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Headteacher’s report: A student’s story, Asha, 2021

Asha, now 21 years, is the youngest of five sisters. All of them except Asha are illiterate. Their father died when she was four. Her mother and sisters began working as domestic help, and her sisters were quickly married at a very young age.

At some stage, Asha and her mother came to live and work with a Sikh family in Mohali, who were concerned when they learnt about her situation.  They encouraged her to gain an education. So Asha was enrolled at Bright Sparks at the advanced age of 16 years. Her education began then. 

First, she joined the classes with much younger students – a brave thing to do. Later she was taught by the tutors in Bright Sparks afternoon study sessions. In just four years she passed her class 10 exams (the equivalent of GCSE in the UK), graduating in 2019. Before and after school she continued to cook, clean and do child-care for the Sikh family who are always supportive.

Last year, Asha enrolled in a short course at the local hospital to train as a General Duty Assistant. This January, 2021, she gained her GDA certificate. Her new aim is to enrol on a nursing course, for which she needs to study some more and complete her 10+2 exams (‘A’ level equivalent). She has now enrolled in a local secondary school and will take those exams in March 2022. All our congratulations and good wishes go with Asha.