Girija’s experience at TBM, Chennai

Today was my first session at TBM. It was a soulful experience for me. I was handling Class 6 students and was surprised to see that a few students did not know their ABC’s.

This was quite odd for me. The fact that I want to highlight here is that the students are interested and want to learn everything, in particular “English” but ( may be ) they didn’t get the right mentors.

Just to quote an example a boy in class 6 didn’t know the alphabets, he is not good in tamil as well. But within just 3 hours he learnt the English alphabets.

I’m not trying to say that did something great but what was done in past 6 years of his school life…?? We didn’t do any magic in those 3 hours that can’t be done in past 6 years.

I’m sure if we take this forward to  many schools we can help many children.

Thanks to Shlok for giving me this opportunity. Looking forward to participate in many such activities.

   
Thank you… 🙂

Regards,
Girija S B
Danske Bank – TSM Client Support (BUR)

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SHLOK X at Indiranagar– Radical Steps in Education

SHLOK X- Indiranagar

SHLOK X- Launch @ Indiranagar, Bangalore

 

 

The launch of SHLOK X at the Indiranagar chapter – Another small step towards better education

September 2015 called for another milestone for SHLOK. We launched the 2nd chapter of SHLOK X in Bangalore.

Why is this such a big deal?

When we at SHLOK started, our aim was to improve the quality of education in rural and government schools with the focus on English and Computer Science. 1 year, and 6 successful chapters along the way, we met Dr. Sugata Mitra who is best known for his ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment, and who is leading the ‘school in the cloud’ model.

This struck a chord! When a slum in Delhi self-learned everything about the internet through an isolated computer with an internet connection, we wondered what a classroom full of children can do. And SHLOK X was born. A model that allowed kids to learn through the internet. This enabled, firstly, a fun way of learning, followed by a lot of other benefits – brewing curiosity, 360 degree learning, ease of tracking progress etc. With this began the redefined journey of SHLOK.

What has been the biggest challenge to launch a SHLOK X?

Starting a SHLOK X chapter involves – fund raising, sourcing laptops and tablets, sourcing internet connection and setting up. Fund raising and finding quality laptops and tablets have been the biggest challenge. These take the longest – sometimes several months.

Here is a break up of a typical SHLOK X chapter (Sampled are our expenses from Indiranagar Shlok X Launch and some associated activities)

Funds Raised = 53,000
Volunteer Outreach Initiative = 8000 INR
Expenses for tablets – 6500 * 4 = 26,000 INR
Additional two tablets – donated – nil expense
Internet expense for the year – 12,000 INR

Balance Pending= 7000 INR (To be sent into the SHLOK Bank Account)
Why is it so worth it?

For the Indiranagar chapter, we received generous donations from friends and our network and raised 53,000 INR. We scouted for some organization where we can buy 2nd hand quality laptops from, but we hit no success. Finally went in for the kids tablets from Micromax.
On the day of the launch – the kids in the class knew something was coming up but had no idea they were being grouped into 4 to share a tablet. As soon as we got in the tablets and set up the wi-fi router, the kids could no longer contain their excitement. There were eyes brimming with pleasure, curious looks, shrill voices and so much excitement.

We had trained the teachers in the school the previous week on how SHLOK X would run. Every Saturday – 2 hours of internet based learning with supervision.

In the first class, the kids got to play around with various learning apps. And suddenly everyones spellings and answers were correct. They had their brightest smiles on and did their best to stop the session from coming to an end!
We sincerely thank our donors for helping us make this happen!

If you would like to read more about SHLOK X, then here is one from our launch at GMPS, Puttenahalli- Bangalore

As always the difference that can be made can only come from you the people. So we ask you ponder this for a moment- there are over a 1000 schools in each of our cities which need help or volunteering in some form. Will you step forward and be the change?

You could also join us as a part of our journey. We invite you to SHLOK and hope that you will

|Imagine|Impart|Inspire|

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Narayanan’s feelings on being part of SHLOK

It is very gratifying to be associated with SHLOK. It has been almost 2 years now since I joined SHLOK. After spending over 40 years in the USA, I returned to India  about 2 years ago. I started teaching the kids from the nearby slum in Puttanahalli lake. As the students numbers increased I started teaching at home. I had initially started with Youth for SEVA org. Then I heard about the SHLOK Foundation and decided to give it a try. It has been a very rewarding experience. It is so nice to see the smiling faces and enthusiasm of these children. We do have other volunteers from the Brigade Millenium complex who teach at the Puttanahalli Govt. School. They have been a lot of encouragement to me as I did not know what to expect initially.
We hope that our services and involvement will inspire these kids and enhance their future growth and prospects. SHLOK has been a source of inspiration for me also.
C.S.Narayanan

Independence day Book distribution at GMPS

Shlok was an active and a major participant on the 69th Indian Independence Day celebrations on 15th August, 2015 at the GMPS Putttenahalli School, South Bangalore. Shlok, represented by its founder, Ashwin and active volunteer Pramodh distributed Notebooks to the 1000+ students of the school. The books were branded with Shlok labels. The school management was highly appreciative of this gesture from Shlok and were grateful for all the support rendered to the school by Shlok volunteers through Shlok X curriculum and English classes. The school gave us the opportunity to address the students. The total cost of the activity was Rs 12600/.

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Jai raj’s first day at GMPS, Puttenahalli

Having retired after serving for 34 years in  a professionally managed company, I was looking forward to an entirely different experience with Shlok.

My first day started with being at the gates of GMPS government school near puttenhalli lake. I met  three active professional looking ladies from Shlok a few moments later. After short pleasantries, we split into different directions to take classes for students from grades three to five.

I tagged along with Ms Vasanthi to familiarise myself with their teaching methods. As soon as we entered grade three class, children stood up wishing us good morning. As our intention was to make them improve verbal skills, students were told to ask me questions and I was to reply.

Having lived my whole life interacting with one and all in English and having brought up my two children from teaching basic English to seeing them end up as Engineering graduates, It was a totally new experience to realise that there is a totally different set of society where even basic knowledge of  English is alien to them. Even asking me what my name is, is a big challenge for those cute kids. This is inspite of them having a good standard of English language text book for their class!!!!

I value Shlok’s efforts in contributing towards uplifting the downtrodden and making sincere efforts towards the lives of lesser privileged children striving and hoping for a brighter tomorrow. I laud their efforts and hopefully want to play a small part in their vision.

Regards,
Jai raj

My first day at SHLOK

My first day at SHLOK

Have you ever wanted to feel touched, satisfied with a sense of feeling that it is worth the cause and purpose?

Well, this is exactly what I felt spending time teaching English to the grade 3 students at the Puttenahalli Government school.

I met the grade 3 English teachers of the school in addition to the primary English teacher. Based on the discussions with them, I did a recap of grade 2 English to help the kids refresh and recall what they learnt last year. Each session lasted for 30 minutes at both sections and I preferred not to combine the sections as I  felt that managing a large group would be a challenge.

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I tried to make the sessions engaging and interactive which the kids seemed to enjoy. Both sections were different – one was boisterous and uncontrollable while the other was very disciplined but both were equally fun.

Thanks to SHLOK foundation for this wonderful opportunity. I can assure you that spending time with the lovely, innocent, sparkling kids is simply the most addictive feeling in the world!

– Pramodh Manda

ShlokX

We have lift off of SHLOK ‘X’. SHLOK X is a collaborative effort between SHLOK foundation and Dr Sugata Mitras team. Dr Mitras team has been kind enough to work with us and launch this pioneering effort for some of our government schools. This platform is also called SOLE or School in the cloud.

What is the buzz all about. Well a few years ago Sugata Mitra had done an experiment in India where in he left a computer system connected to the internet and put inside a wall. he left without explaining the system to anyone. When he came back he saw that people had learnt stuff about the internet, languages and this had also started the process of peer to peer learning. Dr Mitra went to win the TED X prize in 2013 for the Hole in the wall experiment.

On the 5th of Sep 2014 we launched SHLOK X in SHLOK’s birthplace (GMPS Puttenahalli, Bangalore), the simple idea is that SHLOK X can facilitate self learning or the spirit of enquiry among the students and bring a sense of wonder to the classes they attend to in government schools.

The methodology is simple. A teacher simply poses a question to a group of 4 to 5 kids asking “Why is the sky blue?” or something from thier subject areas and asks them to research the topics using thier laptops and internet connections. After a session of about 30 minutes each group comes forward and makes a presentation.

The most challenging task was getting the internet connection since we had to depend on the service providers. Enquired with a couple of providers and shortlisted airtel.  After consulting with airtel rep. we ruled out the option of cabling and went with wifi router. There were many follow ups  and a long wait of nearly 2 months but we finally got the internet setup in the computer lab.

Next was getting  the laptops ready. some did not have batteries and some did not support wifi. Got all the laptops fixed. Also printed out shlok labels to go on the equipment.

Expenses incurred,

initial internet fee – Rs.500

Fixing computers  and accessories – Rs.6959

Internet fees paid so far – Rs. 5016.48

Total spent so far – Rs. 12475.48

It amazed me to see that the kids picked up on internet browsing within minutes of being given the system. the level of excitement and energy felt in the room was high.

SHLOK X will give an opportunity to the students studying in government schools. it seems so simple in thought and execution and yet will bring in the changes that we seek from the primary school education system in government schools where SHLOK X is deployed.

While i was leaving the class the students seemed happy at the end of our session and wished me “happy teachers day” with the enthusiasm that only school kids could muster.

There are approximately a 1000 government schools in Bangalore, and you can start something like SHLOK X or join us in our efforts.

Come join SHLOK and simply “Imagine|Impart|Inspire|”

SHLOK X

SHLOK X- the first session