Archive for the ‘Learning Activities’ Category

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 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.

 

 

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!

Designing a Local Waste Water Management System

Non teaching staff constructing the soak pit

Student laying layers of rocks & stones for the soak pit

The Matendla School staff and students recently successfully completed the construction of a soak pit in order to increase the amount of groundwater for use in the school. This school community project shows us once again the power of collective intention and empowered action! The idea came forth after the high school students visited the model village of Hebrahimpur, where a soak pit project was undertaken as a village initiative and each family participated to ensure completion.

The primary treatment chamber linking to the soak pit

The water coming out of the septic tank is not pure. Therefore, the primary purpose of having a soak pit is to receive this effluent water, called ‘greywater’, from the primary treatment unit e.g., the school’s septic tank. The soakpit treats this greywater coming from the septic tank and discharges clear and non-harmful water into the ground. The greywater that passes through the soak pit gets filtered, which results in the smaller particles of effluents settling at the bottom of the soak pit, which get digested by microorganisms and is a sustainable degradation process. The filtered water then discharges through the porous walls of the soak pit, resulting in clean water being discharged into the environment.

The design to execution process managed by the students and non teaching staff also turned out to be a great way for students to understand waste management systems and the engineering that goes into it. The students enjoyed doing this hand-on project, adding a lot of knowledge to the topic of waste water management.

Crafting Fun

Wonderful cardboard creations!

We are all born with creative capabilities and these abilities are honed in RDF schools, based on the particular interest of a child. This approach has created wonders in many children, making them more confident in themselves, believing in their abilities, becoming more creative in a particular art or craft and helping others learn too!

As part of Art & Culture classes in Kalleda School, Class 10 students made various handmade designs. Through such sessions, we are also able to promote local art and craft practices, thus keeping cultural vibrancy intact. The pre-primary and primary children observed the making of these designs, which they did with rapt attention. After that, they were then encouraged to make their own. The kids, older and younger, loved making stuff with their friends and teachers. The community feeling of learning in joy and sharing was palpable!

Proudly displaying all their creations

The children are now using the extended time to make even more interesting and wonderful art and craft items. The children also learn no-fuss, no-mess and low cost ways of making their designs, which can help community handicrafts immensely.

Everyone has been having fun making their sharing their items. So think of a fun art or craft project with your family and we guarantee you will have a lot of fun!

Meditation Matters

Students, during a meditation training session

The pursuit of good academic grades and college admissions create a lot of stress in students’ lives. At RDF, we are determined to not allow stress to impact the mental and physical well-being of our students. Hence, yoga and meditation are an intrinsic part of our holistic education philosophy.

Sridevi ma’am, presenting meditation books to the children

We are grateful to have yoga and meditation teachers who volunteer to help our students and teachers in developing a daily practice and be stress free!

Sridevi ma’am, with the Redlawada School HM

We were introduced to Mrs. Vedantham Sridevi, a retired Headmaster of Government High School by the Hindi teacher in Redlawada School. She conducted a training session on the importance of meditation and how to do meditation. She also donated a few meditation books to the school.  Now, students are doing meditation three times a day, including at home, and have reported feeling more at peace, with better focus and concentration levels.

It’s important to us for our students to achieve their goals through a balanced approach, rather than stressing about marks and grades. We are happy to see the power of meditation take effect in their daily lives.

Turning a Precious Life Around

When Deva, currently in Class 4, joined the RDF-Tech Mahindra Foundation government Primary School, we was a very silent boy. He refused to interact with either his classmates or his teachers and was uncommunicative too. He preferred staying alone, in his own world. Since the teachers have been trained in helping students at their own pace, they never pushed him to do anything he wasn’t ready for.

Deva (circled), proudly displaying a work of art

Over a period of time, their gentle encouragement allowed him to open up. As he started to come out of his shell, there was a complete turnaround in his attitude and behavior! He become enthusiastic and engaged in his studies, games, sports, art & craft, drawing etc. Now he is called an ‘all rounder’!

It is a blessing to witness such change in students’ lives. Once again, we thank the teachers, who are sincere students during their own training and eager to implement everything they learn. We are so happy for Deva and grateful to the teachers for their hard work at helping the students. This is how change and empowerment can be created – one step and one child at a time – with care and patience! 🙂

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!