Theatre is Fun!

Theatre is a wonderful way to engage children and adults alike. As a medium, it brings texts and contexts to life to children and is adaptable to kids of any age and acting ability. Performances also gently prod children along the path of confidence and self expression. We have seen, time and again, how much children enjoy theatre and take ownership of the entire production process – the dialogues, memorization, practice and performance – they really come into their own with the magic of theatre!

Class 7 and 8 students of Matendla School got the fantastic opportunity to participate in a District Level Science Drama Festival that was organized by Sadaran India Science Drama Festival 2018. It was first conducted at the Mandal level in Siddipet in which our students won first place and were selected to the District level! They performed on the theme ‘Digital India’, portraying the plight of farmers and farming being affected by the onslaught of technology. The kids enthusiastically put up a brilliant show, along with a song.

The children really got into the skin of the characters and brought the story to life – so it wasn’t just about the acting, but about emoting and expressing themselves too. It was also a great way to delve deeper into the social cause of environment conservation and plight of farmers – issues that are directly impacting their rural communities.

We are proud of the encouragement RDF schools give their students to go beyond classroom learn and explore their talents, skills and environment in more creative ways!

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A Good Report Card!

Official visits from Government education officers is part of the regular review process that has been put in place by the local government. The local RDF schools pride themselves on the strong network of relationships that have been built over the past 20 years, linking rural communities with their local government officials.

Kalleda School was agog with excitement for the visit of Mandal Education Officer (MEO), Mr. Sathya Narayana. He started his visit with meeting the little ones from LKG and UKG, with the kids answering his questions very readily and confidently, which impressed him a lot! He observed the English and Computer Lab activities, greatly admiring the effort put in by the teachers and students in developing these activities. He also met with Class 10 students, motivating them to work hard for the exams and giving them some career advice. He checked the admin records and felt happy with the education system and methods put meticulously into place by the school team.

The school is proud that its work has been recognized not just in the villages but by the local officials too. We are also proud of the service oriented nature of each and every staff member to make the school a beacon of quality education, an institution admired and loved by all!

Family Role Play

Role plays are such an interesting way to get children to understand concepts. They also love the experience of preparing and acting – everyone has a hidden performer inside!

The Redlawada School Primary School Social Studies teacher decided to use Role Play for the lesson on Families and Relationships. They children were understandably excited when he put the idea across to them. In true theatre style, he did an audition to match characters from the lesson to students most suited to play them. After some rehearsal, the kids were ready! Needless to say, the kids were absolutely natural! The remaining student had a good time watching them and were able to understand the lesson easily.

What helped the children imbibe their characters easily was also the fact that they are observant. They observe parents, grandparents, the extended family; their role outside the home and in family and social dynamics. ‘Learning through Doing’ is a popular learning method which has yielded great results in RDF schools. We are happy that the teachers look for ways to meaningfully engage with their students and teach lessons in interesting ways. Watching and enacting what they are learning in their text is a surefire way for them to recall key concepts, plus taking inspiration from their own families contextualizes the lesson for them.

Well done – to the teachers and children of Redlawada School – for creating a rich and fun learning environment!

Turnaround Time!

We have been witnessing the power of community in the Tech Mahindra sponsored ZPH and MPP schools. This has taken time, but the school team has work very hard with the vision that becoming a beacon of quality education in Bahadurapally and creating an atmosphere of trust was absolutely essential. With mentoring from the RDF and TMF team, they understood that a good school is not just one that has a list of academic toppers; the environment in school also needs to be conducive to growth and development of students and teachers. With this vision, a lot of time and effort has been invested in training teachers in not just improving their academic and teaching competencies, but also in child psychology and maintaining a high level of engagement with parents and locals.

With this foundation of care and trust, we have witness several turnaround stories from children who, perhaps, would have been given up on in another environment or school. Sainath, a Class 3 student was extremely quiet when he joined the school. He did not mingle with his classmates and hence did not make any friends. His individual work was quite good – he had good reading and writing skills and had a lot of interest in sports and art. So what was ailing Sainath?

Teachers realised that he had an inferiority complex, brought on due to fear of authority figures, namely his parents and previous teachers. In such a situation, forcing a child doesn’t bring any result. He needed to overcome his fear of authority, relax and mingle. So the teachers just let him be. They observed him from a distance, never interfering with his activities and encouraging him when he needed a hand. Their mantra was ‘no pressure’ Slowly, he began to open up – trust that had been lacking earlier was built. He started mingling with his classmates, helping them with classwork and homework! His transformation filled everyone with joy!He was also nominated as a class leader! What a difference an atmosphere of gentle care created in the now quietly confident Sainath!

Harshitha is a Class 10 student who is good at studies and actively plays Kabaddi and Kho-Kho; she’s also friendly and ambitious. One day, she fell seriously ill, complaining of severe stomach ache. Writhing in pain and unable to speak, the HM desperately tried to contact her father and mother, a driver and daily wage worker respectively, to no avail. Needing urgent attention, the HM eventually sent her to hospital with 2 teachers and ensured that she received good medical care. It turned out that her habit of eating slate pencils had created this issue! With the doctors and teachers’ strict advice, she swore to get rid of her habit. Her parents were also counselled to pay close attention to her as they had not paid close attention to her poor appetite. She has now fully recovered and has not eaten a slate pencil since this scare!

We commend the teachers and the school management for taking such good care of the children, being truly interested in their wellbeing and counselling the parents when needed. We absolutely love seeing children blossom in this environment!

Saying bye to plastic!

Plastic is everywhere! It’s use has become so common that most people do not even think about using it. People are not aware of the harmful effect of plastic on the environment, on human and animals. Plastic refuse takes hundreds of years to decompose and is toxic. Kalleda High School children were getting perturbed by the use of plastic in their school and junior college premises. Since RDF institutions pride themselves on being green and building environmentally sound practices, the students decided that plastic use had to end!

With that determination, the students started with discussing this with the non teaching staff. They showed them alternatives to plastic such as using paper, cloth or jute bags. They also recommended that they carry their own cloth bags and saying ‘no’ to plastic or polythene bags that are unthinkingly handed over in shops. The discussion led to a life changing decision for everyone present – the  non teaching staff made a vow to stop using plastic in their homes and at work and together they made a vow to make the school plastic free!

We are thrilled with the motivation that these young students were able to provide and take it a step further by banning plastic in all forms in their school! We are sure that this energy will provide them with the momentum to make positive changes in their villages too. After all, big change starts with small changes at the individual level. We hope this becomes a community effort to make our rural communities environmentally safe and plastic free!

Fruitful partnerships and efforts..

Our vibrant community of education and financial partners strive hard to support the skilling and development of our schools and providing tons of inspiration to the children in the process! Infor has been supporting RDF for over 10 years. Rollakal School stands today due to the fundraising efforts by the Infor management and employees who donated sufficient funds that enabled us to construct a permanent school building in Rollakal village. Over the years, their employees have also conducted workshops and talks on skills such as English language development, technology and career guidance.

Last month, Infor employees visited Redlawada School for a green initiative. They planted 140 saplings that consisted of 100 coconut trees, 20 flowering trees and 20 fruit bearing plants! The plantation drive showed the students the value of social service and conserving the environment. Though rural areas are still green compared to urban areas, planting more sapling will go towards making the area even more lush!

Another special initiative that was taken was to ‘name’ all the plants on the names of the Infor employees and RDF team. Together, they decided that birthdays would be commemorated through remembering the person who planted the specific tree! It was a sweet thought that everyone was delighted with! Several parents also visited the school on the occasion and it reiterated the importance of developing social responsibilities in their children, in addition to their academic development. The parent community that strongly supports RDF schools was also happy to meet the visitors and blessed the green efforts.

The day was literally fruitful and everyone went home with a sense of satisfaction and pride in their school and our partners.

Education World Ranking

The RDF family is over the moon with the announcement of the Education World Rankings with the 4 RDF schools winning awards in the ‘Best Co-Ed Day School’ category! For rural schools to be recognized for their efforts in quality education is very gratifying!

Rollakal School got a score of 900 out of 1500, with a national ranking of 242 out of 1000 schools, ranked 35 at the State level and 1st rank at the District level! We couldn’t be prouder of the school’s achievement, starting so humbly in a semi permanent structure a little over a decade ago and look how far they’ve come!

We have to commend the school team for taking our Vision of Educate, Engage and Empower and implementing it at the grassroot level. They have put in tireless efforts to develop the quality and scope of education, both inside and outside the classroom via teacher training, student development programmes, involvement in sports & games, participation in Mandal, District and State level competitions and exhibitions in Science and Arts,  communication and personality development workshops and developing student’s skills by involving them in school operations via student committees in areas such as Mess, Water, Discipline,m Clean & Green, Games, Library etc. Social responsibility is encouraged by undertaking community level engagement programmes. The parent community has also strengthen with their involvement in the Parent Committee and being a crucial stakeholder in school operations and supporting the development of the school’s education activities.

These are some of the parameters that have allowed Rollakal School to shine and receive this award.   We hope their light shines stronger and brighter for years to come!