Archive for the ‘RDF Redlawada School’ Category

Inspired Implementation

RDF believes that everyone in a child’s life is a teacher. Therefore, building a strong community is an integral part of our work, so that teaching and learning extends beyond the school boundaries and encompass the entire community.

A Class 4 student in Redlawada School observed her grandfather, who is over 75 years old, washing his own clothes everyday and do his daily, routine work without getting tired. She asked him, “Tatha (grandfather), how are you able to do your work everyday and be so active?” Tatha smiled and said, “When I was young, we ate jowar (millet) rotis, porridge and worked hard everyday, at home and in the fields. That is why I still have stamina.” He encouraged his granddaughter to do whatever work she can independently and get strong. Inspired by her grandfather’s words and his physical abilities, this little girl now washes her own clothes and helps do other household chores too.

This story was shared in class by the teacher so that students understand that all work has dignity and how the kids can be role models for each other. In this way, RDF schools model the ‘learning by doing’ method to inculcate healthy habits in children as we believe that these are essential lifeskills that empower them and will hold them in good stead.

A Memory Test

Sitting for competitive exams are a part of the Indian education system, in order to get admission into various courses after the completion of the Class 12 examinations. The ability to recall from memory is an important aspect of these exams, so our teachers come up with fun ways to boost memory skills for the students.

Redlawada School conducted a Memory Test for 60 high school students. 37 objects were placed on a table and students were given 2 minutes to note and memorise the objects. After that, they were asked to recall and write the names of the various objects with its correct spelling. Each object was allotted one mark.

Such activities to enhance learning and memory skills are conducted routinely and the students enjoy them immensely. When learning is fun, retention is high!

Changing Lives with Care

It’s humbling for us to see that the care and effort of our dedicated school teams brings about tremendous turnarounds in the lives of the rural children we work with.

Banoth Santhosh, a Class 7 student in Redlawada School, belongs to a tribal community. When he joined the school 5 years ago, he couldn’t even speak his tribal language due to developmental issues. His teachers took him under their wing, working patiently with him over the years. Now Santhosh can speak, read and write English too, in addition to his native language!

We really appreciate our teachers for pouring their care into the wellbeing and development of all our students, inspiring them to believe in themselves and succeed! 🙂

No Short Cuts to Sports Development

RDF leaves no stone unturned to provide the best quality education and excellent facilities in a rural school. Many local schools do not have a spacious playground and there is more focus on academics. However, for us,  sports is an essential component of education and our students are always encouraged to take up sports. With a multitude of sports achievers to our credit, students sports achievements have also allowed them to get admission in central or state government funded sports schools and colleges as well as bag government positions. Having a playground also means that students can learn new sports Our sports teachers, who are also part of the local community and hence understand the unique challenges in rural education, are always going the extra mile in order to provide the best to the students.

In Redlawada School, students are learning how to play Shotput. To start with, the children practice with a stone that weighs the same as a shotput and are then progressed to play with the actual shotput. The kids respond beautifully to teachers taking an interest in their development which allows them to learn things fast and show a high level of commitment. We have seen that providing good infrastructure and a nurturing environment works wonders!

Innovation Galore!

There’s innovative and interesting teaching and learning happening in so many different ways in RDF schools. Despite running for 23 years, the creativity we see in our classrooms and outside them too, never ceases to amaze us!

The exquisitely cut peepal leaf map

Nikhil sir’s chalk stupa in the news!

In Rollakal School, teacher Nikhil has gained local renown for his expertise in micro arts. While studying  B.Ed, he made 2 oxen with ragadi soil that looked lifelike! He did this project to honour rural India and symbolize that the farmer is the back bone of India. He has also made chalk engravings such as the Stupa of Telangana Martyrs and the 2019 Cricket World Cup. On India’s 73rd Independence Day celebrations in the school, he cut the map of India on a Peepal leaf which looks fantastic! Our students are thrilled to learn these art forms from him & understand how art can also create employment.

Girls, leading & teaching a class

In Redlawada School, the Class 9 students in have created a system to learn independently when a teacher is absent. Two students select the subject and topic, with one doing the reading and the other writing the important points on the board. We are proud of their ability to self organize and take responsibility for their education, engage proactively and feel empowered to lead!

All attention, as students listen to football instructions

In Matendla School, the Class 9 Hindi teacher created a very interesting lesson on Football, which was in the syllabus, by actually organizing a football match for the students! So excited did this news make the kids, that they raised the money to purchase a shiny, new football! The Physical Education Teacher was brought on board to explain the rules and show them how to play. It was a wonderful day of play and learning as the boys and girls played together, learnt about team spirit, discipline, motivation and practice!

The ‘Quick Cleaner’, at work!

In the RDF VAPV Junior College, who knew that studying in the corridor and watching the sweeper try unsuccessfully to clear out the rain water, would lead to a creative burst? This is what happened with Venkatesh who wondered how to create a cleaner that could sweep out the water using less manpower and less time? As an avid Physics student, he drew models for feedback from the Principal. With his encouragement and funding, he quickly came up with a working model which was demonstrated to the teachers and students. With more design inputs, the college now has a ‘Quick Cleaner’ which has made life so much easier. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention!

The staff and students indeed make studying in RDF schools a wonderful world!

Traditional Wisdom in a Modern World

Kids engrossed in a simple game with stones

Education and school brings the world to the doorstep of the rural children we work with. It helps them understand the world and learn ways of engaging with it. While the aim is to provide them with a quality of education that empowers them with skills and tools to lead independent lives and be free of poverty, simultaneously, we also ensure that they remain rooted in traditional practices and wisdom too.

A ‘talipot’ thatched hut

As the current generation is living in a dizzying digital age, with its impact penetrating rural areas as well, we encourage our students to play traditional games too. As cities get more urbanized and electrified, our students see their families build homes with natural materials such as the ‘talipot’, a native palm variety, used to build thatched houses that keep their homes naturally cool in summer.

They see and learn animal domestication, with the cow being worshipped and being a provider for milk and cow dung. Washing their house with cow dung once a week ensures protection from mosquitoes, insects and flies – so much better than chemical based disinfectants! Rearing hens is common and a source of income for rural families.

With widespread degradation of the environment, rural wisdom teaches our students about how to live in harmony with nature and her creations. There is so much that they learn from their elders, in addition to what they learn in school. It’s no surprise that our students are very eco conscious and green activists, an attitude and ability that we hope they carry into their future too!

Self Creation and Self Empowerment

Education is crucial for rural children because it allows them to gain qualifications and skills that make them employable. A viable source of employment means a life free of poverty and its incumbent challenges.

Making beautiful handcrafted paper creations

While education certainly provides the academic degree that allows students to complete higher education and start a career in their chosen field, it’s also imperative that they learn other vocational skills too. Thus, at RDF, our approach is holistic, focusing on children’s innate talent, developing their interest and curiosity in meaningful ways and also teaching them new skills. Hence, there is a strong focus on making time for extracurricular activities, which our students enjoy tremendously!

In Redlawada School, the students spent time learning how to make beautiful decorative items using waste paper. Recycling and upcycling also helps them see old and used materials in new ways and amps up their creativity. Once they catch on to an activity, the interest levels go up and the creativity and thinking ability just burgeons! Such is the power of an open and nurturing learning environment.

A finished piece, held with pride!

Learning art and craft helps our children apply their minds in imaginative ways, plus develops proficiency in new areas that can generate a source of income and employment once they’re older. We’ve had several former students start small businesses in carpentry, tailoring, catering, opening a restaurant, serving the local community and the local economy.

This is precisely the empowerment of rural children that remains a constant vision for us and guides our work.