|Parent-Teacher meeting at Kalleda|
Community involvement is very important to the RDF family. Every school has a village committee with monthly meetings to discuss recent achievements or issues in the school as well as giving suggestions for improvement. Parents and village members of the committee come to the forefront when any issue needs addressing such as staff and student attendance, parental cooperation, and purchasing of food supplies. Outstanding fees are also addressed during these meetings.
An example is the recovery of a stolen laptop in Matendla. More than one hundred parents gathered to discuss how to find the laptop without involving the police. Through a strong sense of community and a fierce stand for honesty, the laptop was returned in perfect condition to the school.
Another initiative is UNICEF’s Behaviour Change and Communication programme (BCC). Their input is critical in meeting the objectives of the Government of India’s national flagship programs and the U.N. MDGs, through its focus on influencing, changing and developing human behaviours and social norms. It is also a key strategy in reaching out to include minority groups and ensuring their participation in programs. It has been acknowledged that the BCC is important in meeting India’s key developmental outcomes. RDF Matendla School has been participating in this program since 2008.
A key outcome for the selected Matendla students has been 1) The construction of a well tarred road in the village, with the help of the village sarpanch, 2) Installation of street lights and 3) Improvement in adult literacy rates. For such young students, it is a tremendous accomplishment to be agents of change, thus leading to their own empowerment and further development.
Community Eco Programs
RDF’s educational philosophy involves fostering social responsiveness in students, which helps them to feel empowered to tackle various issues. This unprecedented year of the pandemic also helped build their adversity quotient as they learnt to acclimatize to new methods of education, financial stress in their families and working and studying simultaneously. Their strong sense of responsibility allowed them to overcome their challenges through a variety of solutions