Igniting minds, making them leaders
As featured in the Hindu newspaper
A whopping 1,500 students are going through ‘experience of a lifetime’ at six different 40-day orientation camps, titled ‘Little Leaders, Little Teachers’, an initiative of the Educational Research and Training Centre of the Vandemataram Foundation and the Mahabubnagar district administration.
Students from government schools across the district, of classes VI to X wake up at 5 a.m. and are kept active till 9 p.m., through the duration of the camp that are currently on at Kalwakurthy (Aksharavanam campus), Bhoothpur, Amarachinta, Ramreddygudem and two in Nagarkurnool.
The non-academic part of the programme, which started on April 20, is yoga, ‘Swacch Bharath’, book reading, meditation, a nap around lunchtime and towards evening peters off into drawing, art and craft, karate, classical and folk dance.
The academic component includes a focus on improving numerical skills, knowledge of mathematics, geometry and chemistry.
The Sunday schedule will be slightly different though, with a little less of academics and two movies - one in the morning and one in the evening, selected from among the children’s films available for universal viewing.
While initially appearing to be packed, the schedule has been chalked out scientifically, keeping in mind the needs of children in the age group of 10 to 15 years - for example, lights are switched off strictly between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., to ensure that they get eight hours of sleep.
Speaking about the initiative about which he is very passionate, Sreepathi Reddy, who runs the SPR Schools of Education in Nalgonda and Warangal and the Vandemataram Foundation says, “The basic concept is one of ‘Training the Trainer’. Since we cannot be present in every government school, I designed this programme that is being amply supported by the State Government. While we provide the content and run the camps, the district administration takes care of the logistics of boarding and lodging.”
“It is an initiative to augment quality of education in the district and also surmount scarcity of teachers. Those attending these camps go back to their schools fresh with the training they went through and share the same with their classmates. It is a child-centered learning system that will fuel their interest in education. These 1,500 participants will ignite more than lakh-and-a-half students in the schools of this district,” says Collector T.K. Sreedevi.
“The basic concept is one of ‘Training the Trainer’as we cannot be present in every government school. -Sreepathi Reddy; chief Vandemataram Foundation.