Girl power!

We feel overjoyed at seeing RDF girls, first generation learners, making their mark in the world. This is what Matendla School alumnus, Sumalatha, wrote to us:

“I’m Sumalatha from Matendla. Without RDF we didn’t have life in the society. RDF is oxygen for us. With RDF support I got a police job in the Excise department. I’m the first lady in my village to get a job in the government. So I’m very proud as a woman. Our school taught me life skills & values.  I will never forget it.”

Our alumni show us over and over again that our holistic education model is creating impact with every alumni success story. There are charting their way through empowering choices. Each student’s success is helping turn lives around for underprivileged rural families. These stories also encourage rural families to educate their girls.

We are super proud of Sumalatha and every RDF student’s accomplishment!

Government Support for Board Examinations

 As per schedule Telangana Government schedule, the SSC board exams are conducted each year in March-April. This year, the examinations started on 19th March 2020, with the first two exams being completed on schedule. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, the remaining exams had to be postponed, until further notice.

In order to support the Class 10 students in their exam preparation, the state government has launched a new app, ‘T. Sat’. The app aims to help students learn through online services. Even the school teachers are taking part in this programme. The school staff and RDF staff are helping students on a daily basis with full sincerity. The students are also determined to not let lockdown hamper their studies.

This app has been a great support to students as it has helped facilitate effective communication between teachers and students. The Headmaster has been supervising the process, coordinating with staff and students, taking their feedback and reporting to the District Education Officer.

We are grateful to the state government for this initiative and the efforts of the school team to support their students.

 

 

Creating Terrific Teaching Learning Materials

RDF teachers are ensuring that they stay supportive of children’s needs and learning goals during lockdown. They have made themselves fully available, sending organised lessons through WhatsApp and also reviewing all work, ensuring that there is no impediment to school work during this extended closure of schools.

During lockdown, our teachers are also busy creating beautiful Teaching Learning Materials (TLMs) which help students grasp concepts and learn easily. In addition to this, attractive TLMs also serve as great visual teaching aids. Text based learning can take time; therefore it is necessary to look at innovative teaching methods that makes concepts more appealing and fun to learn.

Though schools are closed, we are happy that teachers are still thinking of their students’ betterment and continuing to give careful thought to how to make their lessons interesting to teach. We are grateful to have such sincere, creative and enthusiastic teachers with us, who are also giving back to rural communities by creating an environment of care in our schools.

It will be lovely to see these TLMs decking our classrooms and halls, with eager teachers and children, once schools reopen!

The pictures accompanying this blog are TLMs created by the teachers of Rollakal School.

Our Alum, Illuminating the Path to Education

Our biggest barometer that we are truly empowering rural children comes from our alumni, our constant cheerleaders! While each alumni story is a reason for celebration, our alumni are also drawn to help RDF in myriad ways.

Rakesh, (Front,left) with his constable training group

Jilla Rakesh joined RDF Redlawada School in Class 4 and is currently in the final year of B.Sc. Mathematics. He hails from a poor tribal family, where children are sent to work in order to earn daily wages, instead of being sent to school. However, Rakesh’s family thought differently and were determined to have him complete his education and start a career. Last year, he applied for the State Civil Police Constable job, cleared the physical tests, but didn’t clear the written test due to English language problem. Undeterred by this result, he met the RDF staff for suggestions to improve his English skills and is now waiting to take the next round of written exams.

He meets his community members to motivate parents about the importance of education and send their children to school. He credits RDF for providing him with a solid foundation and giving equal importance to academics, extracurricular activities, games and sports; intrinsic to our value-based education model. Whenever he comes back to his villages, he meets the school students, encouraging them with his own life examples and urging them to go for their goals. A good singer, he also sings inspirational songs for everyone! His inspirational talks have turned some families in his ‘thanda’ (tribal village) around and they have started to send their children to school!

We are so proud of Rakesh’s sense of social responsibility and his sincerity to develop rural communities through education. He’s a great role model for our students and his community too and we hope many other young people like him motivate rural parents about the power of education!

Our Teacher: The Marvellous Mahender Sir!

Mr. Mahender, hard at work at lesson planning

A translated saying goes, “A mediocre teacher talks, a good teacher explains, a superior teacher demonstrates and a great teacher inspires!” We are proud to have in our midst, Mr. Mahender, the Primary School In-charge at Kalleda School who, we believe, is a great teacher and loves to learn too!

Planning a cultural event, with other teachers

A favourite with students and teachers alike, he teaches passionately and also strives to update his subject knowledge continuously. He thinks of innovative ideas to teach his lessons, which can arouse curiosity in the subject. He pays keen attention on how to make his teaching contextual, thus making it more interesting and easier to learn. Before teaching a concept, he plans how to introduce the topic with a good illustration or a fun activity that piques students’ interest. He know every student in the school by name!

Mr. Mahender (L), participating in a cultural event, with students

A gifted musician, he is always an intrinsic part of the planning and execution of cultural programmes. His involvement ensures smooth coordination among teachers and students, thus making such events a big success! He can sing, dance and play musical instruments and draw too. His gifts and the joy of sharing attracts everyone and makes them learn with curiosity.

He has a good relationship with parents and supports the all round development of the children, which parents appreciate. He is considered a role model across all RDF schools, as someone to emulate not just as a teacher, but as a person too.

 

 

Supporting RDF’s Vision for Rural Students

Susheela (L), with her parents

Rural children sometimes do not have the optimum support from their parents due to factors such as financial or emotional duress. Such was Daravath Susheela’s case, a 1st year Intermediate student in RDF VAPV Junior College. She belongs to a poor, tribal family, with six siblings, that live in difficult circumstances. Since they had to focus on earning a meager living, they were not able to give much attention or interest to Susheela’s desire to go to college.

However, Susheela had a tremendous desire to do well in life and help her family out of poverty. She studied well and was very sincere. Her luck turned when she met Mr. Sudheer, CEO, Yashoram Software Solutions & Director, Operations – Teach Ace Software Solutions, who was visiting the college to interact with the students. He was impressed by Susheela’s innate intelligence, understanding of academics and her sincerity. He decided to sponsor her education, after learning about her family and also promised to provide education for 2 students in the next academic year. With this economic relief for her family, Susheela’s parents are very happy and conveyed their profuse gratitude to Sudheer Sir.

Mr. Sudheer, addressing the students

We are grateful to our sponsors like Mr. Sudheer, who understand our rural students’ circumstances, believe in our vision and work to educate and empower students and support us. We convey our gratitude to each and every one of our supporters!

Kids Just Want to have Fun!

It is so important for students to have fun, rather than being consumed by academic pursuits. The 5 RDF institutions and the 2 Government partnership schools follow a philosophy of holistic education, with emphasis on sports, pursuit of vocational skills, nurturing students’ innate talent and extracurricular activities, alongside academics. Students genuinely enjoy coming to school and thrive in the nurturing environment.

Students of the Tech Mahindra Foundation – RDF partnership Government Primary School in Bahadurapally village, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, put up a wonderful ‘Balothsav’ (Children’s Festival) just before lockdown started. At the time, unaware of the impending lockdown, the kids were also very busy preparing for their final examinations; yet their enthusiasm for this event made them put in the work required to prepare well. They balanced their academic responsibilities and preparation for this festival in a wonderful manner!

Students from all classes participated in skits, songs, drill, folk dances, speeches and other cultural activities. The Chief Guest was impressed with their performance and encouraged them continue focusing on such extracurricular activities. H also appreciated the support given by the teachers. The day ended on a high note, with everyone basking in the glow of executing a well planned and delivered event that brought joy to the students, teachers, parents, the village community and other attendees. The children were gifted examination writing boards, which they were delighted to receive!

For the Love of Theatre!

Theatre is a beautiful medium for self expression, personal and personality development, as well as learning!

Two Rollakal School students, studying in Class 5 & 6 respectively, are not only good in academics, but have fantastic artistic skills too! Both of them are fond of role playing and love playing the role of ‘Pothuraju’ during the local ‘Bonalu’ festival celebrated during harvest season in Telangana. Pothuraju is an avatar of Lord Vishnu, who protects people from evil.

Both become completely immersed in their role, while on stage, mesmerizing and impressing the audience with their acting skills! We hope both continue to follow their passion and continue to delight audiences with their talent and prowess!

 

Unmasking Care during Lockdown!

Vivek, a Class 3 student of Matendla School was inspired to make homemade cloth masks. He shared this idea with his mother, a tailor and sister, a class 10 student in the same school. Together, this family made 5000 masks with their own humble income! They collected cotton cloths from the villagers, handwashed them thoroughly with the antiseptic disinfectant Dettol, then Vivek’s mother machine stitched them.

The masks were then distributed in surrounding villages to the residents, including to local police, medical, revenue and electricity department personnel and sanitation workers.

We are very touched with Vivek’s level of social responsibility at such a young age and one family’s sincere desire to help their community!

RDF’s Covid-19 Warriors

Bharath, only 10 years old & a student of Redlawada School, is winning hearts with the help he’s providing rural folks in and around his village. To prevent the spread of Coronavirus, he met a few tailors and asked them to stitch masks by collecting cotton cloth himself!

Bharath (L), distributing masks to locals

Inspired by the socially responsible activities he saw and participated in school, Bharath also ensures the cleanliness of his village and spreading awareness about hygiene. His parents are very happy to see their son step up to undertake such responsibilities. The villagers are also lauding his efforts, saying they understand how to stop the spread of the coronavirus because of Bharath.

We are so proud that he’s utilizing these unexpected holidays by being a good citizen and setting an example for everyone.

An alert RDF teacher realized that his neighbor had arrived by flight from a Covid-19 affected area and had not gone for a medical check up on arrival. Our teacher informed medical officers, who visited him at home for a test and then sent him for quarantine. They appreciated our teacher’s effort and said every citizen must be alert, help authorities and stop the spread of the virus