Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Eenadu: Press release

It’s for the second time that Eenadu covered Education For Free; the article had been released on 29th July’12, in RR district edition.  The post is in regard to the virtual teaching at ZPHS, Gandeed, with feedback from a  few students.
Here is the paper cutting of the edition – 
For those who are not able to read Telugu, here is the translation of the article…courtesy - Sudha teacher J
Online Education…students’ reception..!
Every year there is a substantial increase in the number of students joining private schools. Government schools are struggling to retain their students. Even though they have implemented a particular program named “success” which was introduced to improve their language skills, especially English. It has started two years ago but the students could not get acquainted to it. In such situation a private organization has thought it essential and came up with dedication to provide online teaching system for the schools.
      In the year 2008 in Hyderabad, a city-based Software Company named “PurpleTalk Inc” collaborated with Masab tank Red Cross Government Girls High School and established this unique system of online teaching. Since last 4 years from that particular school, students were imparted language skills and vocabulary which provided great results. Presently the management is planning to introduce this online teaching to government schools in rural areas and reach out to the underprivileged children. Mr. Sridhar Muppidi (founder) of PurpleTalk Inc, Mr.Rama Krishna, Mr. Hari, Mr. Sateesh,  Mr. Neelakanta and Mr. Suresh, Mr. Bhanu have worked hard together to develop this software without any help from other networks. They have used the latest technology to make this program a success. They have selected a locality which is 130 kms away from Hyderabad city, viz, Gandeed and spent more than a lakh to arrange a big screen, video projector, Internet, camera and audio system.
        From 11th 29th October 2011, the higher standard classes are directly reached through video conference online teaching. The students interact with teachers through bi-directional video and audio. There will be approx 2 to 3 sessions per day based on the convenience of the students. Apart from concentrating in English, they are bringing importance for subjects like math and other subjects too, with ample examples and videos. Every month exams are conducted to test the knowledge and understanding of the students. Recently the volunteers of the company has renovated a few rooms in the school, which was in a damaged condition, in order to continue classes.     

Response of the students about online education:

Rajesh – 8th standard
                       “I lost the fear of English”
I have joined the “Success school” which was a Telugu medium, when the management has introduced English medium, I found it very difficult to cope up with the teachings in English, gradually the new method of teaching through video conference interested and encouraged me to continue studying in English medium without any fear. I have improved my language skills, vocabulary and grammar too. And moreover I am gaining knowledge in lot of other subjects through this online system of education…!    
 Sravani – 7th Standard
                  “Better than the usual classes”
 The power point teachings (visual displays) through this success school has helped me in grasping knowledge on various subjects such as language, communication skills and English because the online teaching has attracted us, which is different from other regular teachings. The teachers repeat the lessons until we are thorough with the topic- by this method of online teaching we have learnt to use the English language fluently.

 It is our purpose to develop the language skills and to boost the talents of the students, particularly children belonging to downtrodden and underprivileged sections living in villages. Our determination in providing well qualified faculty to train these children through this online teaching program have reached many students. Thus far, it is an encouragement for those people, especially teachers who are basically service oriented, to achieve satisfaction by getting acquainted to this environment of online teaching program.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Visit to remember: Lessons and memories created

EFF team visits its rural schools once in three months to check the progress of the students. The trip is arranged with some volunteers on 24th Nov'12. PurpleTalk employees - Sheik Khaleel Babu, Mr.Siva Sankar and Mallesh volunteered; travelled with us more than 270 Km. We spent the whole day with students and shared their views & suggestions. 
Volunteers turned teachers
For some time the volunteers turned teachers-conducted classroom games and activities, which gave them a welcome break from their routine lives. To be a teacher is not an easy job, as people think; in fact it needs a lot of ground work to be called a good teacher. Pupils watch our movements and gauge how well we are able to connect with them emotionally-What we wear, what we speak, our body language, our behavior-everything counts. Pupils imitate teachers, so care should be taken by the teachers that there is no flaw in presenting themselves in front of the children.
Mr.Khaleel, giving a small speech –“pursue your studies with love but not as a duty”. Occasionally, words we spell out are so touching and inspiring unknowingly. 
Mr.Siva Sankar, interacting with eighth standard students
EFF teacher, Sudha, conducting classroom games
And that’s me, with sixth standard students. They were so cute and lovable, that I couldn't leave the class.
Mallesh turned cameraman clicking snaps of us J
Coming to the actual progress of the students through virtual classroom teaching- the students of vernacular medium did not make much progress in speaking English. On the other hand, English medium students of high school are much better. They've made a lot of improvement. The main goal of virtual classroom teaching is to make them focus not just on studies but also, on social issues, environment problems, current affairs, intelligence, general knowledge etc. The visit enlightened us in some areas to work on, mainly the method of teaching for vernacular medium with different lesson plans.
 It’s a known fact that students from a rural background are not as outgoing as urban folks. Though they have talent, they just keep quite owing to fear and dare not disclose their talent in front of everybody. We are trying to introduce them to the pleasures of being liberal in thought and speech. 
Prizes for the winners
The visit had one more purpose, to distribute the prizes for GK quiz winners, conducted on the occasion of Children’s day. The competition was held between two schools- ZPHS Boys’ and ZPHS Girls’ schools of Gandeed village and Mandal.

At last we thanked the school managements for giving us warm welcome and coordinating with us in taking sessions with the children. Grateful to the volunteers who took time out of their busy schedules for EFF.

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