Archive for the ‘Parent Engagement’ Category

The Care of a School Community

Ramu is an active and curious 13 year old, studying in Class 8 in the Zilla Parishad High School, Bahadurapally. However, there was a period in his life, a mere 6 months ago, when his health was failing him and his parents, misguided in their belief about his ailment, sought help from a ‘witch doctor’ rather than proper medical advice. It was the efforts of his teachers at his school that eventually made his parents seek a qualified doctor’s help and made Ramu regain his health.

Born into a poor family, Ramu’s parents work as daily wage labourers. While Ramu was an engaged student, he began to suffer from asthma attacks and fits. On a couple of occasions, his teachers rushed him to hospital for treatment, but his parents, averse to western medicine, pulled him out of school and approached a witch doctor. As his condition deteriorated, Ramu couldn’t attend school for almost 6 months, which worried his friends and teachers.

Wanting to do the best for him and find a way to bring him back to school, his teachers met his parents to counsel them about taking proper treatment for his medical conditions, stop consulting the self-professed folk doctor and go to Malla Reddy Hospital. The school team urged his parents to do this for the sake of their son’s life and future and explaining that since Ramu’s condition wasn’t improving, it was urgent that they go to a hospital and meet the right doctor. We are very thankful that they succeeded in convincing Ramu’s parents, who then went to hospital, where under a good doctor’s guidance for 6 months, Ramu’s condition steadily improved!

Now, he’s back at school, much to everyone’s delight! Despite missing school for most of the academic year, Ramu is progressing, with patient help from his classmates and teachers. Now that he’s feeling well, he’s determined to stay in school to complete his education and further studies. He, his younger sister and his parents are immensely grateful for the timely help and advice that they received from the school team. We love the sense of responsibility and care that the schools show towards each and every student and teacher. It is precisely what a community is about and here, the ZPHS community rallied to wholeheartedly support Ramu and his family, improving his life in such positive ways. It’s also a beautiful example for the children, to see this environment of care and compassion for everyone.

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We are Family!

RDF schools are more an extension of children’s families, rather than formal, isolated schools that don’t have a personal connect with children’s lives. Over the past 22 years,  tremendous effort has been put into creating lasting community relationships which is seen through how readily parents and the extended community members come forward to help the school in any way they can. We feel very blessed that each and every parent and village member trusts their local RDF school and that their children are in good hands – and we take this responsibility very seriously too.

Mr. Ramulu with Rakesh, at his home

Since each RDF school is an integral part of the village community, therefore, problems faced by children’s families are taken up seriously to offer support and help. One such case is the story of Sankineni Rakesh, a young hardworking boy from Rollakal School. Rakesh was very active in games and sports and had a polite and pleasing personality, always speaking with regard and care to teachers and students alike. Unfortunately, due to a major financial setback in his family, his family was unable to pay the school fees. In order to help his parents, Rakesh dropped out of school and did not attend school for 3 months. The Headmaster of the school, Mr. Ramulu, became concerned about his family welfare and went to his house to speak to his parents.

Mr. Ramulu, speaking to Rakesh’s father

He counselled the parents on the importance of education and building a career. He also told them that Rakesh had a bright future and that they should consider sending him back to school and not worry about the fees. His parents were convinced that going to school was the right way and decided to continue his studies. So, with the inspiration of the Headmaster and the support of his subject teachers, Rakesh worked hard to catch up with what he had missed. This story has a happy ending as Rakesh cleared his Class 10 SSC Board exams with a GPA of 6.3, which made everyone really happy!

Rakesh and his family is thrilled with his results and came to the school to thank everyone for convincing them to send Rakesh back to school and not worry about their financial problem and fee payment. This is the power of community relationships – creating an engaged and empowered community that always helps each other mutually!

 

Our Champions – our Alumni

RDF alumni are its biggest supporters. In the RDF VAPV Junior College, they have been instrumental in driving up enrolment in the college!

As the academic year ends in April, young hopefuls who have just graduated from school after the Class 10 SSC Exams are looking for advice, suggestions and referrals for good Intermediate colleges. We are very proud to let our readers know that all eyes fall on Kalleda because the Junior College has become renowned for its results and facilities.

This year, the college had a pass percentage of 87% in 1st year and 97% in 2nd year. The glowing reports given by our college alumni about the experienced staff, the teaching methods, well equipped labs and good hostel facilities for boys and girls are some of the major reasons why our alumni remember their college with fondness. The ambience in the college is refreshing and invigorating which produces an enriching atmosphere for the pursuit of academics, sports and extracurricular activities.

Many alumni recommend their siblings, relatives and friends to seek admission in the college. They meet the families, speak to them about their experiences in the college and true experience, that too a positive one, definitely creates a good impression! Everyone has said that they feel they have made the right choice with the right institution.

We are very happy and proud that our alumni are our biggest champions who play such a vital role in spreading the good word about RDF through word of mouth. By doing so, we believe they are empowered to make good choices and help bring communities together!

 

True Education

Life for rural people is hard. Most families are either employed in agricultural work or in daily wage labour. They are away for a significant portion of the day, working long hours to earn some money to make ends meet and support their families financially.

This is the reality that RDF children grow up in, so it is an accepted part of life for rural children to start working when they are young to help their parents. The team at RDF Redlwada School who sent in this story was sharing that generally rural people are hard working people, therefore working and helping wherever they can is a quality that rural children imbibe naturally. Not only do they help with chores at home, but many also help in the fields during vacations.

Perhaps this is the reason that RDF children help and support each other so willingly. We believe that being generous and exhibit kindness and help is a crucial value and life skill. Therefore, while supporting their academic pursuits is an important aspect of their school life, so is engaging with them in their daily life and work, encouraging them to assist their parents wherever they can, thus empowering them to take responsibility for their lives and the community. This is the true meaning of education of us!

Voice of RDF Parents

Parents in RDF schools are an integral part of the school. Every RDF school has a Parents Committee with meetings being held regularly to involve parents in school operations, problems being faced and taken parent suggestions and advice seriously. Therefore parents take ownership of developing the school by extending their support in myriad ways.

With the academic year end, the staff of RDF Redlawada School decided to go to parents houses to get their views on their child’s education and development and also to get feedback on the facilities and running of the school. It is this level of transparency and engagement that has made parents trust RDF schools implicitly and given them the faith that their children’s education is in good hands!

In all cases, parents unequivocally expressed their happiness about RDF’s education system and the school facilities. Parents said that they are able to compare the quality of education, facilities, staff training and the environment by speaking to parents whose children attend other school and they always feel assured about RDF schools. Such is their confidence in our approach, that they have always helped with new admissions in our schools!

Time and again, parents have come forward to assist us in many areas such as in-kind donations of water coolers, water filters, fans, classroom consumables, financial help, health checks, groceries and vegetables – the list is endless! It fills our hearts with warmth to see that RDF is also in good hands with such strong and supportive parent communities rallying behind our schools!

Our Persevering Parent Committees!

Donation of fans by Parent Committee

The Parent Committees in all RDF schools are very active and support their local schools in innumerable ways. It is so gratifying for us to see the faith and trust the parents have in our schools and the school team and coming forward to help us throughout the year!

In Rollakal School, the committee has been contributing in several ways towards the development of education, providing funds and making in-kind donations to extend the amenities in the school. They have also been helping the school with fee collection from parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They recently donated fans, in anticipation of the coming summer months, something that will be very useful in the classrooms. They also distributed prizes to children during a school function and motivated them to work hard and study well. They organized a special Annadanam last month, with chicken, which turned out to be a special treat for the children!

We and the Rollakal team are so grateful for their kindness and help, which we are positive is going to make the school prosper for many years to come!

Republic Day Celebrations

MPPS Bahadurapally had a grand celebration on the occasion of India’s 69th Republic Day on 26th January 2018. Students and staff prepared an excellent event, practicing songs, dance and speeches for many days! The Chief Guest was Mr. Mallaiah – the Chairman of the school’s SMC. The programme started with the hoisting of the National Flag by the Village Sarpanch and other members of the village development committee.

Students of Classes 1 – 5 then presented their well thought out and colourful songs and dances which enthralled the audience. Parents and other villagers were present in full attendance to watch the children’s enthusiastic performances. Staff and students gave speeches in both Telugu and English, which made everyone very proud, given that public speaking and presenting in English has been a challenge which is being overcome through various forms of training.

There was also a prize distribution ceremony, in which the Headmaster invited the parents to give away the prizes. The prizes, sponsored by TMF and RDF, comprising of games and sports equipment, stationery and snacks, were given away for student achievements in sports, extracurricular activities and academics. Children were thrilled with their prizes as they can be utilized in their school work.

The day ended with bananas being distributed to everyone and conveying our heartfelt thanks to the support of TMF and RDF staff, as well as the parents and the village community.