Archive for the ‘ZPHS Bahadurpally’ Category

A Green Award!

The MPP and ZPH schools have been thriving under the care and guidance of the Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF partnership since 2015. This is the 4th year in which the schools have been supported in all aspects of its operations – infrastructure, education, midday meals, teaching learning materials, setting up of a library, bridging the parent and village communities with the schools etc. These efforts and facilities have firmly established both schools as quality education providers and pillars in the community.

Greening the environment has also been a key aspect of developing the school, with both RDF and TMF, as well as the Telangana government providing saplings and plants to the schools. The garden has been maintained by Mrs. and Mr. Beeraiah – the schools’ security team and we are indebted to the deep care they have provided to the blossoming of this garden. When you walk into the schools, you are greeted with the extent of the greenery in both schools!

The kitchen garden, sponsored by TMF and RDF occupies pride of place in the schools. This organic garden has provided many seasonal vegetables, herbs like coriander, mint and sorrel for the midday meals. In addition, it is also abundant with flowering trees, mango, papaya and coconut trees! It’s a paradise for the community, who have watched the efforts of the school teams to grow and nurture these gardens, adding to the green cover in the neighbourhood.

School principal receiving the award

In appreciation of this effort, the school received the ‘Haritha Mitra’ award on 15th August 2018. This awarded was given at the District level by the State Home Minister, Sri. Nayini Narsimha Reddy, for greening the environment and maintaining the school surroundings in a neat manner!

We are all so proud of this honour and the effort that has been put in by the entire school team to create this oasis and providing a wonderful example for the children and the community on the importance of caring for the environment!

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Manisha’s Fight for Freedom

The life of many girls and women is still in the hands of others, even in the 21st century. Fortunately, the tide is turning, not just in cities but in rural parts of the country too. There are many who are now standing up for the cause of women’s emancipation and we are very fortunate to witness this often in our schools.

Manisha is a Class 10 student in the Tech Mahindra Foundation sponsored Zilla Parishad High School, which is supported by RDF for quality education interventions. Manisha is a bright girl, diligent in academics, sports and cultural activities alike. However, her father was adamant about getting her married as soon as she finished Class 9! Manisha was equally adamant about not marrying and continue with her education, including nursing dreams of joining the Police. There was a constant battle of wills at home, leaving Manisha very perturbed about her fate being decided by her father. This is when she decided to approach her teachers at school to seek counsel and help.

ZPHS teachers with Manisha’s mother

Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but strength and we are very glad that Manisha trusted her teachers to guide her. It shows the work that has gone into forging this kind of teacher-student bond.  Mrs. Shyamala and Mrs. Priyadarshini met her parents to speak about her future. They counselled them on the importance of education and girls having independence and a career, something Manisha really wants for herself. She is hardworking and wants to use her time and talents in educating herself and working. Eventually her father relented and allowed her to complete Class 10. It’s a small victory!

This story is unfinished as Manisha wants to reach her goals which involve her parents being counselled more; so they are taking it a step at a time. We are proud that Manisha has the courage to stand up for her ambitions and even more proud that she felt empowered enough to enlist the help of her teachers and that the entire school team is supporting her! This is how communities get empowered – one person and one family at a time!

The Care of a School Community

Ramu is an active and curious 13 year old, studying in Class 8 in the Zilla Parishad High School, Bahadurapally. However, there was a period in his life, a mere 6 months ago, when his health was failing him and his parents, misguided in their belief about his ailment, sought help from a ‘witch doctor’ rather than proper medical advice. It was the efforts of his teachers at his school that eventually made his parents seek a qualified doctor’s help and made Ramu regain his health.

Born into a poor family, Ramu’s parents work as daily wage labourers. While Ramu was an engaged student, he began to suffer from asthma attacks and fits. On a couple of occasions, his teachers rushed him to hospital for treatment, but his parents, averse to western medicine, pulled him out of school and approached a witch doctor. As his condition deteriorated, Ramu couldn’t attend school for almost 6 months, which worried his friends and teachers.

Wanting to do the best for him and find a way to bring him back to school, his teachers met his parents to counsel them about taking proper treatment for his medical conditions, stop consulting the self-professed folk doctor and go to Malla Reddy Hospital. The school team urged his parents to do this for the sake of their son’s life and future and explaining that since Ramu’s condition wasn’t improving, it was urgent that they go to a hospital and meet the right doctor. We are very thankful that they succeeded in convincing Ramu’s parents, who then went to hospital, where under a good doctor’s guidance for 6 months, Ramu’s condition steadily improved!

Now, he’s back at school, much to everyone’s delight! Despite missing school for most of the academic year, Ramu is progressing, with patient help from his classmates and teachers. Now that he’s feeling well, he’s determined to stay in school to complete his education and further studies. He, his younger sister and his parents are immensely grateful for the timely help and advice that they received from the school team. We love the sense of responsibility and care that the schools show towards each and every student and teacher. It is precisely what a community is about and here, the ZPHS community rallied to wholeheartedly support Ramu and his family, improving his life in such positive ways. It’s also a beautiful example for the children, to see this environment of care and compassion for everyone.

Schools of Care

An atmosphere of care and support can work wonders in a child’s life. When children face challenges and constraints in their personal lives, receiving encouragement from people who care about their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing really helps to build some self esteem and confidence in the children. We are very proud that the team at the Mandal Parishad Primary School and Zilla Parishad High School, Bahadurally is doing precisely that. A partnership between RDF and Tech Mahindra Foundation to improve the education quality in the school has led to teacher training for the staff to not only build academic quality, but also understand child behavior and inculcate an atmosphere of nurture and learning.

Sushmita, currently a Class 3 student in the Mandal Parishal Primary School, Bahadurapally, moved from Nepal to India in order to work and make a better life for themselves. Missing her life and friends in Nepal, Susmita felt lonely and cried a lot. She wouldn’t not participate in class or mingle with other children during extracurricular activities. She was unkempt and distressed.

The teachers took special interest in her, treating her with a lot of love, patience and kindness. They helped her mingle with her classmates, encouraged her to play sports and games and hand held her in her studies.

Slowly, everyone noticed a transformation in her. She started smiling, began taking interest in her classes, started to make friends, sharing her lunch with them and offered to help teachers and students. Susmita continues to need support and her teachers and classmates give a lot of attention and affection to her, thus helping her to develop herself.

Simhachalam, a student of Class 6 in ZPHS lost his parents as a child and was put in the care of the orphanage ‘Kutumbam’ in Bahadurapally village. He loves sports and has an innate athleticism. This ability was noticed by the Physical Education Teacher at ZPHS who took him under his wing to train him. He has been participating at the school level and is being groomed to participate in the Mandal level games. The orphanage also has a sports trainer, so Simhachalam is really enjoying all this time spent playing his favourite sports of Kabaddi and Kho-Kho. “I love to play and look forward to our sports period. When we play, everyone is treated equally and only our talent in playing the sport is considered by our PET”, he says. His ambition is to join the Army. “I workout daily to keep myself physically fit. I run, walk and do exercises everyday because I know that to be in the Army, I need to be fit and have mental and physical stamina.” The school provides special snacks to students who are training in sports and he feels that the snacks and meals provided by the school give him the required stamina and health as they are high in nutrition and healthy. We really hope that Simhachalam realizes his dream of becoming a good sportsperson and join the Army when he is older.

We are very proud of the efforts of all the teachers who understand students’ situations and are able to make a difference in their lives. Thank you to the MPPS and ZPHS team, for once again caring for all the children, allowing them to blossom in their own, unique way.

Rural Learning, Global Training!

The quality education partnership between RDF & Tech Mahindra Foundation got another feather in its cap through the achievements of it students in a local essay comptetion.

Getting to a point of competing in an event that involved not just writing in English, a language students in rural and semi rural areas have limited exposure to; but also to utilise higher level thinking skills, in order to write a comprehensive essay was no mean task. Till just as recent as 2 years back, these students would not have had the confidence or the ability to write or compete in English. The intensive efforts that have been made in this partnership, implemented with the encouragement of the RDF team and the local teachers are paying dividends!

An essay writing competition was conducted in which students of the Zilla Parishad High School and other schools in the area participated with enthusiasm.  The topic for the competition was “Global Warming“.  Children’s participation was overwhelming and the innovative ideas and knowledge about the real concern of ‘global warming’, among the children was appreciable.

The winners were presented with medals and participation certificates. In this context, the school staff and RDF voluntary staff deputed for ARISE project of the Tech Mahindra Foundation were applauded for their contribution in providing high quality education standards for the children. Here are the students who got medals with appreciation certificates –

L-R: M. Mounika – Class 9, Y. Saivarun – Class 7, T. Sunitha – Class 8

Through this partnership, it is the aim of both RDF and Tech Mahindra Foundation to provide the best facilities to children from deprived backgrounds, whose families struggle to even send their children to school. For children from remote rural and semi rural areas to research, read, think and analyse events and topics that are global in nature, is truly amazing! It just goes to show how meaningful engagement with staff and students can empower them in such leaps and bounds!

 

Our Role in Enrollment

The Telangana Government has launched the ‘Professor Jaya Shankar Badibata Programme’ which aims to drive enrollment levels in schools by motivating and encouraging families to enroll school age children and school dropouts to join neighbourhood government schools.

ZPHS students in the school enrollment rally in Bahadurapally

As part of this initiative, students of the Tech Mahindra Foundation sponsored Zilla Parishad High School, along with staff from ZPHS and the Mandal Parishal Primary School, conducted an awareness program and rally in and around the village of Bahadurapally.

Students, as spokespersons of their school, spoke to parents to encourage them to send their children to school, giving details about the high quality of education and facilities that are being provided as part of the school improvement partnership between TMF and RDF.

Students talking to the local community during the drive

The villagers responded positively and were found to be aware of best practices being implemented both the government schools through existing parents and children.

With many school age children still not in school and school dropouts getting marginalized in society; such initiatives are crucial to helping families making an informed decision to send their wards to school.

 

A Good Hand for Handwriting

The two Government schools in Bahadurapally that are part of the School Quality Improvement Program – a partnership between RDF and Tech Mahindra Foundation follow RDF’s best practices when it comes to upgrading student’s and teacher’s skills. RDF continues to do its work with rural, underprivileged children due to its committed education partners and also thanks to passionate trainers and volunteers.

One such passionate volunteer was invited to the Mandal Parishal Primary School and the Zilla Parishad High School for a training training program on ‘Handwriting Skills’. Aimed at techniques to improve handwriting skills for Primary and High school students, the workshop was facilitated by expert handwriting specialist Mr. Azaz Ahmed.

The school was abuzz with excitement as many had already viewed his handwriting skills session on YouTube and Whatsapp. During the workshop, he trained students in writing in Hindi, Telugu and English. He explained new techniques to develop good handwriting, including how to and how not to write.  He also won hearts by singing Sanskrit slokas and narrating motivational anecdotes to the audience. The feedback received from the students and staff was very positive. Mr. K. Balraj, the schools’ Telugu Pandit said that he loved Mr. Ahmed’s way of teaching and found it an unforgettable class. The schools intend to have him back for more sessions soon!