How Unnayan Banka initiative helped Rinki Kumari, a student from Neelkothi Village

Rinki Kumari, a highly enthusiastic girl with the confidence of winning over all the barriers, belongs to a small village, Neelkothi in Banka District. The village has rarely any motor vehicle. In a contrast from Delhi’s wide roads with heavy traffic, her  village has a narrow muddy lane crowded by hens and goats. Just like all other houses in the village, her house is also made of mud where resides the girl studying hard ‘day and night’ to make her future bright.

Rinki after passing her eighth standard exam moved to Project Girls High School, Chandan (the nearest school from her home). Though school was not very far from her village, but there was non-perennial river on the way to school. Rinki with her friends from the village, goes to the school by cycle. During rainy season, the river gets heavy flow of water, making it difficult for the girls to cross the river and go to school.

Welcome to Project Girls High School, Chandan

Rinki, an average performing student with the only objective of passing Class 10th Board Exam, went to the school with her friends from the village by cycling. Throughout her 9th standard, even her name was not known to the teachers because like all other students, she was never interactive in the class. Going to the school, opening books, listening to the teacher, coming back home and helping the family in household activities defined her daily routine. She managed to pass in the 9th Standard by learning topics by heart and not going to the literal meaning of the concepts. This complete learning cycle from one standard to another never interested her.

Now she’s a 10th standard student, though studying do not interest her much, she studies hard day and night for the Board Exams to earn honour and respect from her family and villagers.

Rinki faced difficulty in understanding most of the topics in Science and Maths, especially Chemistry, she started cramming the subjects with not much interest in understanding. But this cramming habit was not going help her in long.

The School has very few teachers, so discussions and interactions with students was not possible. Most of the teachers did not even know Rinki, forget about her pain of cramming everything.

It seems difficult! I believe cramming will not help her pass the Board Exam.

Unnayan Banka Initiative

Under this initiative, Mobile Technology and ICT is applied to create an education ecosystem which enables teachers to be effective, improve the quality of course delivery through animated and interactive Video Lectures along with adaptive assessment modules and brings about efficiency through established monitoring and evaluation framework.

All the students, including Rinki, and teacher were amazed to know about the initiative and that their school has been selected for the pilot phase of the initiative. To Rinki’s surprise, she was going to study on TV now. No more boring classes.

Her first lecture on TV was of Chemical Reactions, which she disliked the most. She saw the video as a TV Series and realised that she now understands ‘what is a chemical reaction’ and is able to relate it with her daily life. Just after the Video completed, I asked the students if they can answer me a simple question – ‘ Is cooking rice a chemical reaction or not? ‘

Unexpectedly, most of the girl students raised their hands to answer the question and Rinki was one of these students. For the first time, she was relating chemistry to the daily life. For the first time, she was answering a question in the class of 120 with full confidence. And for the first time, she understood the concept.

The daily Unnayan Session having concept Video Lectures and assessments was a new and interesting way of learning for the students. Every Monday a baseline test was conducted in the school, followed by 5 days regular Unnayan sessions and daily Quiz. At the end of the week, an analysis test was conducted in the school. This helped analyse the performance of each and every student on weekly basis.

The weeks rolled on. Each day was bringing a change in Rinki. Now she was no more an average student of the class. Teacher and other students started recognising. Every week she was doing better.

It was the month of August, 2017, it rained cats and dogs in the region and the water in the river was at its highest level. Generally, students from the other side of the river doesn’t go to the school during this season. But Rinki and her friends, excited to learn new topic through Video Lectures, somehow managed to cross the river and came to school in wet clothes with a willingness of learning.

And for the first time ‘She was passionate for learning.’

The months rolled on. This time she topped the district in the analysis test. It was a moment of proud for her father and her teachers when she got awarded by DM of the district. This was a big achievement in her which made her more confident and now she aims to top in the Board Exam as well.

And for the first time ‘She became toper of the district.’

Thousands of girls like Rinki has the potential of changing her family, her village and her nation, if given the accessibility to Quality Education (which you and I fortunately got by paying lots of money to the best private schools). The matter of discussion in not only the ‘Right to Education’ but ‘The Right to Quality Education.’

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