Schools are facing challenges in making the RTE process inclusive and equitable for students from different social & economic backgrounds. The law does not address the need to make student, teacher, parent & community relationships more complete and effective. There is a disparity in the RTE rules and in the way it’s implemented across states. Parents of students under RTE are often unable to help them with day-to-day studies due to illiteracy or lack of English language skills.
The effort of inclusion becomes empowered manifold, when every teacher, student and parent celebrates the diversity in the classroom and contributes in meaningful ways to make a difference. Acceptance of a child under RTE and immersion in the regular schooling system is just the first step of inclusion. Equally important are the various support initiatives that the school extends to the RTE child and parent, with a vision of inspiring and enriching them holistically.
The Riverside School has embraced the spirit of the Right to Education Act and opened its heart, mind and campus to children who come from economically disadvantaged families starting from the academic year 2011-2012.
These children are supported by parents who have adopted this cause and root for their success. They will have a future that they would possibly not have had otherwise – and this will be due to the emotional, spiritual and financial support that they receive at the school.
To address the challenges and bridge the gaps that the children might face due to the differences between the home and school environment, useful support initiatives are in place, such as :
Home Visits :This is done to know the child. First home visit is done remove assumptions and to understand the home environment of the child. Second home visit is done to see if the family and the child is comfortable with the school. (Twice a year )
One-on-one Sessions :This is to address the cognitive, social and emotional needs of the child. This is done by one on one interaction between the teacher and the students. (Every fortnight)
Parent Updates: This is done to keep the parent connected with what is happening in the class and school. (Every fortnight)
Teach to Reach Summer Program : To bridge the gap and reinforce learning, sessions are conducted during summer break. (Once a year)
An adult literacy program helps parents in self-development and empowers them to ably guide and partner with their children in the educational journey. It includes:
Language Sessions: In order to enable the parent to support her child in education, Riverside offers tutorship in English so that they are able to develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. (twice a week for an hour).
Computer Sessions: To learn and develop computer literacy, interested parents are given hands-on sessions for computer literacy.
(Once a week for an hour)
Well being Sessions: To raise the awareness, self esteem and confidence, various workshops are regularly conducted on:
Health and hygiene
Entrepreneurial Training :The purpose of this program is to build the entrepreneurial acumen of parents by undertaking focused training sessions under experts to learn Project Evaluation, Budgeting, Financial Monitoring, Resource Identification and communication skills. By honing these entrepreneurial skills, the mothers get equipped and confident to undertake various economic activities like catering, garments and personal grooming services etc.
Riverside has designed a RTE Program which is ‘inclusive’, NOT ‘after school’ or ‘remedial’. We believed that this step towards inclusiveness adds to the school’s diversity and increases the holistic learning for ALL. To do this following strategies are done:
Orientation: Riverside Parents are made aware of the RTE act and the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of its implementation at Riverside is discussed. (Once a year)
Team Meetings: Regular teacher meetings are done for raising awareness and staying updated about the act. The growth and progress of the child are discussed and planning is done. (Once a month)
Visit To Schools : The teacher team at Riverside visits various schools to understand their best practice and challenges as they implement RTE at their school. (Twice in a year).
HUM: is an initiative run by the students studying in Grade-10 of the Riverside school. This reflects the ideology of "Main se HUM", which refers to the goal that is including and empowering everyone to truly earn the Right to Education. (Once a week)
Volunteers: The entire Riverside community (teachers, students and parents) is a part of the program. They volunteer their time and support a child’s education. (Every week)