Archive for the ‘RDF Redlawada School’ Category

True Education

Life for rural people is hard. Most families are either employed in agricultural work or in daily wage labour. They are away for a significant portion of the day, working long hours to earn some money to make ends meet and support their families financially.

This is the reality that RDF children grow up in, so it is an accepted part of life for rural children to start working when they are young to help their parents. The team at RDF Redlwada School who sent in this story was sharing that generally rural people are hard working people, therefore working and helping wherever they can is a quality that rural children imbibe naturally. Not only do they help with chores at home, but many also help in the fields during vacations.

Perhaps this is the reason that RDF children help and support each other so willingly. We believe that being generous and exhibit kindness and help is a crucial value and life skill. Therefore, while supporting their academic pursuits is an important aspect of their school life, so is engaging with them in their daily life and work, encouraging them to assist their parents wherever they can, thus empowering them to take responsibility for their lives and the community. This is the true meaning of education of us!

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Voice of RDF Parents

Parents in RDF schools are an integral part of the school. Every RDF school has a Parents Committee with meetings being held regularly to involve parents in school operations, problems being faced and taken parent suggestions and advice seriously. Therefore parents take ownership of developing the school by extending their support in myriad ways.

With the academic year end, the staff of RDF Redlawada School decided to go to parents houses to get their views on their child’s education and development and also to get feedback on the facilities and running of the school. It is this level of transparency and engagement that has made parents trust RDF schools implicitly and given them the faith that their children’s education is in good hands!

In all cases, parents unequivocally expressed their happiness about RDF’s education system and the school facilities. Parents said that they are able to compare the quality of education, facilities, staff training and the environment by speaking to parents whose children attend other school and they always feel assured about RDF schools. Such is their confidence in our approach, that they have always helped with new admissions in our schools!

Time and again, parents have come forward to assist us in many areas such as in-kind donations of water coolers, water filters, fans, classroom consumables, financial help, health checks, groceries and vegetables – the list is endless! It fills our hearts with warmth to see that RDF is also in good hands with such strong and supportive parent communities rallying behind our schools!

Art and Inspiration

RDF schools provide plenty of opportunity for students to showcase their skills and talent. After all, academic development and achievement is not the only measure to gauge students’ progress in school.

In Redlawada School, an entire wall has been dedicated to display students’ art work. Seeing their work up on the wall gives our students a lot of encouragement and support for their unique talents. In fact, RDF teachers are trained to identify children’s skills and talents and encouraging them to work in their own areas of interest, thus cultivating their inherent skills. The freedom to work on their art really allows their imagination to soar! The smiles and sense of pride to see their work on the wall is really special!

MEO & Government school visitors admiring the Art Wall

As part of an Educational tour, some Government school students and teachers visited the school. They were amazed to see the Art Wall and commented that children should be given opportunities to showcase their special abilities, be it art, craft, dance, music or sports. They were so taken by the idea that they spoke about it to their families and other community members too, which made our students even happier.

We feel really happy to see RDF children blossoming in so many ways. We thank our teachers for working so hard to nurture individual talent and creating an atmosphere of care and encouragement RDF schools.

Inspired Student!

Raju of RDF Redlawada School is on cloud nine on receiving news that his Science project has been selected as the best project in the State level INSPIRE programme – and so are we! Coming from very simple and humble backgrounds, we completely understand the challenges faced by our children to progress academically; therefore their achievements are a testament to their grit and fighting spirit and makes us doubly proud!

A student of Class 10, Raju has been inspired by the teaching methodology and experimentation that is encouraged by his Science teacher and the supportive environment in the school which ultimately led to the creation of his prize winning project.

 The process started when Raju started thinking of greener and more economical ways to cook food at home and the production of Biogas. After a few days of experimentation and talking to his teachers, he came up with a plan. He collected some buckets of cow dung in a drum and sealed it airtight for 15 days. Then he poured water into the drum which changed the composition and created an organic substance, suitable for generating biogas. A metal pipe was attached between the drum and a stove to provide gas for cooking!

It’s heartening to see how students like Raju reflect on the real challenges of rural people and come up with innovative ways to provide solutions. While we fully support their aspirations to move to bigger cities to pursue their dreams, we are equally proud when they use their education and knowledge for the betterment of rural communities!

Well done Raju – we hope you continue to shine and grow wherever you go!

The Web of Learning

Learning exists all around us. It is a fallacy that learning only exists in classrooms from a teacher who holds the key to knowledge. But we have seen that we can learning something from everyone. This is something that we inculcate early on in RDF schools, where everyone is seen as a learner and a teacher!

Kalyani, helping in her parent’s fields

Class 4 student, Kalyani, who studies in Redlawada School, like many RDF children helps her parents on the farm. She is learning so much from the life of farming with her parents. She is learning about the value of traditional work and agriculture from them – the challenges, the hard work, the vagaries of nature, about soil, water, crop cycles – life in the real world. Kalyani’s parents are teachers too and in turn, Kalyani can teach so much to anyone who has never had exposure to this way of life.

From the same school, come lessons from one of its first alumnus, Swapna. With aspirations to become an Engineer, Swapna is now pursuing B-Tech. She is happy to be following her dreams, after getting a good start in RDF. She returned to her school to give a motivational talk about following one’s goals to Class 10 students. Swapna, the motivational teacher,  emphasized the importance of English and Communication skills. It’s great to see the spectrum of learning that exists – right from one’s parents to ex-students! We are grateful for this web of connection that supports each and every one of our students inch closer to their goals and dreams!

 

The Spirit of Giving and Volunteering

Volunteers – their spirit of giving, their generosity of time, effort and commitment have been an integral part of RDF’s story since inception. RDF has been progressing for over two decades, not only due to financial support from organizations and individuals, but very importantly, also because of the many individuals who have volunteered their time to support RDF’s work.

Ms. Geeta Nambiar, an educationist from Chennai has volunteered with many NGOs across the world. She recently spent one month based in Matendla School, to offer her services to the students and the school team there. With English being a necessary language and skill in today’s world, she focused her efforts on working with Pre-primary and primary children and teachers to build their English communication skills. She also spent time with the villagers who asked her a very important question – “What is the use of staying for just a month? To make a difference you have to stay for a year.” She was unable to stay longer, but feels that in order to support the school and community’s development, other volunteers should try to stay longer.

She wrote a beautiful note about her stay at the school and her interactions with the local community –

Ms. Nambiar, in a teacher training session in MS

It was a privilege, indeed, to help the teachers with their English, at this school, which started under the trees, nearly 20 years ago and waited for 7 years before it got its beautiful building.
I was deeply moved to hear that every brick was handmade by the parents. These unlettered farmers and shepherds realized the value of education and later, the value of English when they requested for the change of medium.
The villagers were warm and friendly and invited me to their homes and many asked many questions. As first generation learners, educated in the Telegu  medium, the sincere, dedicated teachers truly deserve support .
The school is run with transparency, honesty and integrity and optimum utilization of resources including human resources. Discipline is strict but benevolent and the students happy, healthy, friendly and confident. Congratulations to the RDF and to the staff and students on what has been achieved in Matendla. May you go from strength to strength.”

Ms. Nambiar’s commitment created a wealth of experience for the children, teachers and the extended community. Her stay will be cherished forever in our memory and we are very grateful for her selfless support!

Mr. Kaeding’s note about the 4 schools

Another visitor to the RDF Kalleda School campus recently was Mr. Erik Kaeding, an educationist and attorney from California, USA, who has been supporting RDF’s sister NGO, the India Rural Development Fund (IRDF), for several years, through fundraising efforts and also served on the IRDF board. This was his third visit to RDF and he took the time to visit the four schools. He observed classes, interacting with teachers and students. He appreciated the training the teachers have gone through that enables them to create student friendly teaching and learning techniques that enrich the classes. He provided feedback and suggestion for improvement, including suggesting other child friendly techniques for teaching. He also took a tour of the organic farms and the school labs. He was impressed with the expansion of infrastructure in the four schools that includes more classrooms and school buses. The methodical transition to English medium and the increasing use of English in conversation and in teaching also made a positive impression on him.

Mr. Kaeding, interacting with villagers

He met several parents in each school, taking feedback on the education system and facilities at the schools. He was very happy to learn that the parents are satisfied with the facilities and the quality of education being provided and that the children are also happy and proud to be a part of RDF. He also met several alumni to discuss their careers, giving them tips about furthering their skills and ongoing learning and development on the job.

We are immensely grateful to every volunteer who supports RDF and the advice and help that they extend to the entire community. In their unique ways, the help Educate, Engage and Empower these deserving rural communities!

Chekumuki Champions!

Redlawada School has created history by having 3 students selected to the State Level in the Chekumuki Talent Test and Quiz Competition. RDF children have been doing quite well in these tests that are organized by the Jana Vignana Vedika (JVV) to promote scientific temper in students. However this is the 1st time that Redlawada School students have cleared the District level test! Kalleda, Rollakal and Matendla schools also received a District level award.

Neeraja, Class 8, J. Rakesh, Class 9 and P. Raju, Class 10 showed that they have what it takes to win! The parents, teachers and students at the school are delighted with this news and are now praying that they achieve success at the State Level competition too.

Participation in such interschool and competitive tests build academic skills and understanding in the students and also provides them with the necessary exposure to test their knowledge and skills outside the classroom. It bolsters their confidence, regardless of the outcome. The children have always given positive feedback after participation in such tests and other academic oriented fairs.

We wish the Redlawada team all the very best!