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RICOH's Education Support Program in India-Building a Network for Learning-

ACTIVITY REPORT

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  • We will give progress reports of the program with related photos.

    November 2011: Installation of Digital Duplicators Completed

    By the end of July, eight out of 10 digital duplicators planned for donation had been installed. The scheduled installation of the remaining two, including one for Medak District Education Office, had to be postponed amid disturbances caused by public strikes resulting from the local political situation. When the unrest had settled down, the much-awaited machines were installed in the two locations. On October 29, when the last units had been set up, a ceremony was held to announce the launch of the program officially and the donation of the 10 digital duplicators, inviting a host of related parties, including District Education Officer, principals of recipient schools, and representatives from the local teachers' union and local communities.

    During the ceremony, representatives from each of the attending groups gave a speech. First, a representative from Save the Children talked about the significance of this program and the objective of donating digital duplicators. This was followed by an employee of Ricoh India (RID), who expressed his happiness of collaboration for supporting children's education and described the maintenance services to be offered for the donated machines.

    Teachers from the recipient schools reported on the shared use of the donated machines by multiple schools in the neighboring areas for printing learning materials, test papers, and many other documents. They also emphasized the effects of being able to print large volumes of materials on improving their students' learning efficiency. An opinion was voiced that teachers and school staff were very willing to be responsible for looking after the machines.

    It is encouraging to know that since the day they arrived, the donated duplicators are being fully used to help children learn more effectively at schools in Medak. We find this all the more impressive because we managed to overcome a number of challenges, including the delay of the donation ceremony (twice) and the need to protect the machines from rats (by creating large boxes to cover them). Using the donated duplicators to share information efficiently within educational support activities, which will soon be fully operational, we hope to improve the learning environment in the area.

    Ceremony of launch of the program and installation of digital duplicators

    Ceremony of launch of the program and
    installation of digital duplicators

    Head of Andhra Pradesh Office of Save the Children India (left) and a RID employee (center)  presenting the donation certificate to Medak District Education Officer (right)

    Head of Andhra Pradesh Office of
    Save the Children India (left) and
    a RID employee (center)
    presenting the donation certificate to
    Medak District Education Officer (right)

    Local newspaper article covering the donation ceremony

    Local newspaper article covering the donation ceremony

    August 2011: Use of Digital Duplicators Started

    The onsite use of digital duplicators has started in the program through which Ricoh is supporting the improvement of India's educational environment by donating digital duplicators to local schools and educational bureaus.

    Ricoh has donated digital duplicators to 10 locations since July 2011 under the program, including Vaddepalli School, where about 200 children from first graders to 10th graders are learning. Ricoh donated the first digital duplicator to this school, installed it at the site, and provided the school teachers with training on how to utilize the machine appropriately.

    Specifically, two employees from Ricoh India's branch in Hyderabad provided training to the school teachers. The employees explained the mechanism of the digital duplicator and provided details of easy troubleshooting methods for the practical use of the machine at the school. However, many of the teachers had never used duplicators or other office machines before and the one-and-half-hour training was not enough for them to fully understand how to make effective use of the machine. Ricoh India will therefore dispatch the employees to the school again in two months, to give the teachers additional training.

    In the future, Save the Children together with local NGO will also hold workshops to discuss ideas about what information can be shared through the use of a duplicator among local communities and children toward the improvement of the local educational environment.

    Delivery of the duplicator to the school

    Delivery of the duplicator to the school

    Ricoh India employees install the duplicator.

    Ricoh India employees install the duplicator.

    Ricoh India employees explain the operation of the duplicator.

    Ricoh India employees explain
    the operation of the duplicator.

    Teachers of the school practice using the machine.

    Teachers of the school practice
    using the machine.

    June 2011: Kick off meeting held

    Following the start of the program in May 2011, kick-off meetings were held in Japan and India to confirm the purpose, targets, and future direction of the program.

    In India, the rollout meeting was held on May 30 in Hyderabad, capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh where the program activities would be conducted, with the participation of members of Ricoh India (RID), Save the Children India (SCI) and of local partner NGO.

    At the beginning of the meeting, SCI gave an explanation of the measures to be taken to promote compulsory education for children aged six to 14 in line with the Right to Education Act established by the Indian government in 2009. Subsequently, RID gave a demonstration to show participants how the digital duplicators to be donated to educational facilities would be used at the facilities. Finally, participants confirmed the purpose, outline, and direction of the program toward its full-scale launch.

    In Japan, the kick-off meeting was held in Tokyo on June 6, attended by six members of Save the Children Japan (SCJ) and eight members of Ricoh, including those engaged in printer business and marketing operations as well as members of the CSR Office. CEO Thomas Chandy of SCI, who was visiting Japan at the time, also participated in the meeting, and participants shared the detailed action plans and aspirations toward the success of the program.

    The program is fostered by a range of Ricoh Group employees, including those dealing with Ricoh products and members of the CSR Office in cooperation with Ricoh's sales company in India. We will further improve the program by enhancing communication with all those concerned, including members of Save the Children.

    Rollout meeting held in Hyderabad

    Rollout meeting held in Hyderabad

    Demonstrating using a digital duplicator

    Demonstrating using a digital duplicator

    Kick-off meeting held in Tokyo

    Kick-off meeting held in Tokyo

    Held with the participation of 15 members

    Held with the participation of 15 members

    In the program,we also donated digital cameras for use by children.
    In the program,we also donated digital cameras for use by children.

    CEO Hironobu Shibuya of SCJ (left),
    CEO Thomas Chandy of SCI (center), and
    General Manager Mariko Azuma of
    Ricoh's CSR Office (right)

    Feasibility Study Conducted in January 2011

    At the end of January 2011, together with staff of Save the Children, we visited the targeted area to conduct a field survey for the launch of the program. The target area is located in Medak District, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, about two hours by car from Hyderabad, the state capital.
    We visited the schools and local educational bureaus where our digital duplicators would be installed and our education support program would be implemented in order to observe children's learning environment and school infrastructure. We met some children, teachers, community representatives, local governmental officials and interviewed them about the problems they faced in schools.
    As a result, the following facts were identified. First, most of the local schools had no copiers or duplicators and if digital duplicators were donated to them, they would be able to share more learning materials and other documents among themselves. Second, although the school attendance rate is increasing, many children are absent from school during the busy farming season, and it is crucial to increase the awareness of the local communities, including parents of the children, about the importance of education. Based on these findings, we will fine-tune our program and make it even better.

    Children studying outdoors because of lack of classrooms

    Children studying outdoors
    because of lack of classrooms

    Children studying in a classroom

    Children studying in a classroom

    Children talking about problems in their school and community

    Children talking about problems
    in their school and community

    Child resource center inside a school, which also serves as a community center

    Child resource center inside
    a school, which also serves
    as a community center

    Around the school

    Around the school

    Interview with local governmental officials

    Interview with
    local governmental officials

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