A visitor’s perspective

Raychael Jensen, a policy analyst with Education First Consulting, visited RDF during a trip to India. Here are her impressions of the country and the schools:

Education consultant Raychael Jensen toured RDF schools during a visit to India

One of the first significant impressions on me of the RDF students was how disciplined and respectful they all are–from the youngest little kids all the way up to the older students. The assembly march and presentation was exceptional. I truly enjoyed it and felt honored to be there as a guest. The students also demonstrated their discipline and mindfulness through the daily practice of meditating before lunch. Students wait until every last peer has been served lunch and then, beautifully sitting crossed legged, they all meditate before eating their lunch together. This is such a stark contrast to what you would typically see in an American school’s cafeteria that it really left an impression on me. I was extremely impressed by the students’ presence and respectfulness.

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to tour many of the RDF schools during my time in the village. I had previously seen enough poor government schools during my travel in India to truly appreciate the significant improvements RDF has made over the typical infrastructure and quality of education in rural schools. I am not only impressed with the higher level of basic education RDF students are receiving, but also impressed by the holistic approach to educating and empowering students. Programs such as environmental awareness, social awareness, and youth empowerment provide students with the opportunity to learn outside of the traditional textbooks and instill confidence and an understanding of the importance of community service.

Students meditate before the morning assembly.


I was also very impressed with the committed staff and teachers at RDF schools. With limited resources they work hard to ensure each child is receiving a high quality education. Teachers are extremely resourceful and create hand-made teaching aids out of everything from a trash can to hand-made flash cards and boxes for practicing basic math skills. It reminded me that the most important factor in a child’s education is a high quality teacher. Strong teachers can get results even with limited resources, but I also couldn’t help but to wonder how much more they could accomplish if their available resources were expanded.

I hope to see RDF continue to expand with more schools so they can have an even greater impact on the lives of more students. I am inspired to do my small part by sponsoring a student for the coming school year. It is the very least I can do given that spending time with RDF was such a gift to me personally.

Impressed by her visit, Raychael Jensen plans to sponsor a RDF student's education for the coming school year.




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