Tips on usage of computer by Dr.Varsha for our ComputerMitra beneficiaries

StudyMall is helping more than 5000 rural children read,learn and do better in studies. StudyMall has reached 33 schools in 33 villages of Maharashtra. Recently we launched computer learning program “ComputerMitra” with help of NIIT foundation, where our volunteer teaches computer  for period of 3 months to a batch of students from 6th and 7 th std at Z.P.School of village Jambargaon and at end of this course (once they pass exam), they get certified by NIIT foundation as computer literates. But with technology, comes few health disadvantages which are preventable and we decided to create awareness regarding same.

Our volunteer Dr.Varsha, (Dr.Varsha contact page),  a well known respected medical doctor from Mumbai, decided to help us. On occasion of children’s eye health and safety month, took a audiovisual presentation via internet call for our  children enrolled in “Computer Mitra program” at Z.P.School Jambargaon. She explained to children regarding various precautions they need to take while using computer. She made sure to carry the presentation in easy and concise manner which can be understood by children. Despite lot of connectivity issues due to network errors in remote village, she patiently connected with chidlren and provided us her time.

Now the children of ComputerMitra program know : How to sit in front of the computer i.e. at eye level, to sit in a straight posture on chair without bending while using computer, the source of light should be not be on screen while using computer, and to hold mouse properly at wrist joint and many such other tips.

Children were so happy and motivated to listen from Dr.Varsha . We intent to integrate technology to have such helpful session on various topics for our StudyMall project in future too.

You can  also become our partner organisation,supporter, volunteer to conduct such interesting sessions for children and additionally, you can choose to donate for our cause. Check  for more details on our website.

Written by -Dr.Shraddha M Bhange

Volunteer and Writer for Thinksharp Foundation.

Website- www.ThinkSharpFoundation.org

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation

Twitter- https://twitter.com/ThinkSharpFound

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-4cDXLuwAThHXhNOazv5KA

Instgram- https://www.instagram.com/p/BYK3W-ihWJj/

Linkedin- https://in.linkedin.com/company/thinksharp-foundation

 

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Impact Stories of StudyMall- Better rural education in villages

StudyMall is helping more than 5000 rural children read,learn and do better in studies. StudyMall has reached 33 schools in 33 villages of Maharashtra. While we do have many impact parameters and impact stories, today i would like to share 2 little recent stories about impact of StudyMall. This stories are shared from teachers of our StudyMall project with us.

One of our respected and committed teacher is Mr.Prakash Rajput sir who shares his message regarding impact of StudyMall in Z.P.School of Village Murumkhedwadi, Dist Aurangabad as below. He shared his heartfelt thanks with  us for sending computer in his small village located in mountains. He shared the joy of happiness that he witnessed on children’s faces when they saw the computer in their school. He is one of  our strongest supporter of digital education, who not only teaches children about digital technology but also shares about digital teaching tools with his fellow teachers via whatsapp group created for teachers. His commitment is inspirational and we are happy to have him as our team member. Students are equally committed in learning and reading better in this school.
His exact message is copied from whatsapp below which is in marathi.
*”Thanks to Thinksharp Foundation”**आज दि. ७/८/२०१८ रोजी मुरुमखेडावाडी शाळेत संगणक पोहचला व डोंगराळ भागात असलेल्या चिमुकल्यांनी प्रत्यक्ष शाळेत संगणक आलेला पाहून त्यांचा आनंद व उत्साह जणू वेगळी भरारी घेऊ पाहत होता.**मागील आठवडयात शाळेत असलेला Led Tv वर्गात बसविला पण पेनड्राईव्हची असलेली मर्यादा व विद्यार्थ्यांना पी.डी.एफ तथा Ppt दाखविता येऊ शकत नव्हते .**श्री संतोष फड सरांना याविषयी बोललो तेव्हा सरांनी त्यांच्या मिञांमार्फत Hp कंपनीचा Cpu उपलब्ध करुन दिला . सर फ्रान्सला गेलेले असतांना परदेशातून ही ते आपल्या मातीशी किती जुळले आहेत त्यांची प्रचिती मला आली.* *सरांचे या योगदानाबद्दल संपूर्ण शाळेच्या तसेच विद्यार्थ्यांच्या वतीने आभार
*प्रकाशसिंग राजपूत*व*दिलीप आढेसर*”
Another impact story is from  our partner school Z.P school, Aswalamba, Parli.V shared by our respected teacher Mr.Maharudra Katkade sir. He is sharing how digital learning is helping students from 6th std students to understand maths concepts better. He shares about his experience regarding how digital projector has made  it easy for him to teach difficult math concepts to 6th standard students.
His exact message is in marathi copied below
“*आज standard 6th च्या मुलांना प्रोजेक्टर वर संख्या रेषा वरील क्रिया,अपूर्णांक,सम मूल्य अपूर्णांक video मधून दाखवला आणि तो लगेच मुलांना समजला क्लास मध्ये ब्लॅक बोर्ड वर 2 वेळा शिकवला पण मुलांना समजत नव्हता…..जिल्हा परिषद प्राथमिक शाळा अस्वलांबा ता.परळी वैजनाथ जिल्हा.बीड*”
Stories like this give us an insight about how simple additional tools can help students,teachers and community in rural parts to achieve their best.
We thank all our supporters, donors and partner organizations for there help and support in creating this impact.
You can  also become our partner organisation,supporter, volunteer and you can choose to donate for our cause. Check  for more details on our website.

Written by -Dr.Shraddha M Bhange

Volunteer and Writer for Thinksharp Foundation.

Website- www.ThinkSharpFoundation.org

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation

Twitter- https://twitter.com/ThinkSharpFound

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-4cDXLuwAThHXhNOazv5KA

Instgram- https://www.instagram.com/p/BYK3W-ihWJj/

Linkedin- https://in.linkedin.com/company/thinksharp-foundation

 

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Book Reading – serene way to wisdom

Library

While the whole world is advancing and transitioning to digital, most of the rural India is still struggling to have schools and libraries.

School Library: The Focal point

What is a Library? A Library is a building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for use or borrowing by the public or the members of an institution.

In addition to providing materials, libraries also provide the services of librarians who are experts at finding and organizing information and at interpreting information needs.

Libraries often provide quiet areas for studying, and they also often offer common areas to facilitate group study and collaboration. Libraries often provide public facilities for access to their electronic resources and the Internet.

Modern Library – beyond books:

Modern libraries are increasingly being redefined as places to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources. They are extending services beyond the physical walls of a building, by providing material accessible by electronic means.

Libraries are increasingly becoming community hubs where programs are delivered and people engage in lifelong learning. As community centers, libraries are also becoming increasingly important in helping communities mobilize and organize for their rights.

Library policy is ruled by Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation – RRRLF:

RRRLF is a central autonomous organization established and fully financed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. RRRLF is registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961. It is the nodal agency of the Government of India to support public library services and systems and promote public library movement in the country commensurate with the objectives as embodied in its Memorandum of Association.

The supreme policy-making body of RRRLF is called the Foundation. It consists of 22 members nominated by the Government of India from amongst eminent educationists, librarians, administrators and senior officials. The Minister of the Department of Culture, Government of India or his nominee is the Chairman of RRRLF. Professor Brij Kishore Sharma is the present Chairman of RRRLF and Director General is the executive head and ex-officio Member-Secretary of the Foundation.

The Foundation works in close association and active cooperation with different State Govts. and Union Territory Administrations through a machinery called State Library Planning Committee (SLPC/SLC) set up in each State at the instance of the Foundation. To participate in Foundation’s programs, a State Government/U.T. is required to contribute a certain amount fixed by the Foundation.

Since 2005-06 the Foundation has also taken up the initiative to develop the District Youth Resource Centre (DYRC) in collaboration with Nehru Yuvak Kendra Sangathana, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs.

School Library Policy says:

  • One period a week to be devoted to library reading.
  • During this time, children sit and read silently in the library. They return the books borrowed the previous week and borrow new ones.
  • If there is no library room, the teacher can bring out books appropriate to the age group and allow children to choose from the set.

It is important to let the child choose rather than having the teacher distribute the books.

  • Library books can be brought into the language class.
  • For class projects, children can be asked to look up a reference in the library.
  • Children can be asked to write about the book they have read that week during the language class.
  • Children can be asked to share a story they have read with the other children in class.
  • The school library should be kept open during vacations.

Current status of availability of School Libraries

People who are worried about their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter can’t imagine remotely using school or public libraries. Commercialization of education has now added a new dimension to the existing problems of school education.

School libraries in India, wherever they exist, face a multitude of problems ranging from inadequate space for keeping books and reading space in school buildings to less trained staff.

Non availability of regular funds for acquiring reading materials is a major problem faced by school libraries in government and semi-government sector.

These schools have only amalgamated funds and parent-teacher association fund from which only a limited number of approved books can be purchased.

Schools in the private sector do not have much of a problem with funds but availability to library is subject to priority given to it by Head of School.

The collections have not grown beyond the prescribed books in the syllabus with a few exceptions.

Even the books approved by state directorates of education neither are of good quality nor directly relevant.

The ad-hoc system of school libraries is running throughout the length and breadth of the country in the absence of any specific guidelines and standards for their sustained growth.

Rural schools are lagging behind the urban ones in terms of professionally trained library staff.

There are no incentives for trained staff for working in rural schools, besides the problems mentioned earlier are manifested to a greater degree.

While there is need for training of professional librarians, mechanisms have not been developed and avenues are not available for this.

Importance of School Library

In many parts of the country, community libraries are functioning in rural areas, and government libraries exist in many district headquarters.

However, commute to these common libraries by children is challenging.

Hence, in order to maximize the use of resources, it is important to plan a library in each school.

Library enables a child to attain great wisdom at almost free of cost.

Library and book reading not only improves reading habits but also a child’s imagination.

Children can learn about:

  • Different countries, people, traditions, languages, flora, fauna
  • Various scientists, freedom fighters, world wars,
  • Planets, the vast space, aero science etc.

And the list goes on thus strengthening the young India, capable to transform the world to a new era.

This will also increase the nation’s literacy rate by heaps and bounds.

So powerful the books are!

Despite this fact, why is it still a challenge to instill reading as a hobby?

Possible reasons children not keen in reading books

  • Unable to focus reading for long time
  • Unaware of the kind of books to read
  • Unable to find out own interests to choose a book
  • Lack of guidance from parents and teacher

Tips to encourage children visiting libraries and reading books

Initially, children need guidance on book reading. Children learn what they watch most of the time!!

Book reading should either be a hobby of parents or best friends so that a child can watch and learn.

In this busy life, it is rare to notice book reading as a hobby of parents. And that too in rural India, it is almost impossible!

Teachers and librarians play a major role in encouraging book reading.

While the Policy has already mentioned most of the tips, below are few more:

  • Allow children to read a book and conduct activities like:
  1. Debates,
  2. Group discussion
  3. Essay writing
  4. Role plays
  5. Skits

These will not only improve child’s reading ability but also their personality and confidence.

  • Let children participate in various inter-school competitions
  • While conducting awareness programs on “book reading”, it will be a good idea to involve children.

Children’s speech has more impact as they stand true examples!!

Besides academics, library should provide access to: 

  • Newspapers – English and local language
  • Moral story books
  • Poetry, literature
  • Personality development books like You Can Win!
  • English grammar books like Wren & Martin
  • Dictionaries – English to local language translation
  • Aptitude and mathematics books for Competitive examinations like Ramanuja Test and CV Raman Tests (for Secondary schools)
  • State, India and World maps
  • Depending on the students’ interest, books on gardening, farming etc can also be added so that students will be aware of backyard farming.

Various NGOs work closely on Child Education and School Libraries. Few of them are: 

  1. Akshara

The organization was founded on the belief that quality education is the undeniable right of every child and that children should not be deprived of this just because they do not have access to it or the resources to realise their dreams. — https://akshara.org.in/

  1. Pratham Books

Pratham Books is a nonprofit publisher introducing children to the joy of reading.https://prathambooks.org

  1. Room to read

Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. https://www.roomtoread.org/countries/india/

  1. Last but not the least; ThinkSharp Foundation has also extended its hand in promoting education in rural India.

ThinkSharp Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2011 with a vision
“To bridge the Rural-Urban education divide”.

Overcoming the space issues, ThinkSharp foundation has come up a project of “StudyMall” with a new idea of “Modular Hanging Library” .

Modular Hanging Library by Thinksharp Foundation

StudyMall offers

  • Digital Class with modern digital learning tools such as window/android projector, computers, multimedia content and power backup through UPS or solar.
  • Library with poem, story, environment, science and general knowledge books.
  • Colorful, safe and clean Classrooms
  • Workshops and trainings on digital literacy and educational guidance.

StudyMall is nothing but a “Modern Library” which is way beyond just books.

Such a lively environment makes children feel to visit the library often and spend more time reading books or involving in many activities.

More details on StudyMall can be found at http://www.thinksharpfoundation.org

Conclusion

Agree that the current era is marked in the name of “Digital” and everything is revolving around internet.

While moving towards Digital, books and library should be given equal importance.

Paying a visit to nearby Library and inculcating reading habits in children are few of the major responsibilities of parent and teachers.

Let us join our hands and together mold our own country.

Written By 

Malathi Krishna P
malathi123in@gmail.com

 

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StudyFin- Financial support to reduce school dropouts in Maharashtra

At Thinksharp Foundation, we are successfully running project StudyMall in 28 villages in 28 rural schools across Maharashtra,India . Through StudyMall we are helping approximately 5000 rural children by providing them books,digital learning and other better educational infrastructure.

While working in rural areas, we closely observed lack of financial resource is one of the critical reason for discontinuing education. One of the major cause of dropouts in secondary schools in rural areas, is lack of financial support. This led us to launch our  new project “StudyFin”.

StudyFin project supports to financially disadvantaged children to pursue secondary education (9th to 12th Std) and vocational education. Special emphasis is for the girls who cannot pursue or have dropped out of the school due to financial constraints. This will help rural children for completion of the basic and vocational education.  This will increase there chance of earning money and becoming self-sustainable by being able to earn livelihood. StudyFin offers financial assistance in terms of fees up-to Rs.15,000/- per year, until course completion.

Our eligibility criteria is parental income from all sources should be less than Rs.2,50,000/- for the year. Special preference to children who have shown strong desire to learn. Eligible Courses 9th to 12th Std school education, ITI, Polytechnic and other short term vocational courses.

Our expectation from  children who will become part of our StudyFin program is that, they should provide commitment to share regular performance report as per our terms and conditions. And they should have desire to give back to society meaning children who are beneficiaries of our project, after their desired progression in career, they should donate for our project to further help other financially disadvantaged children in similar manner.

You can also become our partner organisation, supporter, volunteer and you can choose to donate for our cause.

Apply to avail financial support StudyFin

Written by -Dr.Shraddha M Bhange

Volunteer and Writer for Thinksharp Foundation.

Website- www.ThinkSharpFoundation.org

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation

Twitter- https://twitter.com/ThinkSharpFound

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-4cDXLuwAThHXhNOazv5KA

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Story about our supporters-Lets Tute and DHL Express India

We are  happy to share two stories regarding our partner organisation. This two organisations “Lets Tute” and “DHL Express India” have added value to our StudyMall project by adding education infrastructure for rural children in thier school which is interactive content to learn maths in effective manner and computers.

One of our StudyMall project in association with partner school at Karad, Dist-Satara received interactive,easy to learn Math books from our support organisation “LetsTute” on 19 July 2018.  We have received feedback from children that they are finding it easy to learn and enjoy maths. Teachers are also happy to use this content which makes teaching  more easy and effective .

Additonaly,happy to share that DHL Express India, has joined us to improve quality of rural education in Gov.Schools in Maharashtra. They have donated 29 laptops (used but remodelled in working condition). This laptops are used for setting up computer labs in rural schools. This was possible becuase of our supporter organisation Samhita GoodCSR who connected us with DHL Express India. We already set up one computer lab with help of this laptops at our StudyMall in Village Antradneed, Dist Raigad  on 28 June 2018 and one at Village Murumkhedwadi,District Aurangabad on 07 Aug 2018. This computer lab is helping now more than 400 rural children in becoming computer literate. Teachers are happy, and are uable to teach in  interactive manner by utilising laptops.

Let’s tute (Universal Learning Aid) is an E-learning company based in Mumbai which is helping rural children in making there learning journey more enjoyable. Their goal is to make some meaningful positive impact in education segment by providing quality education content to all students who want to explore, visualize and apply their learning to real life. They explain concepts in a very detailed and logical manner and they put focus on ‘self-learning’ and not teaching. Students need not mug up anything or try to remember things but they should be able to understand it in a way that the knowledge stays with them for life.They create content for various subjects such as Mathematics, Biology, Physics etc. Their content is useful for any student from any country pursuing any board/university. Our content takes them beyond class rooms, text books, examinations and marks. You can read more about them https://letstute.com/AboutUs

DHL is world’s leading logistics company, and there CSR  mission is to connect people and improve their lives and they are fulfilling it by taking up a special responsibility towards there employees, society and the environment. They are doing an amazing job and we are humbled to have chance of working with them. We really appreciate there support and commitment in helping rural children’s education by there donation of laptops.

 

You can  also become our partenr organisation,supporter, volunteer or you can choose to donate for our cause. Check  for more details on our website http://www.thinksharpfoundation.org/#/donate

You can also become our partner organisation, supporter, volunteer and you can choose to donate for our cause. Check for more details on our website

Written by -Dr.Shraddha M Bhange

Volunteer and Writer for Thinksharp Foundation.

Website- www.ThinkSharpFoundation.org

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ThinkSharpFoundation

Twitter- https://twitter.com/ThinkSharpFound

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-4cDXLuwAThHXhNOazv5KA

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