Archive for the ‘Parents’ Category

Partnership with Parents!

Parental support in underprivileged and financially deprived rural families goes a long way in ensuring the children stay in school, finish education and do well.

Annaram Rajashekar is a Class 9 student in RDF Rollakal School. His family comes from a very poor background, with both parents eking a living as daily wage labourers. Despite the high stress from finding daily work and earning enough to keep the home fires burning, his family was determined to send him to a private school and that too, an RDF school! They had heard a lot about the facilities in our schools and the quality of teachers. With the added support of the school team, to help them financially if needed, Rajasekhar studies happily in school.

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A Community of Support

RDF’s Midday Meal programme has been crucial to the physical and mental development of our rural children and the local community recognises and supports this initiative actively. The children receive a free midday meal each day of the school year which includes unlimited servings of rice, dal and a local and seasonal vegetable. 5 years back, RDF had to stop serving a daily egg with the meal due to funds shortage. However, many people have stepped forward to provide an egg during ‘Annadanam’, which allows an individual or organisation to recognise and honour an important life event.

The local, rural community, despite being farmers or small scale workers themselves, also actively helps the schools. In Rollakal School, some villagers have funded Annadanam with eggs! The Village Committee also provides a midday meal with chicken once a year. They also help by contributing to the school infrastructure and activities and doing their best to encourage students by providing smalls gifts to boost their education. This deep level of engagement is why we call ourselves the RDF Community, where stakeholders have the best interests of each other at heart and despite living humbly and coming from underprivileged backgrounds, the depth of their support and social responsibility for RDF’s progress is amazing!

Time Transcending Stories!

The handmade ‘Story Board’ story holder

RDF Redlawada School team came up with a wonderful idea to document old stories that have only been passed on orally between generations and create an library of such stories! The project is called ‘Story Board’. The children were asked to meet elders in their families, especially their grandparents’ generation and bring any stories that their grandparents remembered.

Tucking his precious story away securely!

The kids took this up very enthusiastically and came up with a rich treasury of tales encompassing moral, historical, comic and inspirational themes! The teachers then helped the children to write down the stories grammatically. With so many stories pouring forth, the idea is to share these stories in class as well as during leisure time. With families, even in rural areas, spending a lot of time on mobile phones and TVs, the loss of social interaction between generations became a matter of concern. This idea was to an attempt for grandchildren to spend more time with their grandparents and bond with them over story telling.

The grandparents and parents felt very happy with this community bonding project. The children actually felt there was so much to learn from their grandparents and they came back to excitedly share stories with one another! We hope that this e-library grows, for these old stories to find their way into the younger generations for many more years to come!

 

Fruitful partnerships and efforts..

Our vibrant community of education and financial partners strive hard to support the skilling and development of our schools and providing tons of inspiration to the children in the process! Infor has been supporting RDF for over 10 years. Rollakal School stands today due to the fundraising efforts by the Infor management and employees who donated sufficient funds that enabled us to construct a permanent school building in Rollakal village. Over the years, their employees have also conducted workshops and talks on skills such as English language development, technology and career guidance.

Last month, Infor employees visited Redlawada School for a green initiative. They planted 140 saplings that consisted of 100 coconut trees, 20 flowering trees and 20 fruit bearing plants! The plantation drive showed the students the value of social service and conserving the environment. Though rural areas are still green compared to urban areas, planting more sapling will go towards making the area even more lush!

Another special initiative that was taken was to ‘name’ all the plants on the names of the Infor employees and RDF team. Together, they decided that birthdays would be commemorated through remembering the person who planted the specific tree! It was a sweet thought that everyone was delighted with! Several parents also visited the school on the occasion and it reiterated the importance of developing social responsibilities in their children, in addition to their academic development. The parent community that strongly supports RDF schools was also happy to meet the visitors and blessed the green efforts.

The day was literally fruitful and everyone went home with a sense of satisfaction and pride in their school and our partners.

Education World Ranking

The RDF family is over the moon with the announcement of the Education World Rankings with the 4 RDF schools winning awards in the ‘Best Co-Ed Day School’ category! For rural schools to be recognized for their efforts in quality education is very gratifying!

Rollakal School got a score of 900 out of 1500, with a national ranking of 242 out of 1000 schools, ranked 35 at the State level and 1st rank at the District level! We couldn’t be prouder of the school’s achievement, starting so humbly in a semi permanent structure a little over a decade ago and look how far they’ve come!

We have to commend the school team for taking our Vision of Educate, Engage and Empower and implementing it at the grassroot level. They have put in tireless efforts to develop the quality and scope of education, both inside and outside the classroom via teacher training, student development programmes, involvement in sports & games, participation in Mandal, District and State level competitions and exhibitions in Science and Arts,  communication and personality development workshops and developing student’s skills by involving them in school operations via student committees in areas such as Mess, Water, Discipline,m Clean & Green, Games, Library etc. Social responsibility is encouraged by undertaking community level engagement programmes. The parent community has also strengthen with their involvement in the Parent Committee and being a crucial stakeholder in school operations and supporting the development of the school’s education activities.

These are some of the parameters that have allowed Rollakal School to shine and receive this award.   We hope their light shines stronger and brighter for years to come!

Being the Change…

Our rural children live in the midst of greenery, at nature’s doorstep, so one might ask why they need to be taken on a field trip to appreciate nature and natural farming methods? This is because even rural areas are facing the brunt of climate change, so the teachers of the RDF VAPV Junior College thought it would be a good idea to meet some farmers who are practicing organic and natural farming and understand the repercussions of present farming systems with them.

The farmers in a small village near Kalleda were very happy to meet these students. They believe that the more people are made aware of harmful farming practices and environmental degradations, the more solutions can arise from those who want to make a change. The students, their teacher and the farmers discussed reasons for shortfall of rains, rising temperatures, usage of plastic and using chemical fertilizers and pesticides and the negative impact of this on the environments and us. The students clearly understood the reasons why change is imperative and to pave a path for future generations. They proudly explained that they never use any chemicals on the crops, using natural compost, ‘eruvulu’ instead. Food grown this way is gentler on the environment and those who consume them. Bhavani of BPC, 2nd year said, “I am glad that I learnt practical ways to switch to organic farming. It is necessary to explain this to other farmers. These farmers are getting benefits from not buying chemicals.” Her classmate, Meghna, said “I am very attracted to rice production. We can easily grow rice without using chemicals. On the dairy farm, I was happy to see healthy food being given to the animals. This healthy lifestyle is possible.”

Yes, it is, with the support of farmers and young people like Meghna and Bhavani and our other students. The students are now making plans on how to speak to farmers within their communities to make them aware of healthier ways to farm and assist with their transition!

 

A Green Award!

The MPP and ZPH schools have been thriving under the care and guidance of the Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF partnership since 2015. This is the 4th year in which the schools have been supported in all aspects of its operations – infrastructure, education, midday meals, teaching learning materials, setting up of a library, bridging the parent and village communities with the schools etc. These efforts and facilities have firmly established both schools as quality education providers and pillars in the community.

Greening the environment has also been a key aspect of developing the school, with both RDF and TMF, as well as the Telangana government providing saplings and plants to the schools. The garden has been maintained by Mrs. and Mr. Beeraiah – the schools’ security team and we are indebted to the deep care they have provided to the blossoming of this garden. When you walk into the schools, you are greeted with the extent of the greenery in both schools!

The kitchen garden, sponsored by TMF and RDF occupies pride of place in the schools. This organic garden has provided many seasonal vegetables, herbs like coriander, mint and sorrel for the midday meals. In addition, it is also abundant with flowering trees, mango, papaya and coconut trees! It’s a paradise for the community, who have watched the efforts of the school teams to grow and nurture these gardens, adding to the green cover in the neighbourhood.

School principal receiving the award

In appreciation of this effort, the school received the ‘Haritha Mitra’ award on 15th August 2018. This awarded was given at the District level by the State Home Minister, Sri. Nayini Narsimha Reddy, for greening the environment and maintaining the school surroundings in a neat manner!

We are all so proud of this honour and the effort that has been put in by the entire school team to create this oasis and providing a wonderful example for the children and the community on the importance of caring for the environment!