Saturday, November 29, 2008

Little Talents - Future leaders in the making!

Friends! I welcome you all to this new post. I know I am doing injustice to my friend Harish by not working on the assignment we both had to work on which is due and on our neck now. But I am excusing myself from that assignment and writing this post because I am now in a good mood to write about the experiences we had with our Eskool event happened yesterday (27th November) at Prasiddhi School.

Since the time we started our Eskool operations at Prasiddhi School, we were thinking of doing some creative event for the school children. And we were thinking of various options for the same since almost 8 months. One thought came to our mind is why can’t we give some live projects to the high school students? Like how we had our projects during our graduation and Post Graduation. We knew it was not that easy but still we thought of proceeding with the plan.

Finally, we went to the school on Oct 18th and had a meeting with Shashi and Jyothi (our Faculties) on the arrangements to be made for the same. We instructed them to divide the classroom into groups of 6 students each and giving them one topic for each class. So there were about 6-7 teams per class and we decided on selecting a winner and runner out of every class to be awarded during the annual day. All students were excited and thrilled to hear this as for the first time they are being divided into the groups creating a competitive environment inside the classroom. All students were eagerly waiting for their topics to be given and were even pestering our faculties to give away the topics. We decided on four topics for the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th standard students. The topics were in general and were not in specific to their subject. 7th got their topic as ‘Bangalore Traffic’; 8th got their topic as ‘Evolution of Man v/s Evolution of technology: Futuristic view beyond 21st century’; 9th got their topic as ‘Computer Virus’; 10th got their topic as ‘Global Warming’. I know all the topics sounds interesting but our objective mainly was to bring in the competitive environment, Team working abilities and creativity with the use of Power point. Well, there were rules for them to carry out the activity and the deadline was set to collect all the projects.

After few days, we got to know from Shashi that all the students are excited about the projects and they are all interestingly doing it and surprisingly few teams had even submitted their projects before the due date. Once all the projects were collected, we had to get those from the school and have a look at it before we fixed the presentation date. Even though we delayed this process of going through projects because of many uncertainties’ we had, we decided to go to the school and fix up the date for the presentations. Since we cannot take many leaves, we asked the school management to give us permission for one full day to be there and finish all the presentations without dragging it to many days. Finally we fixed the date as 27th November.

Supreeth and I took off from our job on 27th and managed to reach the school at 9 am. We were all ready with the criteria sheets for us to enter the marks for all the teams. As soon as we got into the Eskool lab, we took printouts of the criteria sheets and saw a few 7th standard students still struggling to make some changes to their slides. Shashi was blasting them out saying it’s the final day and presentations are going to start in sometime.

We went into the library where the projector was connected and Supreeth fixed his laptop to the same. As we walked in, all the 7th standard students walked in and started submitting their slide presentations to us so that we can copy it to the laptop. We took quite a lot of time in organizing the files because of the virus in all pen drives and CDs they had got. And finally we were all set to begin. As supreeth was managing to copy files, I was talking to students asking them some silly questions and making them laugh. Finally, I called upon the teams in random order. One by one they came and presented and went back to their respective places. There were 7 teams in total and all the teams’ efforts were remarkable and quite interesting. They were very creative in their presentations and the way they shuffled within themselves while presenting. Even though they are doing it for the first time, they were doing it in a very good manner and supreeth was quite amazed by one team which made a very good eye-to-eye contact while presenting the content. There were few funny instances also where in few students felt shy to come in front of the slide and face the audience, instead they just turned back and read the whole content on the slide. Well, they are doing it for the first time and we respected it. Few teams were not sure how to present but they were very creative enough to place the content on the slides. The suggestions they had come up for Bangalore Traffic management were excellent. If we really implement those suggestions, we will really be in a safer zone! I still remember, there was one slide which says Hell-Mate (for helmet).

Because of the delay in starting the presentations, 1st period got over and we were yet to complete the 7th STD presentations. We somehow managed to finish it soon and then entered the class X. X STD students were all excited to present their slides of the most interesting topic Global Warming!

As they walked into the hall, we saw lot of students eager to present their case and were waiting to take over their own fellow class competitors. We again collated all the presentations in to the laptop and started in the random order. I must say this, these X STD students did not seem like they are really X STD as they had done their presentations very professionally. Creativity was at its best and the content, the level of thinking, hard work in shaping up their presentations were remarkable. There were a few presentations where there were no team efforts, rather one student performance. Supreeth gave them some inputs on how it has to be and how a team should perform. There were extraordinary presentations with lot of matured thinking about this interesting topic. There were lots of suggestions given on how to reduce the Global Warming. As soon as the presentations got over, I went up to the stage and spoke a few words on why we chose this topic for the X STD and what should they do as a team to contribute to reduction in the Global Warming. I encouraged them to think about the suggestions which were on the slides and implementing the same to lead their own better life on this beautiful universe!

After the X STD presentations, we had our lunch and were back at the hall for the IX STD presentations. Even though the topic for them was not that interesting (as per the students) they had done it remarkably well. There were 6 groups in total and there were extraordinary performances. As all the classes, to their extent, creativity was at its best! There was a nap for all in between as one of the team had more and more text on the slide and all of them were reading it from the slide without even turning at the audience. Well, that’s how the foundation is at that level. Unless we bring up such initiatives, students will not break out for the better shows.

By the time we finished the IX STD presentations, it was 3.30 pm and that’s the end of the day. We could not finish the 8th standard presentations on that day and it got postponed to Saturday. There were lots of learning for me from the whole process looking at their commitment towards winning the event, creativity shown and the skills presented over the stage. I was quite impressed with the kind of performances they have shown towards the achievement. This proved that these little kids can achieve anything if given an opportunity to showcase their talent.

To end my post, these kids, who showcased their creativity and conviction towards achieving success in the competitive environment, are our future leaders who are seeking opportunities at every step of their career. And we will try our best to bring in this kind of competitiveness before even they move out of school life to join the bigger roles in their lives.

Because of the rules set for the competition, we have to select a winner and runner for every class. Otherwise, every team is a winning team here!

Thanks Sup for your brilliant efforts in making this event in spite of your cold, cough and fever! Thanks to our faculties as well!


sajana said...

WOW!! This is really a great INITIATIVE i must say!
The kids ..our future leaders are really lucky to have mentors like you guys..(how i wish i had someone giving me an oppurtunity to make presentation while in school,so that i could avoid the goof ups i made while presenting during my MBA days :) )
Great going...Wishing your team sucess and waiting to see that you come up with more such activities of this sort for the Future leaders!

Maathungi said...

These students are not only lucky to have such mentors, but also have a bunch of hyperactive professionals who would help them go a long way in moulding them into future leaders.

That was commendable effort from u and your team Srik...

Raghu said...

I liked the spirit of our young minds. It is a true reflection of where India is heading in future by baosting itself as the knowledge capital of the world. For this to happen, we require people like you/Sup and team who can guide them and show them the right direction for their journey. Thanks again for your wonderful effort in organising such an event in the school and teaching them the lessons on the team work.