English: Reading Comprehension

It is about nine in the morning and a scraggly bunch of kids is waiting near an abandoned building in Lodhi Colony for their school to arrive. School is a bright yellow bus kitted out with cabinets, blackboard, water dispenser, ladder, a canopy, teaching aids and an LCD TV. They call it the Mobile Learning Centre or school-on-wheels. When the bus arrives, it parks parallel to the pavement, the television is turned to face the road and an inspirational song, is played loud enough to draw the attention of children. The project, launched by Delhi Government’s Department of Education in February 2008 is run by Butterflies, an NGO.

The mission is to bring the underprivileged kids into the mainstream and preparing them for government schools. Children are taught Hindi, English and Mathematics and given tips on health and hygiene twice a week. A sports teacher comes along once a week. Is the yellow bus a magnet then? “Attendance is a little thin now, “admits NGO volunteer Asif Ali Chaudhary, even as Mausami Baruah, one of the two teachers, pulls a child out of line for chewing gum. “Some have gone to their villages for a festival and haven’t returned so far. And then, it’s Thursday, Manu will be helping her parents sell garlands at a temple.” Even so, at least 25 children are present. Keeping the students focussed is quite a task. “Many bring along younger siblings as there’s no one at home and they are assigned baby- sitting duties,” says Chaudhary. Crawling babies aren’t the only distraction. As the senior class, backs leaning against the boundary wall, learns geometrical shapes, a different scene is playing out right behind. A policeman has spotted someone in the abandoned block of flats nearby and with remarkable agility, has jumped over the wall to inspect. As he gives chase, several children run away. The school teachers carry on as if nothing has happened. Essentially, the mobile school is able to do its job, stopping at four contact points, where it can enroll a maximum of 40 students per stop. But even those who haven’t enrolled – and are merely hanging around the area – are welcome.

Answer the following question:

(a) Mobile Learning Centre is a project launched by Delhi Government’s Department of Education with the aim of 
(i) bringing underprivileged kids into the mainstream and preparing them for government school
(ii) providing underprivileged children all the facilities of the school with no fee structure
(iii) bringing underprivileged kids under the same roof to avoid all sorts of discrimination
(iv) carrying underprivileged children to school

(b) Besides regular teaching in the school, children are also given in order to stay healthy.
(i) tips to earn their bread
(ii) tips on health and hygiene
(iii) tips to become rich
(iv) tips to act

(c) The word ‘scraggly’ means
(i) fat and clumsy
(ii) strong and sturdy
(iii) lean and bony
(iv) healthy and stable

(d) Many distractions in the study of children are found responsible for 
(i) high attendance
(ii) low attendance
(iii) average attendance
(iv) maximum attendance

(e) The mobile school has been doing its job by not only teaching but also including to fulfill the purpose of their mission.
(i) those who haven’t enrolled themselves and merely hang around the area
(ii) those who have got themselves enrolled
(iii) those who have performed well in the studies
(iv) those who play well

Answer:
(a) (i) bringing underprivileged kids into the mainstream and preparing them for government school
(b) (ii) tips on health and hygiene
(c) (iii) lean and bony
(d) (ii) low attendance
(e) (i) those who haven’t enrolled themselves and merely hang around the area

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