Archive for the ‘MPPS Bahadurpally’ Category

Ray of Hope

Getting an education is a primary fundamental right that every child is entitled to. However, it is also a reality that many parents from economically deprived backgrounds stuggle to pay fees and other expenses in private schools. Government schools aren’t seen as a viable option for many families who aspire to provide good education to their children. So they are despairing of how to continue to provide for their families and their children’s education.

Arun, studying in class

Arun, happy at play!

Arun’s family was very dejected after years of struggling to make ends meet and send him to a private school. Arun, 9 years old, is a bright boy, with big dreams of becoming a scientist. But with financial resources sapped, his father, the only earning member as a door to door salesman, didn’t know how to continue providing for Arun’s education. In a similar story, Shashank, 8 years old, another young boy from Bahadurapally village who wants to become a sportsperson, also had parents who were on the verge of pulliing him out of school due to their inability to pay his private school fees. Shashank’s father is a shopkeeper with a meager income and feeding the family was more important. In such financially challenged circumstances, both families couldn’t see a ray of hope.

Shashank, happily studying

But there was a silver lining in the dark cloud of their life circumstances. Both boys got admission in the Mandal Parishad High School, Bahadurapally, supported jointly by Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF. Arun got admission via the Telangana Government’s Day cum Residential scheme, but securing top marks in the entrance exam, while Shashank got admission directly. The ‘School Quality Improvement Program’ that has been in place for 3 years means that the school receives the best inputs in terms of teacher training, resource development and sound education management practices.

Now both boys get free education, free textbooks, notebooks, uniforms, stationery and school lunch of the highest quality. Arun, a studious boy, pays meticulous attention to his studies and finally free from the financial stress of education, now plays happily with his friends in school. He can finally see his dream becoming a reality in the future. Shashank, a natural athlete, shines with the sports infrastructure and training available in the school. Both boys are blossoming under the care and encouragement of their teachers, utilizing the rich academic and extra curricular resources available and doing well.

Both boys and their families are very grateful to TMF and RDF for their efforts in developing the school, providing their children and many others a quality of education that they deserve. Many families like Arun’s and Shashank’s breathe a quiet sigh of relief that some of their financial woes are over and more importantly, that their children’s future is in able hands.

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With Grace and Spirit…

Suresh (centre) helping with classwork

Life has dealt many blows to Suresh, but at the young age of 9, he is a beacon of inspiration for his peers and those younger and older alike.

Happy at play with friends

Suresh studies in the Mandal Parishad Primary School, Bahadurapally, supported by Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF. His father passed away in an accident when he was just 3 and sadly, so did his mother, due to health reason when he was just 5. Brought up by his ‘peddamma’ – mother’s sister for 2 years, due to circumstances, had to put him in a state run orphanage. But at the tender age of 7, despite the tragedy of his circumstances, Suresh showed grace and compassion to everyone. With his sense of responsibility and ownership, he became a block leader in the hostel, supervising neatness of uniforms, washrooms and the kitchen garden. Suresh takes great pride in his work.

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A natural leader, even at school, he helps classmates willingly; is good at art, writing and academics. He loves to play kabaddi and volleyball. He is really happy to be studying in the MPPS and has a desire to become a doctor, which we feel will come true! Touchingly, Suresh thanks his hostel mates, teachers and the school team for all the opportunities life has given him. This quiet boy touches everyone’s heart with his selfless spirit and magnanimity!

The Power of Community!

School can have a profound impact on the lives of children, in surprising ways that one cannot predict.

Today, we would like to share the stories of two young children who joined the Tech Mahindra Foundation sponsored Government Mandal Parishad Primary School, Bahadurapally. Their stories are very different but show us the importance of community building and maintaining close relationships with the parent and the larger village community.

Md. Sadhiq Khan first joined MPPS last year in Class 1. His two older brothers are happy and settled in the same school. Sadhiq was extremely homesick while in school and distraught at being away from his mother and friends, kept running back home. His teachers made several attempts to coax him back, but seeing how upset he would get, they suggested that the parents not force him to attend school and to let him be. For most of last year, Sadhiq attended school very irregularly and would go back early even on the rare days that he went to school.

This year, his parents again attempted to send him to school regularly, but Sadhiq was still inconsolable at leaving home! Since was was a year older and able to express himself better, the teachers asked him why he was reluctant to go to school. Everyone finally learnt that he missed his friends and playing with them. He wanted his little friends to go to school with him! With that new insight, the teachers, with the parent’s cooperation, assured him that he would make new friends in school. He was taken to his class and introduced to each child personally. They asked the other children to be friends with him and share their toys and things with him. With the compassion shown towards his nature and his needs, Sadhiq, in a matter of a few days, made new friends and now attends school regularly – without a single complaint! He’s happy and cheerful in school, participating eagerly in class and school events, where he has shown talent in speaking activities. We are really happy that Sadhiq has settled in and thank all his teachers for their kindness and effort to integrate him with his classmates!

Sravya joined MPPS this year in Class 2, transferring from another school in the area. Sravya was a bright girl, keenly interested in all subjects and actively participating in extracurricular activities. However, after a month, her teachers noticed that she was looking withdrawn and not engaging fully in class activities. Concerned about this change in her behavior and demeanor, her teachers asked her if there was a problem. Sensing their concern and their kindness, Sravya confided that her father was an alcoholic and abusive towards her mother and this behavior was disturbing her immensely. The teachers decided to visit her parents to counsel them about the detrimental effect the home environment was having on Sravya. The counseling session was taken well by her father who felt remorseful about his behavior. Since that day, he has not imbibed alcohol and lets her mother be. Sravya feels happy with this turn of events and looks at her school and her teachers as her extended family, who will help her in difficult times!

We are very grateful and proud of the efforts being made by the school team to build and nurture these personal relationships with each child’s family. This level of care is rare! These relationships have helped children like Sadhiq and Sravya feel cared for and connected with their school; reciprocally, the parents also know that their children are in good hands and do what they can for the school. That’s the power of a true community!

 

Celebrating the Environment

The young children of the Mandal Parishad Primary School showed their sensitivity towards environmental issues by independently planning and organizing a ‘Green Day’ in the school.

The HM addressing the audience on the importance of conservation

The day started with a special school assembly dedicated to the importance of living in harmony with nature and the detrimental effects of managing human consumerism which leads to trees and forests being felled. Then the students led an awareness march through the village of Bahadurapally, since community engagement is a serious social responsibility that is a cornerstone of all RDF’s work and has naturally been implemented in MPPS too.

Students engrossed in the drawing competition

The enterprise shown by the children was amazing – right from planning the entire day’s activities to executing themed events on the day such as an essay competition on ‘The Importance of Trees’ , student speeches on ‘Greening the Environment’, singing and art events.

The children also planted saplings throughout the campus, along with the teachers and have taken on the responsibility of looking after the plants. A prize distribution ceremony concluded the day, with the winners in the various contents and all students being commended for their effort.

We are very proud of this initiative and the commitment these young and aware leaders have shown on the importance of conservation!

Our Role in Enrollment

The Telangana Government has launched the ‘Professor Jaya Shankar Badibata Programme’ which aims to drive enrollment levels in schools by motivating and encouraging families to enroll school age children and school dropouts to join neighbourhood government schools.

ZPHS students in the school enrollment rally in Bahadurapally

As part of this initiative, students of the Tech Mahindra Foundation sponsored Zilla Parishad High School, along with staff from ZPHS and the Mandal Parishal Primary School, conducted an awareness program and rally in and around the village of Bahadurapally.

Students, as spokespersons of their school, spoke to parents to encourage them to send their children to school, giving details about the high quality of education and facilities that are being provided as part of the school improvement partnership between TMF and RDF.

Students talking to the local community during the drive

The villagers responded positively and were found to be aware of best practices being implemented both the government schools through existing parents and children.

With many school age children still not in school and school dropouts getting marginalized in society; such initiatives are crucial to helping families making an informed decision to send their wards to school.

 

A Good Hand for Handwriting

The two Government schools in Bahadurapally that are part of the School Quality Improvement Program – a partnership between RDF and Tech Mahindra Foundation follow RDF’s best practices when it comes to upgrading student’s and teacher’s skills. RDF continues to do its work with rural, underprivileged children due to its committed education partners and also thanks to passionate trainers and volunteers.

One such passionate volunteer was invited to the Mandal Parishal Primary School and the Zilla Parishad High School for a training training program on ‘Handwriting Skills’. Aimed at techniques to improve handwriting skills for Primary and High school students, the workshop was facilitated by expert handwriting specialist Mr. Azaz Ahmed.

The school was abuzz with excitement as many had already viewed his handwriting skills session on YouTube and Whatsapp. During the workshop, he trained students in writing in Hindi, Telugu and English. He explained new techniques to develop good handwriting, including how to and how not to write.  He also won hearts by singing Sanskrit slokas and narrating motivational anecdotes to the audience. The feedback received from the students and staff was very positive. Mr. K. Balraj, the schools’ Telugu Pandit said that he loved Mr. Ahmed’s way of teaching and found it an unforgettable class. The schools intend to have him back for more sessions soon!

 

The He’art’ of Learning

The Tech Mahindra Foundation sponsored Mandal Parishal Primary School, in partnership with RDF bring to you more fun, interesting and creative experiments from their school.

A student displaying her peacock made with recycled & waste materials

Experiential learning or ‘learning by doing’ is the best way to help children understand any subject or theme. The teachers decided to explore the theme of ‘Art’ with the students using discarded and waste materials. It started with reflection and discussion of how humans produce waste and how it degrades the environment. This led to the idea behind using waste material like papers, packaging boxes, discarded bottles, plastic etc for recycling. The teachers asked them to think about how these materials can be recycled and use their imagination and creativity to produce art from waste. That got them excited!

A lovely butterfly made from waste materials

During their discussion, the children got ideas to make toys. This is the beauty of encouraging children to reflect on their lives and ways of living and organically come up with ways in which such materials could be useful to them. Children and toys – the idea was perfect!

They made a peacock using scrap paper, designing them into the letters of the alphabet and joining them to get the body of the peacock. Then old plastic spoons were used to form the feathers. A beautiful and colourful butterfly was also fashioned in a similar way. Very soon, ideas were flowing about using old cardboard boxes, plastic bottles etc. Not only the teachers, but the kids too were thrilled with themselves, appreciating each others’ ideas and creativity to create wonderful items of art!