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Facelift for education

A group of executives from Microsoft took off from work to renovate the Nampally School Building and to teach students under the SOS programme of Naandi Foundation

ANY IDEA what Microsoft executives did in the past week? They were involved in some active social work. Thanks to them, the Nampally School Building got a bright look - it has been renovated. This handiwork of the young volunteers was done in association with Dr. Reddy's group, the Naandi Foundation with the help of students.

As part of Support Our Schools (SOS) initiative of Naandi, the foundation, as a pilot project, embarked on the idea of renovating 12 school buildings owned by the government in the twin cities, which will be extended to 300 in future.

The volunteers are driven by a sense of determination and commitment to this project, as they feel it is time to give back something in return to the society. Sundar Srinivasan, Programme Manager, Microsoft, says: "It is a mini movement towards an objective of creating a better world. It can only be achieved when we ensure good quality education, that can be effective only in a congenial learning atmosphere.''

"Our school was labelled as a bhoot bangla (where ghosts live) for years but thanks to these volunteers, the school has got a brilliant look,'' says Prasuna, Headmistress of the school. She feels that more of such corporate involvement can resurrect the dilapidated structures.

Christened rightly as the `community week', Microsoft volunteers took off on a working day clubbed with the weekend to participate in the renovation programme."It was fun working with the students. ,'' says Abhishek, one among the team of this unique project.

The basic plan is to improve the quality of education, the corporates not only want to provide better atmosphere here but also are taking keen interest on the software as well.

The corporates also evinced keen interest in software. They also conducted special classes in Maths and English for students of class X whereby they instilled some confidence in them.

Sugatri, a full-time teacher from Naandi says: "Initially there was a clash in methods of teaching. But later, with concerted efforts from the school teachers it was resolved.'' Premavani, who teaches maths, says: "One might build government schools, but making children learn to open their vistas to quality inputs is crucial.

Most importantly, we need to work on bridging the gap of learning needs and standards set by private institutions and government.''

For the students, it was sheer `infotainment'. At the end of the community week, a puppet show was organised for the students and their parents. It was a kind of awareness show on education, health and hygiene.

This is just the beginning of corporate involvement in government schools. More such programmes in future are on the cards.

G. BHARGAVI

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