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Igniting young minds of government schools

Igniting young minds of government schools
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The magic of coaching camps The model adopted by Vandemataram Foundation should be implemented in all districts, says Chukka Ramaiah BH Ramakr...

  • The magic of coaching camps
  • The model adopted by Vandemataram Foundation should be implemented in all districts, says Chukka Ramaiah
BH Ramakrishna

James Banks, educationist and Director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, is credited with saying that an important purpose of knowledge construction is to help people improve society and a social transformation can best be achieved through connecting school and society in a better, organized way.

In spite of heavy spending, the standards of education in government schools have been falling of late in the State. The reasons cited include poor quality teachers; pampered, distracted, disruptive or ill-prepared students; the cultural background of their families; unions, bureaucrats, university schools of education, facile tests and a curriculum that leaves much to be desired.

So, how do we change the system? Leaving it to the government would not alter the lives of the underprivileged. The model adopted by the Vandemataram Foundation, an NGO which has come up with novel thoughts and has built a committed force, has registered remarkable success. It has identified the grey areas and brought about a paradigm shift through societal participation, which makes it unique.

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The Foundation has taken up three initiatives : viz Adoption of Girl Child, Literacy (Akshrabhyasam) and coaching camps for tenth class students. Of these, the coaching camps, conceived and taken forward by eminent educationist Chukka Ramaiah, bore fruit in a magnificent way.

The idea was this: If specialized focused training is imparted to rural students with active participation from teachers and society, these students too will be on par with the students studying in corporate schools. Vandemataram Foundation, a NGO which has been assiduously working for a total transformation of rural students, has proved that this can be achieved.

T Ravinder, the founder trustee of Foundation and the man who has steadfastly taken upon his shoulders to implement Ramaiah's idea, started the coaching camps in some villages in at the end of January and continued them till the date of exams, i.e. for near two months. He roped in government teachers to coach the students day and night and prepared them for annual exams. Teachers, who clarify the doubts of students, spend all the time with the students in the camps and supported the cause. It yielded great results and majority of students have excelled in the exam with a fantastic performance and secured A, A+ grades.

This experiment, started in interior parts of Warangal district in 2007, in a way revolutionized the outlook of parents, educated lot and in a way changed the attitude of government officers as well. Vandemataram Foundation continued its concept in the next six years and set up more and more camps which attracted hundreds of thousands of students every passing year.

"Not just general study and lessons but we designed the programme for the all-round development of the children. We conduct yoga classes, special classes teaching morality etc although the main focus was on exam-oriented lessons" Ravinder told the Hans India.

"It is no wonder if hundreds of kids from corporate schools with rigorous study schedules being monitored by experienced faculty ready to clarify all their doubts and attend with personal care, on one side, and educated parents doting on them through constant support, nutritious diet and perfect reading environments at home, secure A+ scores in their 10th class Board exams. But Is it short of a miracle if an equal number of kids from government schools in rural areas prove as smart as their urban counterparts?" Ravinder asked.

The whole effort was aimed at empowering children as a starting measure. "The camp has been planned to offer everything that these marginalized children mostly lack, be it a comfortable study environment, healthy diet, care and mentoring by experienced faculty or the like, which are beyond their reach. It is a tremendous responsibility for the organizers, apart from the expenses involved. We raise funds through donations from all sections and run these camps. Daily tests, which are unconventional for them, are also being held regularly. The success was largely due to group discussions among students under the supervision of teachers" Ravinder explained.

Majority of students who were given specialized training won scholarships, their parents burden was lessened and the public's faith in government schools also enhanced, according to a survey. Noticing the success of this experiments, the District Collectors of Mahbubnagar and Warangal have invited Vandemataram Foundation to set up such camps in the remote hamlets and villages in their districts.

Says Chukka Ramaiah, the source of inspiration for the Foundation: "When a small NGO with abundant commitment could achieve such a task, why not the government which has huge machinery? I strongly advise this experiment should be taken to across the state and implemented in all districts. The Foundation has ignited not just young minds but also government machinery which has been complacent over the years in discharging its basic duty"

In a way, Vandemataram Foundation has done where successive governments failed to deliver. The success has galvanized educated young lots in a big way and driven them to do something from their end. This pattern has already been implemented by Aashayam a voluntary organisation started by few students of NIT Warangal. They have been successful in guiding and motivating the government school children of nearby rural areas by collaborating with the Foundation. Strengthening of government schools will, no doubt, strengthen the society.

Camps contributed to excellent results

chukka3No of students got A grades: 1600 No of students got free intermediate in various corporate colleges: 860 No. of students joined in IIIT: 298 No. of students joined in Medicine: 18 No of students in Polytechnic /Diploma: 410 No. of students in Pharmacy: 118 No of students doing conductor job: 13 No of students doing PG: 260

New wings for meritorious lot

For student, hailing from a remote village, boarding a flight is a dream and if materialized, certainly a thrilling experience. Flytech Aviation Academy in association with Vandemataram Foundation, has made their dream into reality. It arranged for a "flying experience" to more than 60 students who have come out in flying colors in their SSC examinations were taken in a flight around the city for nearly half-an-hour. Nearly 25 Headmasters of the schools and the parents of the kids were also given the chance on the occasion.

The event was coordinated by Captain Mamatha, Flytech aviation academy chairperson and Madhav Reddy General secretary. "This is indeed be a memorable experience for each of them and a step further to achieve their goals. The parents were emotional when they saw their children soar that high and said they will strive hard to manifest their children's dream into reality and will always want to see their children in the highest position" Ravinder of Vandemataram Foundation said.

The Foundation is felicitating the students and Headmasters with awards for achieving success in the school exams at 10 am on Monday at Ravindra Bharathi. Several educationists and senior government officers are participating in the programme

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Ist year polytech students can get admission into IInd yr engg

The CBSE has announced that students who have done first year polytechnic or engineering diploma courses can get admission directly into the second year engineering courses in any NIT, CFTI or IIITs or any other engineering institution. "We noticed several applicants from polytechnic background.

The AICTE has informed that students who have completed Engineering or Architecture or Pharmacy Diploma programme from an AICTE approved Institution with at least 45 per cent marks (40 per cent in case of candidates belonging to reserved category) in appropriate branch of Engineering or Technology or Architecture or Pharmacy are eligible for admission to II year of four year degree Engineering or Pharmacy and five year- Architecture programme respectively through Lateral Entry. Such a candidate need not give any entrance examination" CBSE stated.

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