Self Paced E-Learning in Vernacular language at Kachchabari Village – an initiative in Jharkhand

 

They say journeys are important, but here it was the destination. Last weekend after a four-hour bus journey from Jamshedpur my stop at the village Kachchabari, a small village around 35 kilometers from Ranchi, arrived. The picture of a typical modest village, most of whose houses were made of mud-tiles, came into live right before my eyes. On my way to the village, I crossed by few girls carrying utensils and heading towards the pond for cleaning them; a scene that usually gets painted when we talk of rural India. But this village showed me something more than just that which made my destination worthwhile. On reaching the village we were received by the village’s widowed mukhiya with a warm welcome along with tea and some snacks. She then accompanied us to the place of our interest, the Panchayat office. No, it wasn’t the office that was our interest but the study center that functioned there in the evening hours (whereas the office work took place during the day).

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A Journey From Conception of a Thought to an Impact

a-thought-gets-converted-into-an-action

 How many of us are actually contented today? Contented with the way life is moving on? Very few! How many of us complain at every step of life, from the morning tea and the newspaper right on time to the existing political system? Many! Many of us sail in the same boat when it comes to complaining. We whine all day starting from petty issues like the weather, low-speed broadband connection, buffering YouTube videos, a catch missed by a cricketer on the field to some serious issues like poverty, pollution, population, corruption, bad roads, faulty education system, wrong policies adopted by the government, and there is no end to it. It’s a part of inherent human nature to have endless wants, demands and complaints. We have been doing this for a while now; sitting in the drawing room in front of our LEDs, flipping channels and continuing to comment and complain. We have been silencing the conscience surreptitiously, who constantly asks to show concern not by questioning but by taking the responsibility, with the age old lie, ‘what do I have in my hands except the TV remote?’ It’s over. The time to escape with this blatant lie is over. We have more than just the remote in our hands. We have the onus.

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Story of Sunil Sahoo

sunil

Amidst the unfortunate and underprivileged lot of children, rendered financially and educationally deprived by tough destiny, there blooms a child with extraordinary potential. He has been gifted with talent and if attention and opportunities meet his talent, he can come out as a wonder kid with surprisingly laudable achievements. Sunil Sahoo, born in a village in the district of Cuttack on 26th February 2001, now studies in 9th grade. He who shies away from the camera never does so in front of his books. He has been staying in the Bala Ashram, Cuttack since 2013.  It was on 2nd January 2013, when destiny made him taste the most unfortunate incident in his life when he lost his father. He has two other younger brothers for whom he has to be the lodestar. His mother works in a hospital as a caretaker and earns a meager salary, insufficient for bringing up her children.

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Quarterly Progress Report For Shikhya Implementation at Cuttack Bala Ashram

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows”, wise words of Sydney. J. Haris. And I, while sitting on a not-so-fancy chair, but certainly the hot seat for learning, realized it while having a glance through that old rickety window; that window through which every day those children with big dreams in their eyes paint a mental picture of living their future dreams. From the moment I entered the gates of the Utkal Bala Ashram, I felt like getting a glimpse of a countryside paradise for learning.

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Spreading awareness

With the world constantly moving past us with fast-paced technological innovations created one after the other, it is vital for us to remember to create a strong educational foundation for the future generation through these innovations.

Volunteering through Shikhya, I have realized how important it is to dedicate time to those in need whether it is by teaching English or simply talking to them. There are many underprivileged children in this world, and if we all just take a few minutes away from our daily, monotonous routine to help them in any way, we could make a big impact on their lives. For example, donating a few dollars to your local charity or helping out at the food shelter, or even visiting a foreign country to help out at an orphanage.

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Teaching English as a Second Language:Part 2

My manager called me soon after and we discussed what I could do to improve for the next session. He said that I did an excellent job by making the two girls feel comfortable by smiling through the whole session. However, he observed that I did talk too fast. By speaking slower, I would be able to help the children catch onto some of the words and phrases I was saying as well as understand me more clearly.

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Teaching English as a Second Language:Part 1

There is a first time for everything right. Learning how to walk, trying the “real-good” cheeseburger right down the street where the new restaurant opened, or even traveling on a plane! For me, July 29th, 2015, was the first time I became a teacher for orphan children wanting to learn the English language. For the first time, I was in complete control of how I ran the classroom on the virtual communication system.

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Each One Teach One

I remember the first time when I had learned to write. It was an euphoric moment. I had scribbled madly on notebooks,magazines, books, newspapers, walls and almost everywhere. It was a time when I realized that I could do something beyond just eating, sleeping and playing. I knew that my life was much more than I had thought it to be.

Education is almost like developing wings. It liberates one, freeing one from the shackles of inhibitions.  I wonder how my life would have turned out had I never been to school?

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A math remedial center in Bhubaneswar

Biswajit Nayak, one of the founders of www.shikhya.org spent a lot of his early years in rural Orissa and the capital city of Bhubaneswar. He decided to start the pilots for his social venture in both these locales that he was familiar with. In this post I will do a short introduction to one of the pilot projects: a math remedial center in a western part of Bhubaneswar called Baramunda.

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A unique endeavour to reach the underprivileged with World Class Education

Back in 2012, during a trip to my village in India, I had the chance to interact with many enthusiastic kids who were eager to learn math from me. I did whatever was possible to do in two days to help them, but that time was too short to be of assistance to even one child, let alone so many of them. But I understood something about the school system and the issues these kids were facing within that system. It was quite apparent to me that even the most inquisitive kids in my village were getting frustrated and disengaged from school.  Among various shortcomings, the most important was the inability of these underprivileged kids in remote areas to get access to high quality educational content and competent teachers.

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