Archive for the ‘Learning Activities’ Category

Leading her Future

Harshita, helming a class project and helping her classmates

Very often in schools, there is tendency to see children through the lens of their academic performance only; labelling them as intelligent or slow learners. However, children, like all people have many merits that extend beyond their academic capabilities. RDF teachers receive regular training in order to identify the many talents or behaviours in students that can be honed.

A natural leader and speaker

Receiving the top prize for her performance in a play

Harshita is a Class 9 student in the RDF-Tech Mahindra Foundation partnership Zilla Parishad High School, Bahadurapally. Her father is an auto driver while her mother is a housewife. Her parents dream big for her, wanting for her, what all parents from underprivileged backgrounds desire – a better life for their kids through education. But Harshita doesn’t always perform well academically. However, her teachers see many great qualities in her which will serve her well in life – she’s good at sports, is honest and courageous and goes out of her way to be helpful to her classmates, other students and her teachers too. She has earned renown for her leadership qualities, taking initiative and responsibilities willingly with a smile in several activities. She is known for tackling problems head-on, be they personal or others’.

Aren’t responsibility, ownership of self and work, problem solving skills, the ability to make decisions and help others, all hallmarks of good leaders and managers? Harshita’s future promises to be bright and whatever she chooses to do, we’re positive, her employers and colleagues will be lucky to have her!

Empowered Self Governance

Self Governance is an empowered way of living and RDF looks at using various teaching-learning methods with the ultimate aim to help our rural students feel empowered.

A student role playing a middle school teacher

Matendla School grandly celebrated Self Governance Day in which Class 10 students role played the school’s teaching and non teaching staff, as well as roles of public representatives. Every student took their role seriously and prepared it well. By actually taking on these roles and their accompanying responsibilities, the children were able to more deeply understand what these roles entail. They shared their experiences with each other. Students who excelled in their roles were given prizes and every participating student was appreciated for their enthusiasm and hard work.

The smiling faces of our Class 10 students on Self Governance Day!

Abhilash, a Class 10 student donated leafy vegetables to the school which were utilised to prepare a scrumptious curry for the midday meal. Some of his other classmates donated sports good to the school. We felt very touched with their contributions and felt happy that they took the responsibility to provide something that the school community needed. Being able to extend themselves beyond their individual needs to look after the community needs is true empowerment, indeed!

Crafting New Skills

Saritha ma’am, preparing workshop materials

Infor, the Multinational technology company, has been supporting RDF for several years. They were instrumental in the construction of a permanent school building for Rollakal School and have initiated many student and teacher development programmes too.

Beautiful decorative items

A team from Infor visited Rollakal School last month to meet with the school community. This visit was made extra special when an Infor team member, Saritha ma’am, taught a creative workshop for children using waste material. The kids were very enthused to learn something new, using discarded plastic and household waste material. They learnt how to make items such as door mats, door curtains, ear rings, hair clips, hair ribbons, rings, necklaces, garlands and decorative boxes!

Stunning jewellery

She urged the students to create awareness in the larger community about the harmful effects of plastic and how to recycle and upcycle it, since plastic can be found everywhere!

Learning new methods of craft and art brings more confidence to our children, as they develop skills that can be used productively in their lives.

Once again, we are very grateful to Team Infor for the innovative workshops they conduct for the betterment of our students!.

A Musical Study!

Nature is a source of wonderful delights, music being one of them! Who knew that the leaves of the toddy palm tree can be fashioned into a musical instrument?

Mahesh, a Class 9 student of Redlawada School, helps his father in the field and learnt how to make this lovely instrument from him. He learnt how to fold and layer the toddy leaves in a specific way, using Arabic Gum thorns to create a wind instrument! It produces a good sound due to the meticulous way that the leaves are layered over each other.

We encourage students to learn traditional arts and crafts such as what Mahesh learnt from his father, as it enhances creativity, which then has a positive ripple effect in other areas of their lives. We believe that technical education helps with their holistic development, enabling them to learn skills beyond classroom education.

The Science of Good Teaching

Ongoing teacher training is an integral aspect of the education methodology in RDF schools and the RDF – Tech Mahindra Foundation partnership government schools. By investing in teachers’ personal and professional development, we can be certain that the best methodologies can be passed on to the primary beneficiaries – the rural children, who deserve the best.

Teachers, engrossed during the workshop

A Science Training Programme was conducted by the ‘Sahayata Trust’ for primary school teachers. Two teachers from the Mandal Parishad Primary School (MPPS) were selected for this training. They were trained in effective classroom instruction techniques so that students understand and retain concepts, instead of forgetting them. They also learnt to use low cost materials to create interesting teaching – learning materials to make the learning environment interesting and fun.

Proud graduates of the teacher training programme

There was a post training follow up done by a team leader from the trust for observation and review of both teachers. They were very happy with how the teachers were implementing their new learning and the improved teaching methodology in the classroom. We are certain that the teachers will pass on their new learning to other teachers and contribute to a good teaching-learning environment in the school.

Competitors and Comrades!

It’s a delight to see healthy competition between our students, who not only compete, but also support each others’ development!

K. Harshitha and A. Vyshali are Class 6 students in Rollakal School. They love attending school and participate in every school activity such as games & sports, debates, English anchoring during assembly, and trying to get the top rank in class.

Both girls share one thing in common – they’re incredibly self motivated and are looked up to by their peers. With the active encouragement and support of the teachers, both are gaining more confidence in their abilities. It gives us great pleasure to see the growth and development of rural girls through education. We are certain that both will do very well in whatever they choose to do in life.

Bridging Communities

RDF’s work extends well beyond the classrooms and the walls of the school. Community engagement is a core part of our mission. Over the years, each school team has worked with utmost commitment to motivate the rural communities about the power of education, educating girl children, mitigating social issues, increasing awareness about environment issues etc. With a core tenet of transparency, many bridges have been built between each school and the rural communities in which they operate.

Our holistic education philosophy and academic and extracurricular accomplishments have led many organisations and individuals to visit our school, with a view to understand our work and find meaningful ways to contribute.

Rollakal School was visited by some students from a Hyderabad based corporate school and their parents, with a view to meet students and clarify subject specific doubts. There was a lively discussion regarding various subjects and the visitors were impressed with the students’ understanding and knowledge about various subjects and concepts.

The Class 10 students met separately to talk about the Class 10 exams, get advice on preparation, sitting for competitive exams and career development. They also conducted a fun quiz competition, which met with an enthusiastic response. Together, they played volleyball, badminton and cricket, ending the day on a high.

While leaving, they said, “The village and the school environment is filled with greenery. It’s a beautiful environment. We are very happy that our children enjoyed themselves with the children in the school, like their brothers and sisters.”