Archive for the ‘Learning Games’ Category

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.

 

 

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!

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! 🙂

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.

Alumnus Volunteer Service

Kamlesh & PET (R&L), doing morning drills

Kinnear Kamlesh completed Intermediate (Class 12 equivalent) from the RDF VAPV Junior College this year, with a first division! His parents have moved to Maharashtra as labourers in a project. Inspired and motivated with the encouragement he received in the Junior College, he decided to give back to society by volunteering as an Assistant Physical Trainer. Since he’s pursuing his Bachelor’s degree through distance education and only needs to attend college on Sundays, he felt helping in the Junior College would be a productive use of his time.

Basketball practice with students

He says, “I feel so happy to give service where I studied. I have learnt discipline, honesty and punctuality from my lecturers here and I want to help other students like me by being a role model for them. Every day, I am learning new things from PET sir (Physical Education Trainer) and assisting him to teach the students. I am good at Kabaddi and would like to train and send students to participate in Nationals and get medals.”

We feel proud that Kamlesh feels empowered to make selfless choices such as this. With his great attitude and dedication to service, we are sure he will continue to be an asset to the Junior College team!

Innovation Galore!

There’s innovative and interesting teaching and learning happening in so many different ways in RDF schools. Despite running for 23 years, the creativity we see in our classrooms and outside them too, never ceases to amaze us!

The exquisitely cut peepal leaf map

Nikhil sir’s chalk stupa in the news!

In Rollakal School, teacher Nikhil has gained local renown for his expertise in micro arts. While studying  B.Ed, he made 2 oxen with ragadi soil that looked lifelike! He did this project to honour rural India and symbolize that the farmer is the back bone of India. He has also made chalk engravings such as the Stupa of Telangana Martyrs and the 2019 Cricket World Cup. On India’s 73rd Independence Day celebrations in the school, he cut the map of India on a Peepal leaf which looks fantastic! Our students are thrilled to learn these art forms from him & understand how art can also create employment.

Girls, leading & teaching a class

In Redlawada School, the Class 9 students in have created a system to learn independently when a teacher is absent. Two students select the subject and topic, with one doing the reading and the other writing the important points on the board. We are proud of their ability to self organize and take responsibility for their education, engage proactively and feel empowered to lead!

All attention, as students listen to football instructions

In Matendla School, the Class 9 Hindi teacher created a very interesting lesson on Football, which was in the syllabus, by actually organizing a football match for the students! So excited did this news make the kids, that they raised the money to purchase a shiny, new football! The Physical Education Teacher was brought on board to explain the rules and show them how to play. It was a wonderful day of play and learning as the boys and girls played together, learnt about team spirit, discipline, motivation and practice!

The ‘Quick Cleaner’, at work!

In the RDF VAPV Junior College, who knew that studying in the corridor and watching the sweeper try unsuccessfully to clear out the rain water, would lead to a creative burst? This is what happened with Venkatesh who wondered how to create a cleaner that could sweep out the water using less manpower and less time? As an avid Physics student, he drew models for feedback from the Principal. With his encouragement and funding, he quickly came up with a working model which was demonstrated to the teachers and students. With more design inputs, the college now has a ‘Quick Cleaner’ which has made life so much easier. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention!

The staff and students indeed make studying in RDF schools a wonderful world!

Volleying for our Teachers!

Teaching is an invigorating and challenging profession. RDF teachers are very dedicated and always going above and beyond their duties, to ensure a vibrant learning environment for their students. Hence, looking after them – their rest and recreation; honouring their contribution, is very important to us.

To this end, a sports day is conducted for teachers once a month in Matendla School with the help of the senior school children. The children take this responsibility to organize a fun day for their teachers very seriously! In September, Volleyball was the chosen sport. The teachers were divided into team, with the students acting as umpires.  Some teachers didn’t know how to play the game, but the other teachers and students patiently explained the game and they did their best.

The teachers reported feeling energized and mentally refreshed. Like their students, the lesson of team spirit and collaboration went deeper. All in all, it was a great day for the teachers and the students too!

Skilling for Life

A session in progress with an SF volunteer at Global Edge School

India has a startling statistic which is that it churns out the highest number of unemployable graduates each year! Rote based education, intense academic focus and little time invested in skill or vocational development is the root cause for this. Children in rural India also have it tougher than their urban counterparts due to poorer infrastructure and little done to develop teachers. However, the story in RDF schools is very different. We are cognizant of this reality of rural education, hence have put in intense effort for over 2 decades to ensure well trained staff and attending to the holistic development of the children, going beyond academic achievements.

Fully engaged!

India’s graduates need employable skills. For rural children, English is paramount, given that it’s not present in the learning environment. Communication, team building, dealing with conflict, cultural differences are other skill areas that we also pay attention to. We feel blessed that we have partners and supports who understand these constraints and customize skilling programmes for our staff and students.

Focused discussion

As part of English Communication Improvement and Personality Development programmes, our students attend a Summer Camp at Global Edge International School, Hyderabad, conducted by Synchrony Financial. This year 42 students came to Hyderabad for this camp. The children had a lot of fun with the Synchrony team who created interesting activities in English focusing on LSRW skills. They also had music and yoga classes. With so much fun and much to do, the 1 month training flew!

We are immensely grateful to the Global Edge team for not only providing the venue each year, but also providing accommodation and drinking water to the participants this year and of course, the Synchrony volunteers for caring about the future of our students and providing them with great activities to groom them for success. RDF has sustained itself for 23 years because of the committed support of such partners.

 

Ushering in a New Era with a US trip!

L,R: Divya, Sumathi

We are so excited by 2 RDF students, Divya and Sumathi, of Class 10, Kalleda School, who have been selected to go to the USA for a Youth Exchange Study Programme! For the 1st time in RDF, our students have been selected for such a programme and understandably, everyone is excited!

This opportunity has been given by Synchrony Financial, that has been supporting RDF’s work for over a decade though annual summer camps, development workshops, setting up English and Computer labs in our schools and teacher development. Last year, RDF students were invited to their ‘Goals for Girls Leadership Summit Programme’ in Hyderabad that was facilitated by the Synchrony Financial USA team. Here, students learnt about life skills through the metaphor of playing football and actually learnt football to make it an experiential learning process. They learnt valuable skills like communication, teamwork, goal setting and dealing with life’s inevitable challenges through understanding the game of football – a unique experience for everyone!

During the programme, the students had to create a themed project and the 2 girls chose Recycling as their theme and made ‘Plasto Coolers’, a low cost cooling mechanism that can help rural communities during summer. The girls, looking at a real life problem thought inventively and came up with this project idea which impressed and inspired everyone. Based on this project, they were shortlisted for the US study programme and thereafter cleared 3 rounds of interviews too! Though they were nervous, they received a lot of support and encouragement from the Synchrony team and we are very grateful for that! From a pool of 40 hopefuls, for 2 rural girls to get selected is an absolute honour and a testament to their sincerity and fortitude to do well for themselves.

We wish Sumathi and Divya lots of luck for this amazing, new journey that they are embarking on. We know they will come back enriched and ready to pass on their learning to everyone!

Going the Extra Mile for Extracurricular Activities!

For most educational institutions, extracurricular activities is seen as something outside of regular school work; academics is given greater importance. However, in RDF, we believe that learning happens when it’s fun, therefore we place a lot of emphasis on extracurricular activities too, as the achievements and successes from such activities spill over into all areas of a child’s life, which is what we would like to see!

Our extracurricular activities encompass a gamut such as art/craft, reading/writing, sports and indoor games, poetry and elocution, experiments, with a big dose of fun! Our teachers are trained to spot skills and talents in children, even if they surface in small ways because small doesn’t mean insignificant! This foundation is created right from the time the child starts in our schools. With the encouragement and care of teachers, these children become confident in themselves and their abilities which allows them to face challenges in other areas of their lives too.

In Redlawada School, the teachers spend a considerable amount of time to thoughtfully plan extracurricular activities, so the ‘extra’ effort doesn’t feel like effort! They’ve seen how the smallest of accomplishments or even acknowledgement goes a long way in building self esteem and help students focus on their goals with greater clarity. The sense of play and building interest creates a nurturing environment in the school, which everyone thrives in. Our biggest testament is that the kids enjoy coming to school and interacting with their teachers.

This holistic, whole life education is appreciated by the parent community too, who feel happy that their children are doing well, supported admirably by their dedicated teachers!