Archive for the ‘Students’ Category

Electrifying Education!

Learning is present all around us and every person we meet has the potential to teach us something. Learning from professionals is a great way to make children understand the variety of skills that are required in everyday life.

In Matendla School, the staff came to know about Government issued electrical work that was going to be undertaken near the school. They decided it would be a great opportunity for children to observe the work and learn from professional electricians. The electricians also agreed to explain their work to the children.

The work involved earthing a transformer near the school. They explained the importance of earthing, including how the fitting will be done and the materials that are required for the connection. The students were fascinated by the work and asked plenty of questions, which the electricians patiently answered. Very importantly, they also cautioned them about the hazards about working with electricity and the safety precautions that need to be taken.

Through such real life observation and interacting with skilled people, children learnt about how electricity is supplied to transformers and homes and how to work safely. These field sessions are vital to real education, far beyond textbook education. The children really enjoyed their interaction and came away with more knowledge than when they started!

 

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Honouring Honesty

In RDF schools, academic focus and achievement is just one cog in the wheel of holistic education. Emphasis is also given on building children’s character and life skills. Honesty towards ourselves, our peers and the extended community is a characteristic that we aim to build in our children and we take it as the highest level of quality in human character.

In RDF Rollakal High School, we saw the fruit of our efforts when young G. Rakesh of Class 3 showed absolute honesty when he found a Rs. 1000 note in the school playground. He immediately handed over the note to the school Headmaster who commended him on his honesty and undertook efforts to trace the owner. Children like Rakesh are role models for everyone and we are very proud of his actions!

 

A Learning Journey

My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored paths, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people. ~ A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

A day trip away from college and from the regular activities promises to be an exciting event for students, so one can only imagine what a few days away would mean for these students! RDF strives to make education a contextual and meaningful experience for students, so that they not only learn what is in their academic textbooks, but also learn from their own life and the world around him. So a learning journey becomes an intrinsic part of students’ academic experience. 

The RDF VAPV Junior College organized a trip to Karnataka for 54 students and 10 teaching and non teaching staff. For many students, this was the very first time that they were venturing out of their hometowns and they were very excited! They read up about Bangalore and Mysore on the internet, learning about Karnataka’s cultural heritage, historical monuments, the progress and development in its cities etc.

Students and teachers really enjoyed the visit to Mysore, understanding its relevance in local and Indian history. The enjoyed their visit to the Mysore Palace and ISCKON temple. Some students purchased the famed Mysore silk saris and appreciated its background and weaving. Next on the agenda was Bengaluru and the students were in awe of the city. Known as the Silicon Valley of India, some students are definitely dreaming of working here when they complete their education!

Keerthana, an MPC – 2nd year student, studying in the English Medium stream said this – “This is the first time I have gone for an educational tour leaving my parents. I enjoyed well throughout the journey.  I have leant many things in this trip. I have seen different nature, different language of famous places and we got knowledge and significance of historical places and monuments by the guides. I will never forget this experience in my life. I would like to thank RDF College management for organizing such a wonderful trip.”

 Travel and exploration of new places and cultures is a wonderful learning experience and we hope that we have ignited a curiosity about new places and people in these young hearts. All the students and teachers had a great time! The experience, the memories made will be a talking point in the college campus for a long time, we’re sure!

 

Scientific Creativity on Fire!

It all starts with an idea!

RDF is always encouraging its students to dive deep into a particular theme, topic or subject through interesting activities. Science is a subject that comes alive through the practical demonstration of experiments that can explain concepts easily. Our teachers also go through extensive training in order to teach their subjects better and help ignite children’s imagination.

Fine tuning with the Science teacher

Success!

This is precisely what was created in Kalleda School during a Science lesson recently. M. Yashwanth of Class 8 and M. Rajender of Class 9, with the help of their Science teacher, came up with the idea of preparing liquefied petroleum gas by mixing fire and petrol through a scientific contraption. This concept is used routinely in small and large scale industries, however our students were able to innovate and create a very low cost working model using plastic bottles, pipes, a air pump and a burner! The model was successful and was exhibited at the District Level Science exhibition. The experiment was praised by everyone and got 1st place and was selected to be shown at the State Level exhibition. While they didn’t win at the State Level, this encourage and inspiration they receive in school helps boost their confidence and also get them fired up to continue engaging in scientific experiments.

District Level triumph!

We have seen that providing children with a hands-on, learning environment really enhances their interest and curiosity in a subject, which then deepens their understanding, leading to further inventiveness. This is what we strive for – happy and creative children – letting their imagination soar!

 

Teachers’ Skill Development

RDF has been partnering with Tech Mahindra Foundation for the past 4 years in order to improve the quality of education in 2 Government schools that TMF has adopted. The School Quality Improvement Program (SQIP) involves RDF planning and implementing best practices to enhance the teaching and learning environment in Zilla Parishad High School and Mandal Parishad Primary School in Bahadurapally. An integral part of this approach is the skill development of government school teachers through visiting RDF schools and being mentored and trained by senior staff from RDF schools. This is an established practice in all RDF schools, wherein teachers visit other schools to observe classes and processes in order to share and learn from one another. This fosters a spirit of team work and harmony amongst schools, teachers and children.

Introductions during morning assembly

School observation accompanied by MS coordinators

As part of this skill development and learning initiative, 4 government teachers from MPPS and 8 RDF teaching staff from RDF schools visited Matendla School in Siddipet district. They observed the morning assembly which also provided an opportunity for the visitors to introduce themselves to the school. The children presented songs and stories as a special activity during the assembly to welcome the visitors.  The unique clapping system was really appreciated by everyone.

Examining the Word Wall

Classroom observation

Thereafter, accompanied by school coordinators, the visiting staff observed classroom teaching, sports activities, kitchen garden, kitchen and libraray. The display work in the classrooms and corridors attracted the attention of visitors especially in the pre primary block. They admired the ideas and creativity of the students. The teachers were mesmerized by the display of well organized behaviour of the staff and the students during leisure time and the midday meal.

 Each visiting member shared their observations, experiences and expressed a wish to implement some of the best practices like – systematic clapping, encouraging individual talent like dancing, singing, display work, following road rules in the school corridors using colour cones as dividers, using ice cream sticks to call student by name (names are written on the sticks), Word Tree to develop English vocabulary etc.

As a token of appreciation, one of the Government teachers, Mrs. Chinnamma offered biscuits to children and another teacher, Mr. Surendar, announced that the students scoring 10 out of 10 in the board examinations will be gifted with a cash award of Rs 2000.

We are happy that this program gives an opportunity to empower teachers to reach out and learn from one another, work together for everyone’s benefit. We are glad that the years spent in promoting and implementing such a practice is bearing rich fruit and that the culture of sharing and learning is extending beyond RDF schools.

 

 

Cultivating Children’s Development

Growing our own food is an act of sacredness. In cities, our lives can be very distanced from the natural elements and the chain of people who grow our food. In fact, seeing our food grow from its seedling stage to our plates gives an immense feeling of satisfaction. Since RDF children live in financially deprived, rural agrarian communities, it was important for us to cultivate a mindset in which they see their agrarian history as having provided them with a richness of skills and experience and not something as challenging and thus avoided. While that is a reality, it became necessary for us to help them appreciate what they have grown up with and an understanding of the cycle of food – the cycle of life itself!

In Rollakal School, the school yard is being used as a vegetable garden. In fact, it is a wonderful way to use the school yard as another classroom, helping students connect deeply with the natural world – the true source of their food. Simultaneously, they also learn valuable farming concepts, methods and skills that integrate with academic subjects such as Maths, Science, Physical Education and their health. The school has had a bounty of tomatoes, greens, lady’s finger etc. which is providing a rich source of delicious food for their midday meal.

Working together on the school farm is yielding tremendous positive impact for the children who are gaining not just food knowledge and learning about growing their own food, but also about patience, cooperation, team work and social skills. Working with their hands and seeing the fruits of their labour are imbibing our children with a sense of self confidence and a sense of ‘capableness’. We find the children very excited when it’s time to go into the garden and work there. Every child, regardless of their intelligence or capability level finds something to do in the vegetable garden and that, in addition to everything else they learn, is something we positively cherish!

‘Foam’enting Inventiveness

How many of us remember Science classes, trying to understand Physics, Chemistry or Biology only through theory and trying to grasp these theories with just our minds? But take the same concepts into the realm of experiments and suddenly complex theories become so clear and simple to understand!

Science needs hands on learning. It is to this end that a ton of effort is put into teacher training in our schools so that teachers understand new concepts and ideas to make their subjects interesting, to enable child to learn in interesting ways, thus retaining the learning. Once a concept is grasped, ideas and creativity to understand a concept better keep mushrooming! We have seen this time and again with our students.

In Kalleda School, students and teachers turned their attention to soaps- how they are formulated, what makes them pure or impure. Through a series of demonstrations, the Chemistry teacher made the students observe the foaming capacity of soap samples that were purchased from the market.

They were able to grasp how the purity of soaps is related to its foaming capacity. Through this experiment, they were able to clearly understand how soaps are made, understand their quality and differentiate between various soap formulations. Coming away with new knowledge and a greater understanding of stuff we use on a daily basis is the kind of positive impact we hope to nuture in every RDF student.

Now, at some stage, we are sure we will see some innovation related to soaps coming from the imaginative minds of our students!