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The Chalta Firta School has a visitor

© UNICEF / 2008
Mrs. Ban Soon-taek interacts with children during her visit to the Chalta Firta School

New Delhi, 31 October 2008: Mrs. Ban Soon-taek wife of UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, while accompanying her husband on a trip to India on 30 October 2008, visited the UNICEF-supported Chalta Firta School (mobile school), an innovative learning initiative run in partnership with the Delhi Government.
 
UNICEF’s mobile school project offers an opportunity to economically vulnerable urban children to catch up with primary-level education and join mainstream government schools. The initiative focuses on using radical strategies to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCD). The project has over the last 6 months been successful in mainstreaming 15 children in regular government schools. UNICEF has helped refurbish two buses and is working with the Government of NCD and two partner NGOs to reach out to over 200 children in urban slums of Delhi through this initiative.

Viewing an animation video on MEENA the girl child played by the Chalta Firta School, Mrs. Ban showed keen interest in the facilities offered by this alternate education module, which included LCD televisions, audio-visual equipment, laptop computers and a full range of hands-on learning materials and books.

At the Vikalang Basti on Lodi Road, New Delhi, where the mobile school (bus) was parked, Mrs. Ban spent time interacting with the children and community members. While appreciating the creative efforts of the implementing agencies, she said: “I am humbled by what you are doing for these children.” Representatives and officials of the partner Government of NCD and the NGO “Butterflies” were also present at the site.
 
Viewing an animation video on MEENA the girl child played by the Chalta Firta School, Mrs. Ban showed keen interest in the facilities offered by this alternate education module, which included LCD televisions, audio-visual equipment, laptop computers and a full range of hands-on learning materials and books.

The children presented Mrs Ban Soon- taek with a number of drawings they had specially made for her. Later the children also sang songs and presented charming dances. As Mrs Ban Soon –taek turned to leave one little girl came up and said in Hindi – “Thank you for coming to meet us.”

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