Archive for the ‘RDF Kalleda School’ Category

Cultivating our Cultural Identity

RDF’s holistic system of education is future oriented by creating a school environment and processes dedicated to nurturing students and giving them the skills and tools that can enable them to procure good jobs and help their families out of poverty stricken lives. At the same time, the local culture and traditions are also nurtured, with students enthusiastically participating in local festivals and keep traditional games alive. Another avenue to understand our past is also through exploring mythology, religion and the Bhagavath Geetha.

A group of 8 students from Class 9 from Kalleda School were interested in learning and understand this holy Hindu scripture, hence learnt slokas from the Bhagavath Geetha for 2 months, practicing daily for half an hour, after school hours. Their dedication and interest was admirable. They participated in the Mandal level Bhagavath Geetha Parayanam and essay writing compition. 3 students won 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize and have been selected to participate in the District level competition. Learning slokas is no mean task and these young ones learnt 24 slokas and their summaries! They said they felt very happy to learn the slokas and get a closer understanding of their meaning and context and our rich past.

The kids are certainly an inspiration in the school, not just due to their achievements, but also through their perseverance in learning about the Holy Geetha and attempt to understand it’s importance in our lives. Though they faced problems with pronunciation initially, their hard work paid off!  In this way, the school is playing a significant role in creating awareness about our tradition, culture and ethics and creating a bridge between the past and the future!


The Importance of Voting

It’s election time in India and as  a part of the ‘Continuous Comprehensive Assessment’ programme, Kalleda School conducted a message oriented activity on ‘Awareness on the Importance of Voting’.

The kids took up a campaign in their community in order to drive home the importance of voting. They urged them, saying, “Your vote is your choice to elect the public representative. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. The power to change our country starts with you single vote.” The main aim of the campaign was to achieve 100% voting in their local communities.

The kids, passionate about creating change, motivated everyone to utilize their vote to elect the right public representative and vote for their progress and development. A group of students also enacted a drama on the voting system! Together, they made an oath to cast their vote, ending with a chant of ‘Vote to Change the Future’.

It is amazing how conversant the students are on social issues and have the passion to create change. It shows a willingness to engage with issues that affect them and create solutions, in their own way, that address the problem – in this case, casting their vote and thinking about how to develop the villages. Well done, teachers and students of Kalleda School on taking up such an important issue and taking the steps to create change!

A Good Report Card!

Official visits from Government education officers is part of the regular review process that has been put in place by the local government. The local RDF schools pride themselves on the strong network of relationships that have been built over the past 20 years, linking rural communities with their local government officials.

Kalleda School was agog with excitement for the visit of Mandal Education Officer (MEO), Mr. Sathya Narayana. He started his visit with meeting the little ones from LKG and UKG, with the kids answering his questions very readily and confidently, which impressed him a lot! He observed the English and Computer Lab activities, greatly admiring the effort put in by the teachers and students in developing these activities. He also met with Class 10 students, motivating them to work hard for the exams and giving them some career advice. He checked the admin records and felt happy with the education system and methods put meticulously into place by the school team.

The school is proud that its work has been recognized not just in the villages but by the local officials too. We are also proud of the service oriented nature of each and every staff member to make the school a beacon of quality education, an institution admired and loved by all!

Saying bye to plastic!

Plastic is everywhere! It’s use has become so common that most people do not even think about using it. People are not aware of the harmful effect of plastic on the environment, on human and animals. Plastic refuse takes hundreds of years to decompose and is toxic. Kalleda High School children were getting perturbed by the use of plastic in their school and junior college premises. Since RDF institutions pride themselves on being green and building environmentally sound practices, the students decided that plastic use had to end!

With that determination, the students started with discussing this with the non teaching staff. They showed them alternatives to plastic such as using paper, cloth or jute bags. They also recommended that they carry their own cloth bags and saying ‘no’ to plastic or polythene bags that are unthinkingly handed over in shops. The discussion led to a life changing decision for everyone present – the  non teaching staff made a vow to stop using plastic in their homes and at work and together they made a vow to make the school plastic free!

We are thrilled with the motivation that these young students were able to provide and take it a step further by banning plastic in all forms in their school! We are sure that this energy will provide them with the momentum to make positive changes in their villages too. After all, big change starts with small changes at the individual level. We hope this becomes a community effort to make our rural communities environmentally safe and plastic free!

A Flood of Kindness

We were so very touched to see the kindness demonstrated by the children and staff of RDF Kalleda School to help flood victims in Kerala. Though these families have immense struggles with money which impact their daily life; seeing others’ suffering brought their humanitarian nature to the fore.

The children took ownership of the donation activity at school. Before deciding on their course of action, the students and teachers gathered and discussed the importance of social responsibility and kindness, regardless of social and economic standards. It was beautiful to see everyone come forward and donate. The school was able to collect Rs. 4379, a modest amount with a huge heart and spirit driving the collection! The money was submitted to the District Collector’s Office who were very appreciative of the school’s efforts.

The children were earnest in their endeavour to motivate everyone to donate, event a small amount. They understood the importance of helping social causes and have empathy for everyone. We are super proud of their efforts!

The He’art’ of Drawing

The 1st language used  by humans to express their thoughts and feelings is the medium of drawing, then comes speaking and thereafter, writing. Cave paintings by our Neolithic ancestors were our 1st clues into the past and lives of early man. Similarly, when we are around young children, they take uninhibitedly to drawing and colouring, using any surface they can! Drawing is an important outlet for children who do not yet have verbal skills to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

Kalyan, engrossed in drawing

At RDF, we encourage not just the young pre-primary children to explore themselves through the creative medium of drawing, but children of all age groups are encouraged to do so. When a child draws something familiar to them they have the opportunity to think about what they know and how they feel towards the people, things and situations that they are familiar with. RDF children are provided many opportunities to develop their drawing skills.

Kalyan of Kalleda School, a student of Class 6 has truly taken to the medium of drawing! He draws pictures based on situations that he encounters in his school and personal life. His personal connect comes through in every drawing because the drawing is essentially a map of his feelings for the person/object/situation. In his drawing of a ‘farmer’, he has the opportunity to think about what he knows of farmers and farming and how he feels about farmers. Another area he has been exploring vociferously, is ‘Gods’.

Drawing & fabulous colours of Lord Hanuman

Kalyan can spends hours in deep concentration – almost meditative – when he is drawing. He finds it a very fulfilling activity and feels happy when left with his paper and pencils. All RDF schools also have a ‘Wall Magazine’ where children are encouraged to put up all artistic creations, be it drawings, articles, stories, poems etc. Other children in the school are inspired by Kalyan’s drawing and we’ve seen more kids take to it enthusiastically!

The Wall Magazine

We believe that academic pursuits can be unidimensional, if not explored alongside other pursuits that engage the body and mind, such as art, craft, music and sports etc. In fact, we have seen such creative endeavours make children confident and our teachers always promote children’s innate talents and skills. This opens up their minds to delve into professions such as photography and painting. It also creates a spirit of entrepreneurship because kids have a good sense of self and pride themselves on their abilities.

Ramu’s Inspirational Story..

Life is not easy for RDF children who come from families that have suffered generations of financial and social hardship. Yet, time and again, we see in them, a resilient spirit that makes them push themselves to do the best they can. They take advantage of all the opportunities being provided in RDF schools in order to achieve their goals of completing higher education and having a good career.

Ramu, with family in his thanda

Ramu, an alumnus of RDF Kalleda School belonged to a typical RDF family. He hailed from a Lambada tribe and cycled 5 km to school daily from Seethya thanda to his school. His parents eked their living as farm and daily wage labourers. Ramu loved school and felt that the world was brought closer to him through textbooks and watching documentaries and videos with his teachers. He didn’t feel isolated in his remote thanda. “I always knew that I do well in school and for that I was willing to sacrifice the small joys of growing up”, he once profoundly told his teachers. During holidays, he worked on farms too, in order to financially support his family. He even insisted that some of his earnings go towards his education – this high level of self responsibility and perseverance is a characteristic we see in many of our rural children. In Class 10, his hardwork and his positive attitude ensured that he came out with flying colours, obtaining the 1st rank in the Mandal with a 9.5 GPA!

(L) Being sworn in as Head Boy, (R) As MEO, during ‘model elections’

Explaining a Science exhibit to school visitors

Young children like Ramu create a positive impact on the school, the students and the community because people like him demonstrate how one’s attitude towards life can alter its course. It demonstrates the values of determination, hardwork, sacrifice and working towards achieving ones goals – these are inspirational values for other children to imbibe. These are values that are lived by students, teachers and many members of the rural communities that we serve and these are values that we actively promote in our schools.

Students like Ramu inspire us to work even harder to ensure that RDF institutions remain inspiring and enriching spaces for children to feel cared for and blossom into their best potential!