Archive for the ‘Learning Trips’ Category

Empowering Primary Teachers

The dedication of RDF teachers is a singular cause for the development of RDF schools over its two decades in rural education. There exists a wonderful ecosystem within each school of providing personal and professional training to teachers, thus inspiring teachers to give their best to their classrooms and the children, along with their inherent determination to put in the work required to better the lives of rural children through engaging and innovative classroom practices.

Demo of inventive child centric activities

Having motivated teachers, who benefit from a caring and supportive school environment goes a very long way in providing a enriched environment in which children can thrive and learn. Therefore, ongoing teacher training remains a prime focus.

Interaction with IPPTA facilitators

With this focus, Primary teachers were sent of a training program organized by the Integrated Pre-school Training Academy in Hyderabad. This was conducted for pre-primary and Primary level teachers to understand pedagogical techniques.  4 teachers from Kalleda School, 2 teachers from Redlawada and two teachers from Rollakal attended this event in order to better their teaching practice.

The teachers learnt several methods such as using rhymes, stories, playway method and preparation of teaching and learning materials for English, Maths and EVS from IPPTA facilitators. This helped the teachers understand engaging and fun way to teach their classes, helping children learn in an active and fun environment. Such activities also build rapport between teachers and students, which also plays a crucial role in student responsiveness, helping them learn better.

The teachers came away brimming with new ideas on how to deepen their own learning and deepen student learning too!

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Understanding Underground Water Depletion

India is in the throes of its relentless and harsh summer. Nowhere are people more at the mercy of summer, fraught with anxiety over crops and water, than in rural areas.  The bedrock of the Indian economy, agriculture, is faced with increasing anxiety with each passing summer, due to erratic weather patterns caused by deforestation, lack of rainfall and depletion of underground water.

This is the reality that RDF’s rural children and their families live in. In order to understand the seriousness of this problem, the Science and Social Studies teachers in Matendla School decided to give a project to students of Class 8 and 9, wherein they had to understand the reasons for ground water depletion and the challenges faced by farmers due to this. The students decided to meet some farmers at their fields and were accompanied by the Science and Social Studies teachers.

The farmers showed them the irrigation systems which are created though agricultural wells and borewells. They explained that underground water levels were depleting due to erratic rain and deforestation. This is resulting in farmers being forced to rely on digging borewells, which is also a temporary solution.

While an immediate or sustainable solution is not yet forthcoming, we hope that some of our students pursue sustainability and water conservation research methods which can be implemented in their villages. At the very least, students are very aware of the causes and remain conscious and mindful of water usage in their homes which is a good start!

Sandeep’s Dreams…

Sandeep studied in Vigneshwar Vidyalaya till Class 4. He joined RDF Matendla school in the Class 5. His parents are uneducated – his father is a mason and his mother is a beedi worker. It was his parent’s decision to change Sandeep’s school and join RDF Matendla. He likes the school because of the importance given to academics, sports and other cultural activities.

ms-1It was due to the school and their efforts that Sandeep started developing an interest in martial arts. A yellow belt holder, he has participated in state and national level karate competitions. The national level karate championship was held in Jammu and Kashmir. It was the first time that Sandeep traveled by train to an entirely different state. He was part of the Telangana team and traveled with 20 other team members.  Around 200 participants came from all over India. ms-2The 2 day train journey was very memorable. The train passed through the states of Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab and Maharashtra to reach Jammu. The indoor stadium was big and nice. It was the first time that he realized how serious people are about sports. Sandeep is keen for more children to participate in sports. He believes that it offers great exposure and allows him to meet many more people. It teaches discipline and punctuality.

Sandeep recently participated in a quiz competition conducted by Birla Planetarium in Hyderabad. 2 teams represented RDF Matendla. Matendla was the only rural school in the competition that saw 50 urban school teams. The quiz was very tough. He was not aware of the answers of many questions. It was a great learning experience for him and he is eager to participate in many such competitions.

ms-4In his free time, Sandeep likes to play with his younger brother and visit the village library. The library is open from 8 am – 10.30 am. It again opens in the evening from 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Every Wednesday, the library remains closed. Sandeep likes to spend time in the library and update himself. He reads newspapers and borrows GK books. According to him, newspaper reading is a very good habit. The Telugu newspaper gives information about the state wide news where as the English newspaper has country wide news.

Sandeep is also interested in politics for social good. He believes that social policies are implemented for the welfare of society. For example, KCR constructing double bedrooms flats for poor people and other programs like Mission Bhagirath will help Matendla a lot. If the mission is a success, there won’t be any water problems in their village they will have access to tap water.

Sandeep is very keen on becoming an IAS officer and help society. We wish him all the very best for future endeavors.

Dreams of Green

Inspecting and learning about  'Magic Pit' with locals

Inspecting and learning about ‘Magic Pit’ with locals

Ibrahimpur in Medak District has earned the distinction of being a ‘model village’. For the past couple of years, its residents, under the tutelage of the Sarpanch’s son, have put together several ecological practices which has made the village a ‘must see’ for people wishing to lead greener and more sustainable lives.

So the students of Classes 4 to 8 from Matendla School went to visit the village to observe these practices and see how they can be replicated in their own villages. The locals were proud to show them their ‘magic pits’ which are soak pits that allow waste water from a household to be recycled. Almost every house in the village has one. The students were informed of a water purification centre which ensures clean water for every home. Each street is meticulously cleaned everyday, with garbage taken daily to a dumping yard where it is disposed off in a sanitary manner. There is lush greenery around, with seasonal plantations.  In the evenings, solar lights power the streets and the homes. The village has also been free of seasonal viral outbreaks or water borne infections due to the clean environment.

Interacting with locals to understand creating model villages

Interacting with locals to understand creating model villages

The staff and students returned with a sense of wonder and what can be achieved with the power of good ideas and partnerships between local people and its elected representatives. We hope some of what they learnt will be put to use in Matendla and surrounding villages and create a new green revolution!

Treasured Trip

DSC03433Following in the footsteps of their Matendla School peers, students and teachers of Redlawada School were taken on an educational tour to Warangal. The delight of the students and teachers was palpable right from early morning, when everyone assembled to board the bus. The whispers in the morning hush, the laughter and excitement created such a buzz!

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With so many schools curtailing children in classrooms, learning only from textbooks; the appeal of such tours, undertaken regularly, can make a big difference in learning attitudes.

IMG_20160207_163142335So off the students went, to a wonderful day filled with trips to thelocal zoo and historical monuments such as the Thousand Pillared Temple, Bhadrakali Temple and Warangal Fort. Even the adults were taken in by the charm and beauty of the rich architecture of the sites they visited, with many taking photos and videos with their phones.

We’re sure these will be circulated for many months to come! Everyone returned tired but happy from the day long trip and said that they came back with a new found understanding of Kakatiya art and culture.