Schools are facing challenges in making the RTE process inclusive and equitable for students from different social & economic backgrounds. The law does not address the need to make student, teacher, parent & community relationships more complete and effective. There is a disparity in the RTE rules and in the way it’s implemented across states. Parents of students under RTE are often unable to help them with day-to-day studies due to illiteracy or lack of English language skills.
All learners have the 'Right to be Educated'. Some deserve that right, some preserve that right!
The effort of inclusion becomes empowered manifold, when every teacher, student and parent celebrates the diversity in the classroom and contributes in meaningful ways to make a difference. Acceptance of a child under RTE and immersion in the regular schooling system is just the first step of inclusion. Equally important are the various support initiatives that the school extends to the RTE child and parent, with a vision of inspiring and enriching them holistically.
The Riverside School has embraced the spirit of the Right to Education Act and opened its heart, mind and campus to children who come from economically disadvantaged families starting from the academic year 2011-2012.
These children are supported by parents who have adopted this cause and root for their success. They will have a future that they would possibly not have had otherwise – and this will be due to the emotional, spiritual and financial support that they receive at the school.
CHILDREN SUPPORT PROGRAM
To address the challenges and bridge the gaps that the children might face due to the differences between the home and school environment, useful support initiatives are in place, such as :
This is done to know the child. First home visit is done to remove assumptions and to understand the home environment of the child. Second home visit is done at the start of second term to see if the family and the child is comfortable with the school.
Every fortnight, teacher engages with a one-to-one interaction with the child to address specific cognitive, social and emotional needs of the child.
Every fortnight, teacher connects with parents to update what is happening in the class and school. This is done via telephonic or in-person conversations between parents and teachers.
Teach to Reach Summer Program
Children study with volunteer-teachers to ensure there is no learning loss owing to lack of structured school intervention over the month long summer break.
World is my school
A fortnightly volunteer based learning program focuses on shared social experiences that provides opportunities for the students to experience and explore their surroundings in for deeper learning experiences.
One on One sessions
Parent Update Every Fortnight
Teach to Reach
World is my school
PARENTS SUPPORT PROGRAM
An adult literacy program helps parents in self-development and empowers them to ably guide and partner with their children in the educational journey. It includes:
In order to enable the parent to support her child in education, Riverside offers tutorship in English so that they are able to develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. (twice a week for an hour).
To learn and develop computer literacy, interested parents are given hands-on sessions for computer literacy. (Once a week for an hour)
Well being Sessions
To raise the awareness, self esteem and confidence, various workshops are regularly conducted on:
- Health and hygiene - Parenting - Stress Management - Yoga
The purpose of this program is to build the entrepreneurial acumen of parents by undertaking focused training sessions under experts to learn Project Evaluation, Budgeting, Financial Monitoring, Resource Identification and communication skills. By honing these entrepreneurial skills, the mothers get equipped and confident to undertake various economic activities like catering, garments and personal grooming services etc.
Wellbeing sessions- Yoga
Entrepeneurship Program Amrin's Kitchen
COMMUNITY SUPPORT PROGRAM
Riverside has designed a RTE Program which is ‘inclusive’, NOT ‘after school’ or ‘remedial’. We believed that this step towards inclusiveness adds to the school’s diversity and increases the holistic learning for ALL. To do this following strategies are done:
Riverside Parents are made aware of the RTE act and the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of its implementation at Riverside is discussed. (Once a year)
Regular teacher meetings are done for raising awareness and staying updated about the act. The growth and progress of the child are discussed and planning is done. (Once a month)
Visit To Schools
The teacher team at Riverside visits various schools to understand their best practice and challenges as they implement RTE at their school. (Twice in a year).
is an initiative run by the students studying in Grade-10 of the Riverside school. This reflects the ideology of "Main se HUM", which refers to the goal that is including and empowering everyone to truly earn the Right to Education. (Once a week)
The entire Riverside community (teachers, students and parents) is a part of the program. They volunteer their time and support a child’s education. (Every week)
Visit to Vidya Valley School, Pune
HUM Team Meetings
Parent Volunteer for Koshish Program
SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS PROGRAMME
Today, a major concern of education fraternity is to meet the specific cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs of children. Due to lack of expertise or intent, these children are sidelined or sometimes even out of the mainstream system.
To become an embodiment of culture and practice that fosters understanding, tolerance, and prepares students of all abilities to function in the world beyond school. To create a league of practitioners who emerge as Special Educators, both in mind and in spirit.
To collaborate with institutions, professionals in the field of Special Education to spread awareness and provide an enriching environment for all children of special needs.
A formal policy to establish protocols for admission of children with specific need is established and includes the following:
- Functional assessment followed by a comprehensive management plan by the assessment team. Development of an Individualized Education Plan for each child with specific well-articulated goals by the Special Educators in consultation with parents.
- Orientation of typically developing children in the grade and all adults interacting with the child to ensure effective inclusion.
- Empowerment and Training workshops and orientation for teachers to help cater to needs of different learners without discrimination. Quarterly need based parent interaction at school.
WELL BEING PROGRAM
Wellbeing is a critical part of how young people learn and grow. Research shows that children’s wellbeing affects their ability to engage with their education. Wellbeing is also a lifelong outcome of learning – children that engage in education are more likely to experience greater wellbeing as adults.
Being inspired by the SEE Curriculum (Social Emotional and Ethical by His Holiness Dalai Lama) which is organized into three dimensions: (1) Awareness, (2) Compassion, and (3) Engagement, each of which can be taught across three domains: (1) Personal, (2) Social, and (3) Systems—all of which take place within an educational context that is based on Humane values, and is conducted with teachers who strive to embody these principles.
Students gain greater first-person attentiveness and awareness:
- of their own thoughts and feelings
- of others, and their intellectual sense-making of life
- of the interdependence as it relates to their own life and to broader systems within which they live
This is developed with a focus on : one’s body, emotions, thoughts and processes Children are made aware about:
- their body,
- the different emotions that exist and how to manage them,
- the mental and physical safety (their gender identity, their roles, the social status, sexuality, and sexual orientation)
They are also taught to break stereotypes about themselves and the community they live in.
Students cultivate the skills of emotional well-being and self-care, along with empathy and compassion for others. They develop an understanding that ‘every today’ is an opportunity to add surplus to each other and the community.
Students develop self regulation and self monitoring skills which help them discern behaviour that is beneficial to self and others. It helps them to be better decision-makers and look beyond just their own individual interest.
The idea of regulation of their own body, emotions and people is built through the following methods:
- Experiences, simulations
- Theatre as means of expression
- Stories, Story-telling
- Individual sessions
- Role play
- Discussions / Congloms / Debates / Dialogues
- Coffee with experts
- Conversations on issues that seem uncomfortable at first
- Perspective building through case-studies, excursions, visits