There is an excited bustle every Saturday at our partner school - Government High School Policy Colony in Karnataka, presided over by the Head Teacher, Mr. Ranganath. The children are ready to watch I Am Kalam, an inspirational Bollywood film highlighting the significance of education. The Head Teacher says; “teaching methodologies should evolve with time. The children of today’s generation often grasp messages better when they are conveyed through an audio-visual medium. It also makes the learning experience enjoyable”.
This simple but effective use of technology as an educational and motivational aid has helped to improve attendance figures at the school. Some children would always be there on Saturdays for the film screening, but would miss other school days from Monday to Friday. Mr. Ranganath then announced that all pupils needed to have a good attendance record to be able to watch the screenings, so this acted as an incentive for children to come to school on a regular basis.
The majority of the school’s children come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Akshaya Patra school lunch gives them the energy and security that they need to be able to learn and to play, and together with the Saturday screenings, motivates the children to attend school and access the lifelong gift of education. Mr. Ranganath shares that he believes our Food For Education Programme “has been successful in reducing child labour and improving school enrolment and attendance”.
When Mr. Ranganath joined the school as Head Teacher, the highest pass grade achieved by any of the pupils in public examinations was 73%. Thanks to the dedication of Mr. Ranganath and his team of staff, together with the hard work of the children who are fuelled by our school lunches, this grade has now increased to 96%. The pupil who achieved this impressive result has even authored a book written in the local language, Kannada.
The school is an ideal learning environment for children, and has a large playground, numerous trees – thanks to Mr. Ranganath’s tree planting policy, and an extensive library. In 2002 there were just 280 books in the library. Mr. Ranganath then set a target to acquire at least 1,000 books a year. Today there are over 10,000 books, spanning many different languages, academics, general knowledge and beyond. The children are allowed to borrow books on a regular basis, and the librarian shares that the children have developed a love of reading as a result.
We are proud to partner with inspiring and forward thinking educators such as Mr. Ranganath to enable children to benefit from the transformative power of education.