Archive for the ‘RDF Kalleda School’ Category

Making Time for Teachers

Investing time and effort into carefully thought out training and development programs for RDF teachers has been the bedrock of RDF’s education philosophy. Kalleda School teachers have been feeling really gratified with various programs to enhance their professional teaching skills.

Visitors from the Krishnamurty Foundation

Members of the Krishnamurthy Education Foundation Trust – Mr. Kishore Khairnadh, Mrs. Kalyani Kishore, Mr. Subhash and Mrs. Anjana recently visited the school. They teachers and students enthusiastically put up their Science work and these exhibits led to animated conversations between the children and the visitors! They also spent time in Primary and High School classes, interacting with children and observing classes. They spoke at length with Class 10 students about the Board examinations and preparations for their onward educational journey.

They conducted an orientation program for teachers, giving them advice and strategies to enhance their skills. A big thank you to the Krishnamurthy Trust members for encouraging our teachers!

A demo class in progress

In another program – as part of their in-school training and development, teachers conducted demo lessons for feedback and improvement. This kind of peer sharing has worked very well for the teachers, who feel that it brings immense value to their teaching practice.

For the RDF family, it is lovely to see how selflessly the teachers support each other!

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Immersion in New Traditions

Vinayak Chaturthi is a huge festival across the length and breadth of India; celebrated in a multitude of ways by the ardent followers of Lord Ganesha.

In recent years, there has been widespread coverage on the damage done to river systems and other water bodies due to the immersion of POP idols. Sadly, many people continue this ritual despite the sustainable alternative of using clay being easily available. At the same time, we are happy to see many groups using clay idols to venerate Lord Ganesha.

RDF schools have been making clay idols for 10 years, including getting the larger community involved. This year, the students and staff made clay idols together and distribute these idols to villagers. The children, as in previous years, with the strong belief and desire to make sustainable changes, went around surrounding villages to motive villagers to only use clay idols.

It was amazing to see the dexterity with which the kids shaped and moulded the idols and the enthusiasm with which they approached their elders and community to become more aware and conscious citizens, rather than blindly follow rituals. They were able to convert those resistant to the idea of making such a change. Such is the power of belief and conviction for the greater good of society!

On the day of the immersion, the children sang many songs and performed traditional dances on the festive journey to immerse their idols in the local lake and tank. We have seen the positive impact these efforts have brought in the lives of staff and children – right from understanding their role in protecting the environment, to team work and rallying people to a just cause, to using their creative and artistic abilities to fashion beautiful clay idols and seeing the outcome of their positive attitude on the larger community. These real life experiences and skills cannot be learnt in a classroom – they come from engaging and empowering individuals to ‘be the change they want to see in the world’!

Backing the Backbone of India!

Major events and celebrations in schools typically involve inviting a VIP or any other esteemed individual from a high profile profession. These events are seen as opportunities for children to learn from successful individuals. Not so in RDF Kalleda School! On the occasion of the 71st Independence Day celebrations in the school, the staff invited Mr. M. Veera Reddy, a humble farmer from the village to hoist the flag. The reason? Farmers are not typically felicitated in society. More and more young people from rural areas are moving away from traditional farming, seeing it as a difficult and unstable line of work. The school wanted to give a positive message to the children about the importance of farming and the need to give farmers value and respect.

Farmer Veera Reddy was very happy to be invited to hoist the National Flag and give a speech. He gave an important message to the children: “Farmers are the backbone of India because farmers give food to society. If there are no farmers growing food, then there wouldn’t be life!” Very somber and true words indeed! He encouraged the students to work with soil and try their hand at farming too. He said that farming provided him with a lot of satisfaction, despite its inherent difficulties and challenges.

Through this gesture of inviting the farmer, the school hopes to instill strong values and ethics in children to not forget the backbone of India – agriculture. At the end of the day, what Mr. Veera Reddy informed the children was that challenges are present in every profession and that farming is not the most challenging profession; toil and hard work is required in any profession and it is the attitude to the challenges that make the difference.

We agree with him and thank Mr. Veera Reddy for humbly sharing his life experiences and message with our children.

Young Motivator!

One would think that the zeal to motivate and inspire can only come through years of study or life experience – having attained a certain level of learning in order to reach out or teach others. But what we have seen in RDF schools over and over again is that the zeal to motivate and reach out comes from a space of generosity, care, kindness – all encompassing a spirit of sharing.

Malyala Ramya is one such alumus of RDF Kalleda School who studied there from LKG to Class 5, thereafter gaining admission in a Government Sports School in Karimnagar. Now in Class 9, she has been selected to participate in Wrestling competitions. An avid lover of sports since she was a young girl, Ramya always had the clear intention of doing something in the sports arena. During summer vacation, she decided to pay a visit to Kalleda School to meet her teachers and former classmates. Driven by a desire to share her experiences as a sports person, she arranged a Summer Camp. During the camp, she emphasized the importance of physical, mental and emotional fitness in life. She also taught basic fitness techniques to build stamina and physical ability.

She spoke to the children not only about the importance of staying active and fit, but also on the importance of developing themselves in a sport as excellence in a sporting field can lead to future job opportunities as well.  The students thoroughly enjoyed her sessions and inspirational talks! Through her example, they understood the values of self discipline, hard work and personal excellence.

So Ramya, all of 14 years of age, showed all of us, yet again, that age is no deterrant to being a beacon of inspiration. We thank Ramya for her generosity and her willingness to share all that she has learnt with the young kids in Kalleda School!

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!

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.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Games for the teachers

Girl child education is a prime focus area in its vision to educate, engage and empower rural children and communities. It has worked tirelessly for the past 20 years to convince rural people to invest in the education of their daughters, encouraging them to view girls as equals, with a right to education and providing employment to women.

The Headmaster addressing the audience

Therefore, the occasion of Women’s Day on 8th March provided a platform to honour the girls and women who are a part of RDF schools. In RDF Kalleda School, the Headmaster addressed the audience about the importance of events like Women’s Day and RDF’s focus on providing education to girls in order to skill them, become earning members in their families and to do away with the practice of child marriage.

 Thereafter, the female teachers were invited to speak about issues they have faced in their personal lives and in society in order to live a life with dignity. They urged the audience to understand the biases faced by women and requested them to treat women in society fairly and honour their role in society.

Having fun playing ‘Musical Chairs’

Fun games such a tug of war, balloon breaking and aim and throw were organized that everyone enjoyed thoroughly and brought in an air of gaiety to the day. While Women’s Day is just 1 day in the year, RDF continues its work with rural communities every day of the year to empower them in numerous ways, in order to bring about changes that can create a more equitable society at the grassroot level.