Friday, October 17, 2014

Sun raha hai na tum...(Are you listening!)

There are so many things we need to check in classroom instruction. For example, listening. Every teacher expects 100% attention from every student in his/her class. All the students in the class hear to the teacher, but only few pupils listen. There is a huge difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a physical activity while listening is a skill. Someone who is physical impaired can be a great listener if he or she pays attention to the information someone conveys to them regardless of how it is conveyed to them. Likewise someone with very sharp hearing may be a poor listener.
Pupils these days are unable to focus in the class. My niece, studying in eighth standard, very smart and active in studies but zero in Mathematics. She said, "I pretend to listen to the teacher, it's really tough to focus and follow his instruction". Reason - friends disturb her, or she will be in her replay of daily soaps. Pupils of all ages are backward in listening to the teacher's instruction. Need of the hour is to help the pupils to improve their listening skills by any means.

Few activities to improve listening skills in pupils - 
  • Play games like 'Simon-says'
  • Play listening games to identify animal and environmental sounds
  • Play news and other programmes in radio 
  • Engage your child in conversation
  • Narrate stories (instead of playing CD or YouTube videos). 

Happy listening!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Sneak peak of a primary school

I went on a holiday to my husband’s home town. It’s a remote village at Komorole Mandal, Prakasham District, in A.P. There are around 70 to 80 houses in that village. The unique thing in this hamlet is, all are Muslim families. You can't see any other religion except Islam in this village.

Daily I used to see some guys hanging out at a place. It was govt. Primary School. The guys sit on the compound wall of the school to chit-chat, it's like a time pass center for them.

I peeped into the school on a fine day. The total strength of the school was 10 pupils; they included 1st to 4th standard students. It was Saturday, and the strength on that day was just seven (out of ten). All the four classes have to sit together in a single room. And its a single teacher school.  

I got to spend some time with the pupils in the class. I interacted with the kids through some games and activities.
First I conducted a vocabulary game in their native language. It was not going good with their vocabulary knowledge. 
Then I tried a simple game, recognizing colors. Hardly, one or two pupils named the colors I displayed. But when asked for examples for the color I displayed, they gave plenty of examples. 
I started rewarding the pupils with chocolates for correct answers to boost their enthusiasm.

Basically, the students in the school are Muslims, they speak a kind of Urdu in their homes. But at school, they were taught in Telugu medium. For an average student it takes one year to learn the alphabets of the target language. The school teacher is concentrating only on alphabets the whole year for all the four standards.

Asad Wali, Std I, drawing model of bangle, an example of circle shape.

Kausar, Std III, drawing model of face, an example of circle shape.

From left, Jilani, Std III. He is good and active in studies. But lack of cleanliness, he takes bath or changes his dress once in two weeks.From right, Rasool Std III, he can't speak properly, tongue twisting issue.  
"I never beat my students, if I do so pupils will drop out. Earlier the strength in the school was 18 to 20 pupils. But now, it got reduced to 10 pupils. Teachers won't get interest to teach less strength. Even though I am trying my best to teach them"
"Parents in the village are not willing to send their kids to government schools. As a result, private schools are popping up in every village.Now a days, parents are leaned to English medium schools than native language schools. Hence government schools are becoming empty." explained the school teacher, Mr.Satyanarayana, when asked the reason for depleting strength.

There are so many government schools in the states of Telangana and A.P. running with less than 10 pupils in a school. The new government has decided to shut down the schools with less than 20 pupils and merge these school to near by schools. According to the the present records there are around 2000 schools in the state of Telangana come under this category which are going to shut down in this academic year.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A teacher tap the fertile mind of young children

Teacher's day is celebrated on 5th September every year throughout the country. On this day we gratefully remember Dr.Sarvapalli Radhakrishna, who believed that "Teachers should be the best minds in the country". Along with  being a great teacher, he was also the president of India, a stanch believer of education and was the well known diplomat and a scholar.
The word teacher in Sanskrit is "GURU". "GU" means the darkness and "RU" the remover of darkness. Hence, a teacher is called a torchbearer. Teaching is not a job, but a noble calling. A teacher is a source of information a guide, a mentor,  motivator and above all they are the back bone for our country.
Teacher is the essence of education and it is only through their guidance we are accomplished in our field today. The first teachers are our parents: they teach us, care for us and nurture us to be capable people. Our parents meet all our physical needs but teachers motivate us with the  light of knowledge and remove the ignorance. Above all life is the biggest teacher.
Teachers are the pillars of our success: therefore let us salute all our teachers who have become beacon of light, guiding us throughout the journey of life.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

School timings

In our neighborhood we hardly see any school going kids in the evening. "Our children go to school early in the morning at 7 am and return to home after 6 pm", said their parents. 11 hours schedule includes - travelling, special coaching for IIT, remedial teaching, preparation for exams, tuitions, extra curricular activities etc decks up the whole day. Private schools in the state are working hard to get good ranks.. These schools are working more than ten hours to withstand in the market of education business. On the other side, we see the govt school kids running on the streets early by 2.30 in the post noon. Schools run by Govt. run till 3 pm. In the state every school follow their own timings.
The new T-government have come up with a new timing for all the schools. From now on  all the schools in the state should run from 9am to 4.30pm. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Learn, grow and have fun in a safe environment

As the old saying, “All the work and no play make a dull boy” is very apt in present generation. 
With the rise of the corporate schools and colleges, all that kids are allowed to do is study. 
They hear a “No” to everything they want to do other than study.  With this in mind, it’s no wonder that children so eagerly anticipate  summer camps as this is the only “Yes” they hear from elders. Summer Camps also give children the freedom to do what they desire.
Children learn many positive skills from summer camps. Along with that, they also spend their day being physically active, experience success and become more confident, develop decision making abilities, make new friends, develop leadership qualities and much more. Above all, summer camps are a great way for children to learn and how to be independent.
There are a lot of places in Hyderabad that have initiated summer camps for kids. Below are the list of camps in Hyderabad, where your kids can have a fun summer!
Age Group: 4 to 15yrs
Activities :Activity Centres, Musical Instruments, Personality Development, Western Dance
Timings: 09:30 AM - 01:00 PM
Contact: Mr. Bikash, 07569719128
Email ID: 
Web site: www.soundkraft.inAddress: Plot no - 108, 3rd Floor, SSRGI Arcade, Opp. Al Saba Restaurant Telecom Nagar, Gachibowli, Hyderabad


Age Group: 2 to 7yrs
Activities : Art & Craft, Communication Skills, Personality Development, Plays, Storytelling
Timings: 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Contact: Ms. Rosy, 8099717283
Address: Plot No.35, Dollars Hill Colony, Pragathi Nagar, Kukatpally, Hyderabad


Age Group: 4 to 7yrs
Activities : Academic Enrichment, Art & Craft, Music Session, Personality Development, Singing, Storytelling
Timings: 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Contact: Team Beyond Books, 9703579000 / 9885906353/ 9966012928
Email ID:
Address: 13/2 HUDA Techno Enclave, Sector One, Madhapur, Hyderabad 500081


  Age Group: 2 to 14yrs
 Activities : Art & Craft, Cooking & Baking,  Western Dance
 Timings: 10:30 AM - 01:00 PM
Contact Person: Team PamperedKidz, 7731040404
Email ID: 
Address: Plot No C22 , Road No 1 , Beside FilmNagar, Hyderabad


Age Group: 1.50 to 5yrs
Activities : Academic Enrichment, Art & Craft, Clay Modelling, Communication Skills , Musical Instruments, Physical Fitness, Storytelling,  Tennis
Timings: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Contact: Team Gymboree07306168219
Email ID: 
Address: 1057 PBN Center, 2nd floor Road no. 45 Above Coffee Day, Hyderabad - 500003


Age Group: 6 to 15yrs
Activities : Abacus, Mental Maths
Timings: 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Contact: Ms. S. Srikala, 9959910111
Email ID:
Website: www.geniusvedicmaths.comAddress: Plot No.18, Lepakshi Colony, Hyderabad


Age group:  6-16yrs
Activities: Swimming, Tennis, Foot ball, Basket ball, Skating, Athletics, Cricket, Music, Table Tennis, Chess, Dance, Art, yoga.
Timings: 8.00 am to 11.00 am
Contact No: 64611938, 9849444128,
Email ID:
Address: Near Artillery Centre Gate, Golconda, Hyderabad,


Age Group: 3 to 12yrs
Activities : Academic Enrichment, Art & Craft, Clay Modelling, Gym, Martial Arts, Mental Maths, Music Session, SkatingWestern Dance, Yoga
Timings: 08:00 am - 11:30 am
Contact: Team Bachpan PlayschoolNo: 9912349908
Email ID: 
Address: H.No:24-36/1/5, Shivpuri Colony, Lane Opp. Bank of Maharashtra, Nr.
Anandbhag X Road, Malkajgiri, Secunderabad


Age Group: 6 to 20yrs
Activities : Chess
Timings: 09:00 am - 01:00 pm
Batch Size - 15
Contact: Mr Anvesh, 9951946791
Email ID: 
Address: Plot No-60 , Loyola College Road , Trimulgherry,Secundarabad


Age Group: 7yrs and above
Activities : Calligraphy
Timings: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Contact: Mrs. Maya Ravinder, 9908125126
Email ID: 
Address: 15 , Little millenium preschool, 16 Bapu Bagh, Near Foodworld, P J Road Begumpet, Hyderabad

Friday, April 4, 2014

Election Fever

With the 16th general elections coming ahead, every party is busy to raise their flag as high as they can. Media is working on the exit polls, airing big fights and debates to increase their TRPs. Farmers and daily labours gave a short break for their work to campaign with the party members. Of course, they are getting good pay package from each party. Senior citizens are debating on – is it BJP or Congress or AAP or something else who is going to rule our 1.2 billion people… This summer is heating up more with the election fever everywhere.

Election manifesto is the key thing in any election campaign. Parties are working hard on their manifestos to woo the voters. Sometime ago, I heard that in Tamilnadu, a party’s manifesto include ‘free color TV’ for every family. In A.P. a party has come up with Rs.1000 salary/month to the economically backward families in their manifesto. Isn't it crazy! whatever, the party needs votes and get into the seat to rule.

To catch-up this heat, I tried a small activity on ‘Elections’ with the middle school pupils of Red Cross Govt Girls High School at Masab Tank, Hyd. Each student has to come up with a unique party name, symbol and manifesto to contest in the elections. 
Here are some nominees -

Name: Sirisha
Class: 7
Party name: M.G. Party
Party symbol: Tree
Manifesto: Free electricity for every family, provides pensions for senior citizens, jobs for 10th pass pupils, free medical treatment for the poor, scholarships for the economically backward.

Name: Keerthi Priya
Class: 7
Party name: Praja Yudham (Public War)
Party symbol: Girl and boy symbol
Manifesto: Mineral water supply for every family. A cycle for every student to go to school. Special act on girl protection. Free education in private schools. One TV per family. Will stop corruption and ban alcohol.

Name: Zaitoon 
Class : 7
Party name: Rythu Seva (Farmers service)
Party symbol: Rice
Manifesto: Free houses, medicines, education, a salary of Rs.200/month to farmers.

Name: Nikitha
Class : 7
Party name: Please save plant
Party symbol: Plant
Manifesto: Free - ration, drinking water supply, electricity, admission, bags & books for the poor. Renovate roads and maintain it regularly.

Name: G. Pooja
Class: 7
Party name: Water party
Party symbol: Rose
Manifesto: Free rice, 11 hours electricity for farmers, free jobs, a salary of Rs.5000/month to the economically backward families.

Every contestant is wooing their voter with freebies. Obviously, Indian mentality has tuned to Free goods, subsidized services, reservations for caste and creed etc etc. We see our country's progress until or unless our rigid mind set transforms.

Education For Free team wishes every nominee a big luck! Public will decide the fate of each candidate.
Cast your vote for a better governance.
Happy vote day to all the citizens of India.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Annual Visit

This time the visit to ZPH School, Gandweed came after a long wait as the dates kept changing due to certain circumstances. Finally we left on a very special day, Valentine’s Day! Until the last moment, we weren't sure how many volunteers were accompanying us to the school but to our surprise, we had 7 volunteers who were willing to take part in it and celebrate Valentine’s Day with the children. And that made this trip even more special. We as a team were able to make a fun filled educational day for the kids. For a change, they were not bored about having to sit in the classroom but were rather excited about the activities and the learning time.
When we made our first visit to this school, we had noticed that the students were very poor in speaking and reading English, but after a year of tutoring them through the Virtual Classroom we noticed that there is a lot of improvement in their speaking, reading and writing skills now. It was really amazing to see the growth in the students. In fact each of the volunteers report regarding the performance of the students development was satisfactory. Most of the students this time volunteered to participate in all the activities including giving little speeches on the stage.
But there were still a few students who needed personal care and individual attention to overcome their fear and shyness, at least for that day. We are hoping that the schools would continue to encourage the students to be aware and eager to learn.
Volunteers Report:
This was my second trip to this School. The first time I was accompanying the team but this time I was entrusted with the responsibility of teaching the standard 9th EM students. To my surprise the topic was on “DOWRY”. In response to the teaching, I got wonderful opinions of various kinds from the students but most importantly their opinion on how the Dowry system might be gradually going away from their homes and the society. The students participated in different activities like quiz, speeches, writing and reading. Most of them performed very well and were very well behaved as well. I had a wonderful time and experience with the students and the team of volunteers too.-         Vinai David
This was my first visit to the school and without a thought it was amazing trip and I had a good time with the kids. I was given class 8th EM and a few activities like a written test, discussion about the Dowry system, running dictation and storytelling. It was a fun time and also very educational for them. Few of the kids especially among the boys were gems! They were very active and enthusiastic especially Vinay, Bharath and Manikanta. Girls on the other side, with a little more encouragement and support can perform very well too.

One request is that teachers should encourage the kids in their respective area of interests as I had come across one boy, Rama Krishna who was very talented in drawing. There might be a lot of hidden talents among the kids. Few were very excited about rendering the movie dialogues as well which proves their confidence and no stage fear, such people should be encouraged too. On the whole it was a fun time for me too as a volunteer. I would love to be a part of more such activities.-         Hephzibah
Pursuing my B. Tech final year in JNAFAU spa, this was my first visit to the school and I loved it a lot and I really loved the views of EFF and proud to say that I’m part of it. I really had a good time with the children. I attended 7th EM, the children in the class were really talented –Honestly I was expecting it. I began by conducting an exam in which few children had problems in understanding the question, some of them performed well. After the exam the next activity was “act out an activity, child labor, chain spelling and word game. The children were really good at this chain spelling I really enjoyed the time spent with the class and certainly would want to continue my contribution to EFF.

Few girls in the class were really active: Akhila, Anusha, Shreshta except a few boys remaining all were good as well- They just needed a little push. I loved being a part of it and would love to continue being a part of it.

-  Dinesh
I’m a degree final year student at Nizam’s Degree College. I really like the efforts being made by EFF to provide education for children in remote areas. It was really great that I was part of it, even if it was just for a day! And I would like to be part of it for many more events. I went to two classes and the children were very well behaved.  I was asked to conduct written test and some other activities. The students responded to the best of their ability, though there were many mistakes grammatically while communicating in English, yet they tried to speak in English. So as a whole all of them need to make a lot of improvement in learning the English language and I feel they are all have enough enthusiasm not just to learn the language but to do so much in life.  -      Abhinay
I attended Classes 9th TM, 8th TM, 7th TM, and 6th TM. Students were asked to pick up a chit from a set of scheduled topics and Draw on the topic. The students were explained about the purpose of studying, drawing and its use for the academic purposes and career prospects. I Efforts was made towards developing their drawing skills using basic shapes and perspective techniques. It was good to see the progress from my last visit.-      Santosh
This was my second trip to the School. I went to 7th class and conducted many activities like quiz, speaking skills and reading skills, each student has a vision to improve themselves, but most of the pupils are having stage fear. I felt that an extra attention towards the students will help them train well to be free from stage fear and perform their best in speaking English. If the students are provided with English to Telugu and Telugu to English dictionaries they would perhaps put extra interest in learning and knowing the meaning of the new words and formation of sentences. -       Anupama
This was my first visit and it was a wonderful experience with the kids of class VI EM. Since they are from Telugu medium back ground it was very hard for them to speak and write in English, however they did to the best of their abilities. According to my observation, since they are beginners to English medium, students need to put extra interest especially in learning English language. -     Rakesh
I began my session with 9th TM students with different activities like: Dowry system, storytelling, running dictation, ‘what is your aim in life’ and G.K. Most of the students were very active in the class and each one tried to speak in English. It was surprising for me to see Telugu medium students speaking in English. During our first visit to this school, after EFF adopted it, the most kids would respond Madam don’t speak to us in English we don’t understand”. But today I’m proud of their progress.
A huge thank you from EFF  to  our wonderful volunteers for coming with us all the way and doing what you did there! The students were charmed and motivated and we are sure, they will start to dream bigger. Thank you once again for making the first Valentine’s Day so special for the kids!
Dictionaries and general knowledge books were given as gifts  to the students who performed well in the class room activities.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year is here

First of all, EFF team wishes a very happy new year to all the teachers, students, volunteers and readers! Every year begins with new hopes and wishes. It feels great to start a year with new ideas and rules set by ourselves to get succeed in our life. In other words we call ‘resolution’. New Year resolution is very much popular in all squares of the world.
As a part of new year activity, I made some students of Red Cross Govt Girls High School to speak about their ‘new year’s resolution’. Here are some interesting ones from classes 7th to 9th.
-          “I will not watch T.V. in this New Year” (are you serious!). – Sowjanyna, Class 9
-          “I will not speak bad words in this New Year.” – Ashwinin, Class 7
-          “I will speak in English with my friends at school.” – Sony, class 9
-          “I will help my mother in household chores.” – Radhika, class  7
-          “I will give water to birds on our terrace.” – Anitha, class 7
-          “I will not bite my nails.” – Shruthi, class 8
-          “I will start writing a diary.” – Bhargavi, Class 7
-          “I will not waste food.” – Yasmine, Class 8
-          “I will help the poor” (don’t know what help) – Tahniyath, class 8
-          “I will participate in the activities conducted by Ambica teacher” (is it true?)– Hamida, class 8
-          “I will not hurt people with my words when I become angry!” (is that possible?) – summaiya, class 9 

Well these are some of the notable resolutions which seem to be so easy but really challenging to practice.
One more important thing in New Year is Greetings! In this gadget world we wish each other through electronic greetings i.e., by sms or email. But wishing each other by giving a greeting card is a traditional way of wishing the New Year. As a part of New Year activity, I gave home work to prepare a greeting card for my 7th and 8th class students. On a condition – the greeting card should be prepared with used or waste things at home, no buying stuff. Within a day, these pupils have come up with innovative cards. Some of them are here –

That's a great start for the year 2014. Once again wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year 2014!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Achievement of Education for all

It’s a known fact that peasants in the country are facing many problems since ages, they are in debts, can’t repay the loans, interest on the taken loans growing day by day and much more. Hopeless peasants are committing suicide and others are migrating in search of work. The migrant labours are mostly employed in construction work. According to 2010 census, there are 29.8% population living with less than $1.25 wage per day.
Children of laborers:
There is a saying - ‘doctor child becomes a doctor, actor child becomes an actor and a labor child will become a labor’. The kid of a laborer is exposed to sand and cement at an early age, as their parents accompany their children to the work place. As a result, these kids get used to construction work environment, which in turn leads them to future labours at early teens. Some elder kids stay at home to take care of their younger siblings and doing household chores.

Considering some sample families of migrant labours - a 2 dozen families live in a tin shed dwelling near Hitech city, Hyderabad. The sheds were laid by a construction group as temporary shelter for the labourers. People in this community range from North to South of India who came to Hyderabad in search of work. Kids of these people are out of school; they’re spending their childhood on the roads or doing household chores. When I approached their parents, I realised that some parents want their children to support the family by doing the same labour work.
Last from right is Bittu of 10 years old. 
They are migrants from MP state. Bittu’s parents are labours, they go to work at 8am and return at 5pm. Meanwhile, he looks after his two siblings of age 5 years and 2 years. He also cooks, washes utensils, cleans the house etc. However, he never been to school; his parents are not interested to send him school.

 But there are some parents want to send their kids to school; they want to give their children good quality of living. It’s really good to see a positive mindset in few parents though.
 From first left is Yasmine, age 10 years. 
She is a school dropout and a single parent. I urged and guided her mother to give her child good education she deserves. She came forward to join her girl in the school.
The New Blue Dress’, a beautiful story of a pretty girl who inspires everyone in her community. Similarly, Yasmine, inspired other kids in the neighbourhood. Two more kids have joined the school with little guidance and information provided by us.

Government is pumping a lot funds through a number of schemes for educating the kids under RTE. Most the people in the country are unaware of the benefits they deserve. It’s the duty of every responsible citizen, that if they encounter any boy or girl out of school approach their parents and tell them the benefits of going to school. With little research give some list of schools nearby. It might inspire them; perhaps they will send the child to school. It’ll cost some productive time of your daily schedule, but you can make a difference in the lives of the little buds of our nation. 
We need to inspire and stimulate the parents of  so many Bittu's in this world. I agree, there are some NGO's working towards it. But it's the part of every citizen to work towards the achievement of Education for all*