Friday. Two teachers - a man and a woman - enter a noisy classroom on the first floor of a government school building. A small group of students, all between 10 to 14 years of age, clamber up on their feet. "Goood mooorningg ma'aaaam," the students say in a long, drawn-out drawl.
One of the teachers, Jitendra Ahlawat, a contractual employee, doesn't mind the gender discrimination. He smiles and greets the students.
The other teacher, Vandana Jha, quickly sorts the class of 40 students in to eight groups of five members each. First, the students are allotted names of fruits/vegetables and random numbers. Next, they are asked to run to a corner of the room, when a certain number is called out.
Chaos ensues. Students are clueless about which numbers correspond to which vegetable. The teachers try to guide them with patience, albeit quite unsuccessfully. And yet, all the kids are laughing and running with joy. Soon, they busy themselves with yet another activity, one with a relatively better outcome.
"We're trying to teach them by play-way methods. It piques their interest and the children tend to learn their lessons effectively," says Dr H Akhtar, Vice-Principal of Sarvodaya Vidyala, Jor Bagh.