Archive for the ‘RDF Kalleda School’ Category

Skilling for Life

A session in progress with an SF volunteer at Global Edge School

India has a startling statistic which is that it churns out the highest number of unemployable graduates each year! Rote based education, intense academic focus and little time invested in skill or vocational development is the root cause for this. Children in rural India also have it tougher than their urban counterparts due to poorer infrastructure and little done to develop teachers. However, the story in RDF schools is very different. We are cognizant of this reality of rural education, hence have put in intense effort for over 2 decades to ensure well trained staff and attending to the holistic development of the children, going beyond academic achievements.

Fully engaged!

India’s graduates need employable skills. For rural children, English is paramount, given that it’s not present in the learning environment. Communication, team building, dealing with conflict, cultural differences are other skill areas that we also pay attention to. We feel blessed that we have partners and supports who understand these constraints and customize skilling programmes for our staff and students.

Focused discussion

As part of English Communication Improvement and Personality Development programmes, our students attend a Summer Camp at Global Edge International School, Hyderabad, conducted by Synchrony Financial. This year 42 students came to Hyderabad for this camp. The children had a lot of fun with the Synchrony team who created interesting activities in English focusing on LSRW skills. They also had music and yoga classes. With so much fun and much to do, the 1 month training flew!

We are immensely grateful to the Global Edge team for not only providing the venue each year, but also providing accommodation and drinking water to the participants this year and of course, the Synchrony volunteers for caring about the future of our students and providing them with great activities to groom them for success. RDF has sustained itself for 23 years because of the committed support of such partners.

 

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Synchrony-sed English Development Efforts!

Learning English is remote, rural areas is a very challenging task. With Telugu being the native language and there being no usage of English in a child’s natural environment, a lot of effort is taken to implement English in RDF schools and teach it in ways that students are able to retain the new language skills that they’re learning.

We are very fortunate that the need to learn English in today’s global environment is understood by RDF’s supporters and that more effort is required to implement English in a rural school. One of our long term supporters has been Synchrony Financial who has helped us in innumerable ways for over 10 years! In order to help enhance English skills in our schools, Synchrony Financial set up an English Language lab 3 years ago in Kalleda School, equipped with computers, language software and electricity back up. This lab is changing the lives of the children and teachers through giving them access and exposure to innovative English enhancement programmes in a high quality facility!

Over the years, several employees and senior management have visited the school and most recently, the school was honoured to receive Mr. Ravi Kiran. He spent the day observing the work in the lab and was shown the lab maintenance registers. The children happily informed him on how much their English skills are improving through better grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and sentence formation. They told him they feel less inhibited and more confident about using English.

Mr. Ravi Kiran was pleased with this progress and reported feeling good that the lab is being used effectively by the school and his interaction showed that everyone is indeed getting better at expressing themselves in English!

 

 

 

Ushering in a New Era with a US trip!

L,R: Divya, Sumathi

We are so excited by 2 RDF students, Divya and Sumathi, of Class 10, Kalleda School, who have been selected to go to the USA for a Youth Exchange Study Programme! For the 1st time in RDF, our students have been selected for such a programme and understandably, everyone is excited!

This opportunity has been given by Synchrony Financial, that has been supporting RDF’s work for over a decade though annual summer camps, development workshops, setting up English and Computer labs in our schools and teacher development. Last year, RDF students were invited to their ‘Goals for Girls Leadership Summit Programme’ in Hyderabad that was facilitated by the Synchrony Financial USA team. Here, students learnt about life skills through the metaphor of playing football and actually learnt football to make it an experiential learning process. They learnt valuable skills like communication, teamwork, goal setting and dealing with life’s inevitable challenges through understanding the game of football – a unique experience for everyone!

During the programme, the students had to create a themed project and the 2 girls chose Recycling as their theme and made ‘Plasto Coolers’, a low cost cooling mechanism that can help rural communities during summer. The girls, looking at a real life problem thought inventively and came up with this project idea which impressed and inspired everyone. Based on this project, they were shortlisted for the US study programme and thereafter cleared 3 rounds of interviews too! Though they were nervous, they received a lot of support and encouragement from the Synchrony team and we are very grateful for that! From a pool of 40 hopefuls, for 2 rural girls to get selected is an absolute honour and a testament to their sincerity and fortitude to do well for themselves.

We wish Sumathi and Divya lots of luck for this amazing, new journey that they are embarking on. We know they will come back enriched and ready to pass on their learning to everyone!

Exciting Experiences!

Learning starts at the doorstep of the learner, literally! Real life, contextual learning is a key way for experiential learning to take place and this is a core focus in RDF schools.

RDF Kalleda School children from Class 4 were taken for a field trip to visit various public service institutions like the MRO (Mandal Revenue Officer), Police Station and Primary Health Centre. The children received clear information on the work done in these offices and their role in public service by the respective heads of these offices, as well as the teachers.

The children learnt about land surveys, issuance of ration cards and pension cards from the MRO; the duties of the police and law and order from the ASI at the local police station and finally, the head doctor at the Primary Health Centre explained the importance of health and hygiene for the people. In this way, it becomes easy for the children to understand key concepts in their textbooks.

RDF teachers love organizing such trips for their students and finding ways to take learning beyond the classroom. We are very proud of their efforts to provide meaningful education to these rural children and grateful to the public service officials to answer the students’ queries with patience!

Sailing towards your Goals

15 year old T. Ajay of Kalleda School has put his nose to the grindstone and worked extremely hard to get admission in Hakimpet Sports School. A student in the school from Class 1 – 4, he performed very well in sports, especially Kho-Kho and Athletics. The schools’ Physical Education Teacher noticed his interest and prowess and encouraged him.

With the support of the management and PET, Ajay participated in many competitions and eventually was selected in the Hakimpet  Sports School. While he is no longer a part of RDF, we continue to follow the progress of our alumni closely.

His main event in the school in ‘Sailing’. He participated in the International Junior ‘Sailing’ competition in Chennai and came in 6th place! We love to share stories like these with our current students to help them see the power of discipline, dedication and determination. Stories like Ajay’s provide tremendous inspiration to our rural children who can then believe that goals are achievable and dreams are possible. It also allows the local community to understand that there is more to education than academics and that talent and building skill in other areas can also help students achieve success.

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!