Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The RDF School Matendla

Matendla Rural School is run by the Rural Development Foundation. The students are given a midday meal and their uniforms and school books are paid for by the RDF. The teachers are all local which means they are more invested in the students' learning and more motivated to actually be at school and teach every day. The students, in turn, are invested in the community. Many of them go home after school and help their parents in the fields or in taking care of the little ones.

Last year, the teachers, parents, and students together took some initiative in the village. The teachers began by stopping their alcohol and cigarette intake as completely as possible. Then they talked to the Village Committee and got the council leaders to stop as well. All told, they got at least 30 parents to stop smoking and drinking.

Another project the school stared relatively recently was that of a kids' bank. The students themselves take on the roles involved, and a teacher checks the numbers afterward. It helps the children learn how to use the banking system - and gets them interested in saving money.

Really, the students are involved in everything from their own learning (the Question Bank questions) to the running of the school. They have to participate in at least one extracurricular activity, and sports are highly encouraged. At least within Medak district, many top student athletes are from Matendla.

I played with them. They're not bad at basketball either despite the fact that their hoop has no special backboard and their court is a dirt courtyard.

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