Archive for the ‘Schools’ Category

Nurturing Creative Intent

Nurturing creativity, thinking and analytical skills is far more important than memorizing texts and writing examinations. While clearing examinations are necessary to get the requisite degree, it is ultimately skills such as creative thinking, analytical reasoning, exploring interests and seeing them through with perseverance that actually help in career and life.

Raju, showing his JCB model to trainers from Andhra Mahila Sabha

Raju, a Class 10 student in RDF Redlawada School, was inspired to construct a JCB after seeing one lumbering down the road in his native village of Redlawada. He was also intent on making a working model and not just a toy. Since growing up in RDF, from LKG onwards, he was always exposed to the importance of conservation and recycling. Therefore, he also decided to recycle waste materials to create his JCB.

With prior experience in activity based learning methods which nurture curious minds, it is not surprising why Raju was so keen to see his experiment to fruition. With the encouragement of his Science teacher, he procured materials such as syringes an pipes to assemble his model JCB. Once he put it together, he displayed it to his classmates, including its workings. It is amazing how creating working models of everyday vehicles bring to light so many scientific principles that make learning so easy. Raju proved to be a very able teacher to his peers by demonstrating how a JCB works!

Raju has always loved the atmosphere in his school, even when it was running in a small rented premises till 4 years ago. The atmosphere of invention, encouragement and creativity make him and other students interested in learning and their lessons. RDF teachers have been trained to pay attention to students’ innate talent and abilities, which support their growth and development.

Well done Raju & the teachers of Redlawada School for polishing a diamond like him & our RDF students! This is true value of Educating, Engaging and Empowering!

 

Alumni Career Achievements

“Education is the vehicle for rural development” – this is the motto that inspires RDF’s work and vision to educate, engage and empower rural, underprivileged children.

While RDF leaves no stone unturned to develop its students through being taught by well trained teachers, the provision of computer, English language and science labs, a well stocked library and development of mind, body and spirit through focus on sports, yoga and meditation; it is the successes of its students, who absorb the learnings with enthusiasm and grit, that truly allow us to feel proud. Their success and achievements are RDF’s success and achievement!

Sandeep

The focus on sports in RDF schools is not merely considered an extra curricular activity. Sports development creates discipline, resilience and an ability to handle life challenges. Therefore, sports development is seen as an essential life skills and not a ‘P.T period’ per se. Several RDF alumni, having shone brilliantly at their chosen sport, have gone on to get Government jobs, which provide job security and financial relief to families, who have been mired in poverty for generations.Sandeep and Madhukar are alumni of the 2007-8 and 2005-6 batch respectively. Both were interested in sports and games since their primary school days. They eventually took up sports seriously and excelled in athletics. Both come from financially deprived families and were determined to work hard and excel in academics too. With this focus on excelling in both academics and sports, both boys eventually got jobs in the Police department.

Madhukar

Examples like Sandeep and Madhukar provide inspiration to scores of RDF children who hope for a better and brighter future for themselves and their families. The values of hard work, determination, perseverance and rising up to life’s challenges are instilled in students through understanding the struggles and achievements of alumni like Sandeep and Madhukar.

We salute these bright alumni who continue to shine a light on how a quality education system, such as that instilled by RDF institutions, deep engagement with students and teachers that comes from a space of care, truly empowers them to take on their future with courage and break the bonds of poverty.

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!

Saluting our Student Committees!

The Student Committees in RDF schools were formed with the aim of making the students responsible for their school’s key operational areas. Rather than being passive recipients of the school’s rules and guidelines, the committees make students active participants.  The committees are created with consensus between students and teachers. The day to day running and overall management of each committee is done by the students, with supervision and mentoring by a teacher.

In Rollakal School, the committees have become more efficient and disciplined over the years and the students show a lot of care in the execution of their duties. The areas that the students look after are Dining & Mess Management, Classroom & Playground Discipline, Sports & Games, Water Management, Neatness & Hygiene.  The students do an admirable job of the planning and implementation of their respective committees.

Clockwise from top: Kiran, Soumya, Rahul, Swarnlatha, Tharun

The smooth running has demonstrated leadership capacities in its student leaders, team cooperation and good delegation, along with community engagement within and outside their school – all qualities that are necessary in life.

Thank you to D. Soumya, Class 10, G. Swarnalatha, Class 10, M. Yudhasree – Class 9, D. Shivasagar – Class 8, D. Sarath – Class 7, K. Kiran – Class 7, B. Rahul – Class 6 and Ch. Tharun – Class 5 for doing such a fantastic job and making the school proud!

Alumni Give Back

Over the years, RDF alumni have always come back to their schools to help innumerable ways. The connections remain alive, wherever they are.

In Matendla School, it was the entire Class 10 batch from last year who paid a surprise visit to the school and sponsored a Midday Meal, along with biscuits! Everyone was very touched to learn that they had saved their pocket money for several months to make this generous donation! They personally served all students and teachers, a gesture that moved many!

Though RDF students have shown over and over again how much they care for their schools, every gesture continues to warm our hearts. This good deed by mere 16 year olds will live in our hearts for a long time!

To the Aid of Friendship

What happens when an 8 year old falls and injures herself? Do you imagine an adult rushing to her aid to soothe and assist her? But this is not what happened. When Priya of Class 3 in Redlawada School injured herself in the school’s playground, it was her friends, D. Deepika and S. Harshitha who ran to help her.

They had the presence of mind to get her back to the main school building and bring the First Aid box. They administered the primary treatment till the Science teacher, Mr. Ashok, arrived to help them.  The 3 girls have been friends since LKG, so while it is no surprise that they helped their friend, what made the act notable was the remarkable composure of both girls as they calmed their friend and treated her wound.

The qualities of compassion and empathy demonstrated by Harshitha and Deepika, as well as the ability to make a quick decision to solve a problem is what makes this incident stand out for us. Instead of getting worried or waiting till an adult arrived, the young girls took matters into their hands. Again, such stories make us feel very proud and we thank the school for noticing the girls’ abilities and bringing it to everyone’s attention.

Commending an innate talent, an act of kindness, noticing the good things in children go a long way in bolstering their belief in themselves. We are sure both girls will continue to be positive role models for their peers and the community as they grow up.

Chess Mate!

RDF Rollakal School has a budding Vishwanathan Anand in its midst!

Koushik (R) at the State Level championship

Meet Abbaraboina Koushik, all of 9, who recently won a Gold medal in a State Level Chess competition that was open to people from all age groups, held in Hanmakonda. Hailing from a poor family, the son of agricultural labourers, Koushik, from a young age had the grit and passion to do well in whatever he decided to do.

This deep determination can be seen in the way he approaches chess, absorbing the training provided to him the Physical Education teacher as well as his academics. A self motivated person, he was encouraged by the school Headmaster and PET to participate in the State Level championship. Unperturbed by going up against people much older and experienced compared to him, he was delighted to bag the 1st place!

The Telangana Sports Authority Director, Mr. Rajanala Srihari, commended him on his effort as he handed him his gold medal and merit certificate.

We commend Koushik, his family and Rollakal School for championing his spirit and his talent. We are very proud of all that he has accomplished at the tender age of 9. He is certainly an inspiration to everyone!