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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 2012 : For the Future of Children

    In the second round of the program, which we started this July, we have been making preparations to donate our digital duplicators to another 10 educational institutions, in addition to those we donated to last year. According to teachers at these schools, the donated duplicators have been used very effectively to print examination papers, supplementary teaching materials and other documents.

    In one of the interviews to teachers at the schools where we will donate the duplicators regarding their planned usage, an English teacher working at a girl's high school in Narsapur commented:

    "Our school focuses on English education, and students are indeed very much interested in reading, listening to, and speaking the language. Local children, however, have very limited opportunities to use English in their daily lives because here in this area we have no access to TV or the Internet. I would therefore like use the duplicator that will be donated to our school to print books and newspaper articles written in English and distribute them to my students. Mastering English will eventually help children achieve their future goals and get the jobs of their choice."

    At schools located in rural areas in India, where teaching materials and information are limited, proactive use of digital duplicators will help children learn more and will provide them with a wider range of options as they go toward the future. This in turn will help children to attain sufficient self-confidence and the ability to open the way to a bright future.

    We have been encouraging not only the schools where we donated the duplicators but also other schools located in the surrounding neighborhoods to make effective use of the machines. As part of this effort, in October we conducted a training seminar for teachers of neighboring schools, showing them how to use the machines. Presently, the duplicators are mainly used to print examination papers and teaching materials, but in the future, children could bring what they want to print, placing the material in a box installed for this purpose. Additionally, children in higher grades could receive lessons on how to use a digital duplicator so that anyone at the school will eventually be able to use the machine easily for a wide range of purposes.

    Students at one of the schools where we will donate our digital duplicators (located in Konyala)

    Students at one of the schools where we will donate our digital duplicators (located in Konyala)

    Interview with teachers

    Interview with teachers

    Class given at a girl's high school in Narsapur

    Class given at a girl's high school in Narsapur

    Training seminar held to show teachers how to use a digital duplicator

    Training seminar held to show teachers how to use a digital duplicator

    August 2012: Starting the Second Round of the Program

    We started the Education Support Program in India in May 2011, and the activities conducted in the first round of the program, which lasted for about a year, are beginning to bring the following results:

    • 1) Improvement of the quality of classes given to children due to the use of digital duplicators
    • 2) Increased participation of children in the improvement of their schools through the children group activities
    • 3) Networking of people engaged in education through meetings and workshops

    Not all the activities, however, are showing results as initially expected. For example, there are schools where the donated digital duplicators are not fully utilized because of the lack of teachers and teaching materials, and there were some delays in the organization of the school management committee training seminars to be held under the leadership of the State government.

    In light of the fact, in the second round of the program launched this July, we will further enhance cooperation with the government and NGOs supporting local education, in order to further improve the learning environment for children. As the first step, we will donate our digital duplicators to government schools selected as model schools by the Andhra Pradesh State government and also to schools managed by a local NGO to supplement education given at government schools.

    We visited a government school selected as a candidate for a model school in July. The school had better equipments and supplementary teaching materials compared with other local schools, and teachers of the school were making strenuous efforts to improve education in various ways. We also visited a school (NGO managed), where classes were given to supplement those provided at government schools by the use of teaching materials that were not available at small government schools, such as an anatomical model of the human body and experimental equipment. We will donate digital duplicators to these schools having enough educational resources to utilize the machines, which will help us examine the methods to help schools make more effective use of digital duplicators in the current local educational environment. At the same time, we will encourage all the schools to which we donated digital duplicators in the first round of the program to make more effective use of the machines.

    As in the first round of the program, we will implement following specific measures for teachers, children, their parents and local communities at 60 schools located in the Hathnoora Mandal zone of Medak District: activities to improve the school and local environment surrounding children and holding workshops on children's rights.

    Children of a school to which we will continue to give educational support as in the first round of the program

    Children of a school to which we will continue to give educational support as in the first round of the program

    Class given by a supplementary school managed by a local NGO

    Class given by a supplementary school managed by a local NGO

    Model school: A lot of charts are posted on the classroom wall as teaching materials

    Model school: A lot of charts are posted on the classroom wall as teaching materials

    Model school:There are desks and chairs in the classroom for upper graders

    Model school:There are desks and chairs in the classroom for upper graders

    May 2012: Aiming to Increase the Quality of Classes Given to Children

    In the Hathnoora Mandal zone of Medak District in Andhra Pradesh State, where we have been implementing the Education Support Program, we provided local teachers with opportunities to meet by regional block and discuss how to improve the classes given to their students, during the period from March to April 2012.

    At government schools located in rural and remote areas of the country, such as those in Hathnoora, the number of teachers is disproportionately small compared with that of students. Because of this, although the teachers are eager to give better education to local children, they are always too busy preparing for regular classes and examinations to create more inspiring teaching materials.

    At the meetings, participating teachers shared their experiences and daily problems, discussed in groups how to improve the quality of the teaching materials used at their schools, and presented the discussion results to all participants. They also discussed how to make better use of the digital duplicator, which was installed at five of the local schools in July 2011 to improve both the quality of teaching materials and the efficiency of their work.

    For a more effective use of the digital duplicators, participants made a range of proposals, including printing visual teaching materials (such as figures and charts), newspaper clippings, maps and health and hygiene-related documents for children, and printing the written notices and agendas of the school management committees and PTAs for local communities.

    In order to encourage the use of the digital duplicators by nearby surrounding schools that currently do not have one, we will provide these schools with posters that give information about the machines, including not only where they are installed and how to use them but also an introduction on the Education Support Program and India's Right to Education Act.

    We will continue to support the teachers, thereby helping their schools make more proactive use of the digital duplicators, which will in turn help provide children with better education across the region.

    Members of Save the Children explained the purport of the meeting

    Members of Save the Children explained the purport of the meeting

    Teachers discussed in groups

    Teachers discussed in groups

    Proposed ideas were written down on notes

    Proposed ideas were written down on notes

    Each group's ideas were presented and shared by all

    Each group's ideas were presented and shared by all

    The poster of the digital duplicators which Ricoh India and Save the Children India created by collaboration

    The poster of the digital duplicators which Ricoh India and Save the Children India created by collaboration

    March 2012: Collaborative Monitoring

    At the beginning of February 2012, before celebrating the first anniversary of the program that was launched in May 2011, members of Save the Children, local NGO and Ricoh gathered together to conduct a collaborative monitoring activity in order to check onsite progress and achievements and to discuss measures to deal with the problems identified.

    First, the members visited seven of the 10 sites at which the digital duplicators were donated and asked the teachers and officers of the educational bureaus about how they were utilizing the machines, what problems they faced and what results were achieved. As a result of the interview, we were assured that the duplicators were contributing to saving time and improving educational quality at the sites through their primary use of printing examination sheets and various other teaching materials.

    Before the introduction of the digital duplicators, children needed to take much time to write down questions and important points written by the teacher on the blackboard. Now, teachers can distribute prepared prints to the children, thus allowing them to allocate more time to teaching them and letting them do exercises.

    Also, the duplicators have made it possible for the schools and education bureaus to share more information with a wider range of people, for example, by printing notices for children's parents, guidelines for teachers and a teacher name list. Some commented that they could now dispatch information with more confidence.

    Children participating in children group activities commented that they were sharing roles for the protection of children's rights, promotion of school education, improvement of health and also for cultural activities, and that they had regular meetings to discuss problems to be solved to improve their schools, such as what to do about a roofless restroom where no water was available. The children, who have now become able to express their opinions with confidence, represent one of the great achievements made through the program.

    The activities of the school management committees and children protection committees, which are key activities performed for the improvement of local schools and the local children's educational environment, are yet to be conducted at full scale and problems remain to be solved regarding the use of the donated digital duplicators. However, the collaborative members were able to confirm by monitoring that the children's local environment was being steadily improved. In order to achieve greater results by the completion of the program two years from now, we will continue conducting program activities.

    A Save the Children member interviewed the school principal (left) about the digital duplicator

    A Save the Children member interviewed the school principal (left) about the digital duplicator

    The members observed how teachers were using the digital duplicator

    The members observed how teachers were using the digital duplicator

    Handwritten texts were printed and distributed to children (The photo shows original text)

    Handwritten texts were printed and distributed to children (The photo shows original text)

    The girls talked to the members about the children group activities

    The girls talked to the members about the children group activities

    Children receiving a lesson in English

    Children having a English class outdoors

    For analysis of digital duplicator use, users were asked to record the date of use, the number of prints and the printing purpose every time they used the machine

    For analysis of digital duplicator use, users were asked to record the date of use, the number of prints and the printing purpose every time they used the machine

    January 2012: Children Group Activities

    In order for local people to create a better educational environment, it is essential for local children themselves to participate in activities that improve their schools. Based on this recognition, we founded a children group, now nearly 800 children strong from 63 participating schools, and organized its activities giving members the opportunity to participate in solving local issues in the education system, such as those concerning school management, based on the understanding of the students' right to go to school and the importance of education.

    In establishing this group, we held orientation meetings for children to brief them on the programs being implemented jointly by Ricoh and Save the Children as well as on the group's purpose. We also taught them about children's rights. We then asked the children to write down any problems they were facing at school, and received feedback, including "the restroom is dirty" and "we have no desks."

    With this program, we will empower children through club activities and implement measures that enable children themselves to choose to participate in solving their own problems, including those concerning school management, early marriage, child labor and health care. At the same time we will help with enhancing activities of local children protection committees to protect the educational environment for children and also activities of local school management committees to implement more measures for improving the schools. Through these measures, we will support the creation of a system that enables each local community to improve their educational environment in a sustainable and independent manner while incorporating the opinions of local children.

    Children group members

    Children group members

    Orientation meeting for children

    Orientation meeting for children

    Notes provided by children facing a range of problems

    Notes provided by children facing
    a range of problems

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