Making Time for Teachers

Investing time and effort into carefully thought out training and development programs for RDF teachers has been the bedrock of RDF’s education philosophy. Kalleda School teachers have been feeling really gratified with various programs to enhance their professional teaching skills.

Visitors from the Krishnamurty Foundation

Members of the Krishnamurthy Education Foundation Trust – Mr. Kishore Khairnadh, Mrs. Kalyani Kishore, Mr. Subhash and Mrs. Anjana recently visited the school. They teachers and students enthusiastically put up their Science work and these exhibits led to animated conversations between the children and the visitors! They also spent time in Primary and High School classes, interacting with children and observing classes. They spoke at length with Class 10 students about the Board examinations and preparations for their onward educational journey.

They conducted an orientation program for teachers, giving them advice and strategies to enhance their skills. A big thank you to the Krishnamurthy Trust members for encouraging our teachers!

A demo class in progress

In another program – as part of their in-school training and development, teachers conducted demo lessons for feedback and improvement. This kind of peer sharing has worked very well for the teachers, who feel that it brings immense value to their teaching practice.

For the RDF family, it is lovely to see how selflessly the teachers support each other!

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Dignity of Labour

Mentoring children to feel pride in their agricultural heritage, despite its inherent difficulties is provided parallel to a good and solid educational foundation. While the students do learn about the world beyond their village and aspire for good jobs, it is equally important for them to remain grounded in their day to day reality and support their parent’s work.

RDF children have no inhibitions working in fields alongside their parents. They usually do this during school vacations. Working in the fields allows them to recognize the intense effort that goes into growing our food. This reality stays with them even as they leave their rural life after school and venture into the world, getting jobs in towns and cities far from home. Therefore, they always remain in touch with their roots and continue to come back to their village and their school to support the community in any way they can.

On the fields, not only do they help with the actual farming, but they also look after the cattle. They are well versed with all caring for farm animals, their nourishment and medical care too! This work provides them with ample life skills – critical thinking, problem solving, and intimate knowledge of flora and fauna, that can’t be learnt from books.

We are very grateful to the teachers in all our schools who keep this spirit of pride and dignity of labour alive. This piece is dedicated to the staff and community in Redlawada School who thought of this wonderful piece!

 

Bathukamma Festivities

Nowhere are the cultural and social variations across India evident more than during her glorious festivals. The variegated practices provide a keen eye into the country’s rich history and enduring traditions.

The 10 day celebration leading to Dusshera is celebrated in multiple ways across the country. From the Kolkota Durga Pujo in the West Bengal to the Mysore Dasara in the Karnataka to the Kullu Dusshera in Himachal Pradesh in the North, to Chennai Bommai Kolu to  Navratri Mahotsav in the West, these 10 days signify Indian’s love for festivals, carrying traditions forward and being part of community celebrations. The decorations, songs, dances, food and rituals bring people from various communities together in joy. The unifying thread in the essence of the triumph of good over evil and the worship of the Mother Goddess – Durga, Lakshmi, Chamundeshwari, Kali.

 Telangana’s ode to the ‘devi’, to felicitate the divine feminine is the traditional festival of ‘Bathukamma’. It was celebrated with great revelry at Rollakal School. While everyone is aware of the festival’s cultural and religious significance, the school reiterated the fact how such festivals unite people effortlessly. The boys and girls at the school gathered the marigold and different flowers that are stacked for the Bathukamma. The women and girls of the school and the community sang devotional songs and participated with great enthusiasm. The festival ends with the Bathukamma being placed at the feet of Goddess Saraswathi.

Founder’s Visit

The Vanitha Achutha Pai Vidyalaya – RDF’s esteemed Junior College has done the RDF community proud over the years. We are deeply grateful for visionaries like the founders of the college, who wanted were committed to supporting the development of the natives of their village. Therefore when the founder, Sri Anantha Pai visited the college, the students and staff welcomed him grandly.

He praised the efforts of the management, staff and students on their academic and sports accomplishments over the years. He stated that, “Strength is Life and Weakness is Death’ – reiterating the value of hard work. He interacted with all the students, asking them about their studies and extra curricular activities.

He spent time with teachers in their respective classes, giving them advice and valuable suggestions on how to guide youth and the importance of mentoring them. He shared his views on the numerous courses available and the plentiful opportunities that students can avail of. He encouraged them, saying, “You are all young, energetic and dynamic students. Use the facilities in your college well, read well, use research skills to improve subject knowledge and improve your communication skills.”

He stressed on the importance of hard work and was shown a presentation of student’s and alumni’s achievements. He blessed the students to continue their good work and do well in life. Everyone was enthused with his warm and encouraging words. His visit definitely motivated the students to work even harder to accomplish their goals – a life free from the struggles of poverty through the power of education!

With Grace and Spirit…

Suresh (centre) helping with classwork

Life has dealt many blows to Suresh, but at the young age of 9, he is a beacon of inspiration for his peers and those younger and older alike.

Happy at play with friends

Suresh studies in the Mandal Parishad Primary School, Bahadurapally, supported by Tech Mahindra Foundation and RDF. His father passed away in an accident when he was just 3 and sadly, so did his mother, due to health reason when he was just 5. Brought up by his ‘peddamma’ – mother’s sister for 2 years, due to circumstances, had to put him in a state run orphanage. But at the tender age of 7, despite the tragedy of his circumstances, Suresh showed grace and compassion to everyone. With his sense of responsibility and ownership, he became a block leader in the hostel, supervising neatness of uniforms, washrooms and the kitchen garden. Suresh takes great pride in his work.

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A natural leader, even at school, he helps classmates willingly; is good at art, writing and academics. He loves to play kabaddi and volleyball. He is really happy to be studying in the MPPS and has a desire to become a doctor, which we feel will come true! Touchingly, Suresh thanks his hostel mates, teachers and the school team for all the opportunities life has given him. This quiet boy touches everyone’s heart with his selfless spirit and magnanimity!

Ready for Radio!

The RDF VAPV Junior College is very happy to inform that they have introduced the ‘Vanitha Pai Red FM’ – a novel concept to develop communication skills for its students.

Having fun with the in-house news announcements station!

The ability to communicate effectively in any field is generally what can help students in their careers. The goal of introducing this program is to help students to think creatively on a variety of topics of their choosing, share important news, information and messages with their peers and teachers, help with inhibitions or shyness in using English or speaking, improving general knowledge and share their own experiences, speak on current and world issues, as well as speak on philosophical and moral principles and values. Hence there is a range of themes that students can choose in order to enhance their speaking and communication skills – something that will suit everyone!

Of the students, by the students, for the students’!

Everyday, one group of students plan and execute a Red FM activity. All the students have taken to this platform enthusiastically and look forward to expressing their thoughts and ideas on a variety of topics. Red FM is run during three scheduled times during the day, outside of academic activities. It is refreshing to see students listening carefully to others’ bulletins, information and ideas.

Kudos to the Junior College team on creating this platform to help their students develop the essential life skill of good communication!

Flowers of Honour

Schools are always a bedrock of excitement on the occasion of Teachers Day, not the least for the reason of dressing up as teachers!

RDF Rollakal School, like all RDF schools also paid a fitting tribute to Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and all its management and teachers. However, there was a lovely difference to the celebrations. A social and environmental cause was a part of the celebrations – children were asked to avoid bringing anything made with plastic. Kids are normally keen to give small tokens as gifts to their teachers, therefore, this year, they decided to only present flowers.

The kids collected many flowers and then painstakingly fashioned them into garlands and bouquets – a delight to the eyes and the environment!

The teachers were very moved by the flowery creations and their gesture.

Thank you to the staff for always guiding our children in the right direction, towards greater conscientiousness, responsibility  and honouring themselves, their community and the planet!