Education
 India
Project #14924

Excellent education for 175 kids in Hyderabad!!

by Teach For India

Dear All, 

Thank you for your support over the last one year. 

With your help, we have been able to send 175 children to school and ensure they obtain excellent education through our Fellows. 

This project is fully funded and hence we are deactivating this. 

We are starting a new project - https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/transform-the-lives-of-105-children-in-hyderabad/ for this academic year. 

With your support, we have been able to provide excellent education which we believe is an integration of academics, values and mindsets, exposure and access and scientific inquiry. Our children are all set to emerge successful leaders who recognize a voice of their own. 

Please meet Feroz, who went to World Rubix cube championship to secure 8th. He can finish the rubix cube with ease in 48 secs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4Cz2NoMhCU

Thank You one and all. 

Sarala - my champion
Sarala - my champion

Dear All, 

Thanks for your genertous support over the last year. Our kids successfully finished an academic year and are now set for the next academic year.

Without your support, this would have not been possible. Request you to please consider supporting us as we move on to a new academic year. 

Please stay in touch. Please read below to hear what my teacher has to say about me. 

Warmly, 

Sarala

Grade 5.

Meet Sarala Sona*, one of our finest products in recent years.

Sarala is the second of four children, born to Nepalese immigrants settled down in Hyderabad. Her family of six currently lives in a small shack at the base of an apartment complex in Secunderabad.

Sarala’s formal education began as late as second grade. Up until then she spoke a little Hindi and absolutely no English. Her teachers described her as quiet, contemplative and sweet. To those who meet her now it would take quite a bit of imagination to think of her without any worldly awareness, much less academic knowledge. Her initial days at school cannot have been easy either. She didn’t speak much of the regional languages. She didn’t talk like anyone else, she didn’t look like anyone else and she didn’t think like anyone else. Her parents, while having nothing against  her going to school, took a more apathetic view towards her academic progress.         

However, during her first two years of school (Grades 2 and 3) Sarala made a steady climb, finishing grade 3 with the literacy skills of a grade 2 student. While this may be considered impressive for someone who only began learning the English alphabet only 2 years previously, what came next was something rarely seen in classrooms. In fourth grade, she really broke the ice, improving her reading comprehension by an astounding 3.5 levels. To put this into perspective, it is three and a half years’ worth of progress made in a single academic year. By the end of fourth grade she was at level 5.5.

The big question, naturally, is what makes Sarala so unique and different?  She has, what appears to be an unusual gift for making lemonade out of lemons. As her teacher, I would say that Sarala possesses three qualities that make her the outstanding student that she is: (1) A prodigious memory; (2) A great work ethic and (3) A good understanding of her areas of development.

Sarala is the kind of student who creates her own homework even when teachers haven’t given her any. She rereads and rewrites things that she has learnt in school that very day, practicing spellings, pronounciation and arithmetic until she feels satisfied with how much she knows. Whenever she hits a stumbling block in her class performance, she simply asks what she needs to do to get it right and a simple instruction puts her in the right direction. She seeks senior students’ help when she deems it a good idea, borrowing workbooks that are out of her own grades’ curriculum and completes them herself.

Sarala is also a good dancer and enjoys working in dramas and elocutions. She aspires to be a teacher herself one day - like her ‘Archana and Upasana didis’ who were her very first teachers. No one can deny that she has all the tools to make it big.

*Name changed to protect identity

-

From her proud teacher Sushanth!!

Sarala and her family
Sarala and her family
Meet Sarala
Meet Sarala
Little angel - Samreen
Little angel - Samreen

Thank you for your support. Our project has been fully funded.

As we start a new academic year, meet Pranshi - the new teacher in this classroom and her little angels.

8 year old Samreen* sits quietly in a corner with a smile on her face as her new didi walks in. The curiosities that are bubbling inside of her is evidently shared by 32 other classmates of hers, who are all moving on to the 4th grade this year. They’re all sitting on their mats on the ground. Eyes shining and locked on this new person. Hands by their side. Books opened. Criss cross applesauce.

Any teacher’s undisputed heaven.

And then it begins.

Two weeks into teaching these 16 boys and 16 girls in the 4th grade of Government Public School, Gandhinagar, I realize these are no ordinary people. And they’re definitely not what they looked like on my first day. These are kids who like to create havoc, to run around screaming for no particular reason, who would at any given day decide that they’re just not in the mood to study.

But wait till you hear this: these same of bunch of little kids are the ones to get in the classroom and pick up the mats they sit on first thing in the morning, pick up the broom and clear the room up all nice and tidy. These are the kids who’d debate every rule and every moral preaching of mine till they find a loophole and get that ball to play with during lunch time, because they’re just smart that way. The wave of energy that flows through the air of the room that these kids occupy is so electric it left me intimidated and apprehensive of my own capabilities of monitoring it.

And amidst all this is Samreen. This little angel with a sunshine for a smile and sparkling stars for eyes has come a long way since Teach For India came happened two years ago. Back in her 2nd grade, when Meghna didi stated there be perseverant efforts to talk only in english, she was one of the first warriors to actually comply. Today if there needs to be any communication where strong memory, logical reasoning and imagination is the prerequisite, Samreen is your girl. What struck me about Samreen is that when I was talking to her to find out the kind of exposure these kids have had in the past and the ways of teaching they're used to, she could remember most of her experiences in the class in the past two years with remarkable details.

Apart from TFI, Samreen's confidence and achievements have got a lot to do with the household she comes from. A family of eight, where she's grown up with five other siblings, Samreen has three younger siblings whose education she considers her own responsibility. Every day after school she goes back to teaching them what she's been learning and then helps her mother with chores, and there's undoubtedly a strong thread of love that binds that family together, something that's evident in the way she likes to talk about her father, "He sometimes gets angry didi. But everybody gets angry. My father has a lot of patience. He only asks us not to make the mistake again."

After the training in the beginning of the fellowship, a month back to be precise, I had all these virtuous ideas of bringing a change and introducing things from my end of it. But after knowing these kids my vision for the class has changed tremendously. And this is just the beginning. I'm starting to see the diverse potential for drama, music, dance, academics that this bunch contains which has been giving rise to an immense amount of dreams in me for them. As difficult it is to narrow those dreams down to units of achievements, I feel highly motivated to take those baby steps for the sake of these souls who so far have been going along with my sometimes tedious daily plans with a gratifying patience.

Even before I can begin to realize my vision, there are some issues surrounding the daily lives of these children that are begging to be acknowledged. Apart from the regular hindrances of vandalism in school due to lack of infrastructure, theft of academic material and littering in school premises; domestic violence, gender discrimination, poverty and even gender abuse, I've been told, are the demons holding them back. As imprinting as they are in their lives, they also are the major obstacles in the exposure that these kids deserve, which is what I intend to address in the two years of fellowship with them. These very societal obstacles, however constricting, are the very foundations of the people they fundamentally are; and I want them to retain these sensibilities in them. I want them to be able to decide for themselves what works and what doesn't work for a society to function smoothly and be the changemakers of it accordingly. And for this to happen, I want theatre to be a potent tool that helps them get there. I intend to give these kids the platform of theatre and music so they can express themselves freely. What this means is hard work, and rigorous, very rigorous reflection.

Knowing these kids, I'm confident they're going to sail through it and I wouldn't even know when it got over.

*Names changed to protect identity of beneficiaries

Meet Asif
Meet Asif
My kids all energetic for the day
My kids all energetic for the day
Student led Study Groups
Student led Study Groups

Abhinaya, a Fellow with Teach For India finished one year of her Fellowship as a teacher in low income school in Hyderabad. Please read on to hear what Abhinaya has to say about the year gone by. 

Academic Growth

We started out this academic year as a first year intervention second grade class with 19 out of 20 students in pre-emergent levels in Reading Comprehension. Over the year we made tremendous growth as a class and have successfully moved all the students out of the pre-emergent level in our recently concluded end of the year exams.

Activities

  • My vision for the classroom was to invest the kids in their learning and make them see a real-time purpose for everything that they learn.  Keeping this in mind, we started our own little class bank using class money that students earn for good behaviour and class work to understand the concept and purpose of banking. It helped them see real-time use and understanding of operational concepts such as addition and subtraction. Students were exposed to banking instruments such as deposit and withdrawal forms, application forms for opening bank accounts etc. We had a market day every Saturday when students could withdraw money and shop for things such as books, stationery etc.
  • A field trip to Kidihou Museum was organised where the kids got to test ideas, explore a wide range of professions and discover that learning is fun. It was an opportunity to become an engineer, doctor, artist, chef, carpenter etc for a day and stretch their imagination to learn and practice new skills that would enrich their lives.
  • Our grade 2 students organised a campaign to save electricity and maintain cleanliness in school campus. The students prepared charts, posters and slogans and went around all the classes in the school highlighting the importance of saving electricity and using dustbins.  They even proposed to the Principal to give away awards for clean and responsible classrooms.

Highlights

  • My vision for the classroom was to create student led learning opportunities and motivate the students to take ownership of their own learning. We created study groups that would be led by different students who are confident in specific topics across different subjects including languages.  These student leaders would teach and help the other students study. This has built an encouraging classroom culture where learning is driven by teamwork and a sense of ownership.

Challenges

  • While we have been successful in moving all the kids out of pre-emergent reading levels, it has been quite challenging to push the students from an emergent level to grade level 1.
  • Some of the students come from a boys’ hostel where good food and nutrition is not being provided to the students. This has hampered the growth of the students as their concentration and participation in class is severely affected by lack of food and nutrition. 

Working on the challenges and getting geared up for the year ahead, Abhinaya and her children are getting geared up for the year ahead. Please join me in wishing them all the best. 

This project  needs another $ 4000. Request you to please contribute and share this amongst your networks. We would have to raise it before the next academic year starts for Abhinaya and her kids. 

Field Trip - Kidhou Museum
Field Trip - Kidhou Museum
Clean School Campaign
Clean School Campaign
Independent Student Time
Independent Student Time
Children learning from their text books
Children learning from their text books

September was a great time to learn about mosquitoes. Occasional rains have left water pools everywhere in the community, and hence so many mosquitoes were around.  We brought mosquito larvae to the classroom and with great curiosity, observed its life cycle. But when we learned about mosquito borne diseases, all of us were scared. We read that mosquitoes kill more people than any other animal or insect. Every minute one child is dying because of malaria. To add to our worry, we heard about many incidents of malaria and dengue fever in the community.  

Slowly the fear and anxiety gave way to a strong desire to solve the problem. As we discussed many ideas came up. “Using bed nets”, “Using window screens”, “Keeping water tanks closed”, “cleaning terrace and other places having still water”, “using mosquito repellents” and so on. To prioritise these ideas we conducted a sample survey. We grouped our ideas into three categories “Keep Mosquitoes Away” “Control Breeding” and “Using Mosquito Repellents”. We divided ourselves into three teams and each team studied more about each category.  

  On using mosquito repellents the team came up with interesting findings. A good number of households were using “market bought” repellents which can harm children when used for prolonged time. Since mosquitoes find us by smell, the team proposed the use of natural repellents like “the Lemon and Cloves”.

 The “Control Breeding” team came up with ideas like clearing still water so that mosquitoes can’t lay eggs and breed and also about keeping the surroundings clean.

The team which studied about “Keeping Mosquitoes Away” mainly suggested two ideas. “Use of bed nets” and “Use of window screens”. They also went to the nearby market to understand the cost for fixing window screens.

We then prepared a detailed plan for implementing our ideas.

We prepared pamphlets and posters. Organised awareness campaign and distributed pamphlets in the school and community.

The idea of “Lemon and Cloves” was well accepted by all. But fixing window screens was thought of as expensive and therefore not well received. We came back to our discussion table and then the idea of using “mosquito net as window screen” came up.  We collected old mosquito nets and demonstrated its use as window screen.

We also organised cleanliness drive in the community.

Our story was an entry for the DFC 2014 School Challenge 2014 and has been selected as one of the top 75 winning stories.

  

 

                                                       

Children identify mosquito breeding places
Children identify mosquito breeding places
Children examine mosquito larvae
Children examine mosquito larvae
Natural anti mosquito repellants
Natural anti mosquito repellants
Our Project wins the I Can Awards
Our Project wins the I Can Awards

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Organization Information

Teach For India

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra - India
Website: http:/​/​www.teachforindia.org
Project Leader:
Naga Kriti Nanduru
Development Manager
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh India

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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