This Kerala school has many international friends
“Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”– Nelson Mandela
The education system has progressed by leaps and bounds. Every nation strives to provide education that is effective and engaging for the young generation. What makes each institute different is the vision and zeal to provide the best of both worlds to its students.
Odappallam Government High school of Wayanad district in Kerala is one of a kind. Over the years, the school has carved a niche for itself with its innovative use of technology to deliver English language skills. With over 63% of students enrolled belonging to the backward community, the teachers have worked day and night to provide quality education. The teachers follow the slogan “Team work makes the dream work” and their collective effort is what resulted in the establishment of ‘English language lab’ in 2018. The main focus is to enrich speaking, reading, listening and writing skills in English among the students.
The lab is well equipped with computers(with an internet connection) and projectors. A plethora of activities take place such as interview session, introduction of folk tales and musical instruments, video conferencing, language games, dubbing stories and quizzes. The activities are designed by the teachers that are suitable for each class. The world that the children are exposed to is one full of surprises and opportunities. Currently, the school conducts these interactive sessions with students and teachers of 13 foreign countries such as Poland, Russia, America, Argentina, Spain, Brazil and so on.
All the activities are scheduled only during free period, making sure that no class hours are skipped or hindered. One such activity is named ‘Penfriend’. Each student will have a friend from a different country, where they exchange letters about their culture, hobbies, experiences and aspirations. During occasions like Christmas and New year, they send wishes and greetings through videos. This helps to improve speaking and writing skills. Even the video conferencing session with foreign students and teachers is a platform that helps them to understand several cultures, traditions and customs. The ‘rhyme time’ and ‘story time’ are conducted every Monday and Tuesday from 1.15 pm to 1.45 pm. Created by the teachers, the activity book contains worksheets and assignments based on the grades/classes the students are in. The best ones are awarded as well. The ‘guest time’ is also another session where the students get to interact with foreigners or experts from other Indian states.
With this initiative, the seeds of hope, optimism and self-confidence have been sown in the hearts and minds of the students. They are able to express themselves like never before as they are no longer engulfed with fear or uneasiness. They have also proved their mettle in academics, securing 100% results in the year 2019 and 2020. Leaving no stone unturned, the school has proved that the sky is the limit. The dictum “slow and steady win the race” has become a thing of the past. Today it is the fast and the vibrant that comes out with flying colours. Odappallam school is sure to reach new heights in the coming years.
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