Kindle a Flame [DFC]

“Access to education is a constitutional requirement”
Druk School has firmly believed in empowering the youth and preparing them for future in keeping with school motto: Excellence in Body, Mind and Speech. The school started working with school leaders by involving them in all important decision making processes and activities. Every Monday evening the school leaders and School Management Team, meet to reflect on the previous week’s input to share observations, recommend strategies for more effective implementation and modify the policies accordingly. Druk School has a compassionate and empathetic community and school further strengthens these values through various classrooms and outdoor activities.

Druk School has many students who lives close by and they are accompanied by loving and caring baby sitters up to the school gate. A few students noticed some baby sitters sitting at the gate and looking beyond the gate longingly. They shared their feeling of empathy and compassion with their teachers. They questioned if they had been to school ever. Would not they too like to play with friends and go to school? Why would the baby sitters’ parents send them away to work when they themselves could not live without them?

The concern was discussed in the Environmental and Social Awareness Club with the club coordinators and club members. The following were accepted:
  • Make a survey of students having baby sitters in the age range of 6 and through respective class teachers. 
  • Send the consent forms to the parents. 
  • Introduce and present the idea during the upcoming parent’s teacher meeting. 
  • Collect the consent form during open house meeting by the concerned class teachers. 
Coordinators and students sat together to work on the program. All teachers and seniors students of Druk School are involved in this program sacrificing their weekends for the good cause. Student volunteers are also invited to sign in for the program.

The idea was shared with the teachers during staff meeting and with parents during parent’s teachers meeting and open house meeting. Respective employers were supportive, eager and excited about the program. It took a while for the program to take off but enquiry kept pouring in from the concerned employers. With great enthusiasm and compassionate heart ‘Kindle a Flame’ took off on the 23rd of July, 2011 on a beautiful afternoon in the Druk School premises.

DFC




DESIGN FOR CHANGE is the largest global movement designed to give children an opportunity to express their own ideas for a better world and put them into action.

Children and adults learn through the Design for Change Challenge that “I Can” are the two most powerful words a person can believe. Children who have discovered this are changing their world.

v  The challenge asks students to do four very simple things: Feel, Imagine, Do and Share. This allows children to identify the problems that bother them the most directly or indirectly in their school, home and their society at large.

v  Children are encouraged to be mindful of and reflect on what is happening around them and what roles they can fit into. They, then define ways to take on responsibilities to make the change they wish to see.

Druk School started its first venture into becoming a change agent in the year 2010. Since then it hasnt looked back. Our children still continue to come up with problems which affect them the most, directly or indirectly and work on becoming a change agent.

Please allow me to just run though a brief history on the Design for Change program initiated by the Drukians.

 

2010-present – One of the first involvements of Drukians was in managing the Druk School parking zone, since they felt the students faced a high risk, with nearly 300 plus vehicles coming to drop and pick up students. They had to do something immediately to ensure safety.

In one of the discussions of the traits of GNH which is used by the students, parents and teachers of the school, few students started sharing their concerns on honesty and corruption. They felt corruption must not be tolerated since it had a strong implication on the happiness of the people in general now and in the future.

They also reflected that, though everyone thought corruption was bad, yet every adult was reluctant in fighting against it. Therefore, they felt the future citizens had to act fast now. So, they decided to combat corruption in their own small way. They picked up the issue of the use of Government vehicles to drop and pick up school children as noticed by them. The students felt they could be empowered to say; No to BG vehicles and refused to be brought to and fro school in their parents government vehicles.

Druk School soon saw a decline in the number of government vehicles coming to drop off the children and finally we are proud to announce there is no more use of BG vehicles as of now, after 5 years of implementation.

 

This small action was highly appreciated by the chairperson of the ACC (Anti-Corruption Commission) which resulted in her sending her letter to all schools and the national newspapers requesting for such initiatives. Empowering students with good moral values and giving them a wise to bring a change can help us in facilitating healthy, confident and corruption free leaders of tomorrow.

In the present era of transition and change in governance, the future citizens must strengthen the institution by not just agreeing but by putting into practice zero tolerance against myriad forms of corruption they see all around them, after all THE VOICE OF TODAY BECOMES THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW.

 

2011-present- A warm gesture by our children to their baby sitters by allowing them to come to school during weekends to learn basic Dzongkha, English, Mathematics and Social skills. “KINDLE A FLAME” allows our dearest baby sisterswho were not fortunate enough to have attended a regular school attend the 4 hour classes every weekend.(Our children proudly call them baby sisters out of love & compassion)

We have some very genuine objectives for this project. At the end of the academic session, we would like to see each baby sister write his/her name in English & Dzongkha. They will be able to at least read sign boards and communicate and also use mathematical skills for calculations.

The participants of the project are the teachers of Druk School and the students of classes IX & X. It is compulsory for student helpers to come during the weekends on their designated days as it will be assessed as a part of their SUPW.

For 2015, Kindle a Flame starts from April. I have the forms for enrollment ready now. If you wish to send your baby sisters to school on weekends I would like to request our dear parents present here today to kindly collect the form from me and can send it through your child to school on Monday. We are hoping to enroll many interested candidates and make a difference in their lives. Trust me! It does make a lot of differences in an individual.

 

 2015- Adopting a School

Once again, our children’s love and compassion for children of their age couldn’t be hidden. Our children felt a strong need to help someone of their age live a happy life. They did not want them to compromise on their childhood phase. They came up with the idea of adopting a school which had majority of children from a disadvantaged family background.

Since our children needed to interact with their adopted school friends, we couldn’t choose a school far away from ours. The closest school that we can go and spend some time is Kuenselphodrang Pry School. And because the school has majority of the students from a disadvantaged background, our children are more than humbled to help them lead a better life.

The Druk school team met with the management team of KPS, and got some ideas on what the students in that school wished most for. Looking into all the requirements of those needy ones, we divided ourselves from classes IV-VI to participate and be the change in their lives. Each class will take up two things; material donation and soft skills. The collection of materials have already started and we have many students bringing in things which they do not require at home. Few parents have already decided to adopt some students from KPS. Such willingness from your side gives us the strength and motivation to do even better. Simultaneously, during the DFC classes every Wednesdays, the students will prepare an item to present to their friends. Each month, few classes from Druk School will go and spend their time with the students of KPS.

Program such as this allows our children to become a responsible and caring citizen of the country. Please note that it is not compulsory for your child to bring things from home. A simple good thought is more than enough to make a change in someone’s life.

 

                                              2017

Kindle a Flame

According to National Statistics Bureau (NSB), Bhutan

General Literacy Rate (2012) is 63%

 Youth Literacy rate (2012) is 86.1%  

(source : http://www.nsb.gov.bt/main/main.php#&slider1=4)

Kindle a Flame is a voluntary project carried out by Druk School family to less privileged young and adults of the community by providing them an opportunity to be functionally literate.

Druk School started the project as the part of the Global movement called ‘Design for Change (DFC) in the year2011.

It started with the discussion hour with the students on choosing a project for DFC. Students came up with many issues that they felt needed to be addressed.  One of the issues students brought out was the case of baby sitters. Everybody agreed on taking up the issue of giving a chance to learn and feel the experience of school education to the baby sisters (sitters) as lovingly referred by the students. The issue was closer to home and felt in the heart as many of these students themselves had baby sitters.

In Druk School many primary students are picked up by their baby sitters after school. They wait outside the gate. Some of the students could see them waiting and watching the school and the students with a sense of deprivation. The students felt that they too would like to experience the school and being a student. With this issue in mind, Drukians geared towards the in- depth discussion of planning and execution of the project. The project was named “Kindle a Flame” as we believed that education is the kindling of a flame and not the filling of the vessel.

During Wednesday Club hours, teachers and students finalized the project and “Kindle a flame” took off on a Saturday morning in the month of April, 2011 with great enthusiasm and kind heart.

Kindle a Flame started with 10 learners in 2011. As they walked in through Druk School gate on the first day, teachers and students were excited and the learners had smile in their faces. They were welcomed warmly by the teachers, students and the Principal.

Druk School offers the classes on weekends – Saturday and Sunday from 1 PM to 4PM. Teachers and students of classes IX and X volunteer their services. Students act as the teacher aid and take charge of smaller groups of learners for more meaningful and productive learning to take place.

Every year Kindle a flame starts in the month of March till first week of June and resumes in August after the summer break. The program ends with basic competency based tests conducted in November for three core subjects. Upon completion of the program certificates are awarded in the month of December during the Druk School Awards Day. Learners are encouraged to participate in School fun programs and Children’s day too.

Goal of kindle a flame is – functional literacy and not curriculum based school level education.

Subjects offered are: English, Dzongkha,Math and Social skills like Music, Art, Sports  and IT as the goal is to provide wholesome education. Learners enjoy playing games and working with computers.

Druk School strongly believes in sharing and community empowerment. Kindle a flame is a Druk School run project and school provides the services free of cost or any kind of monetary contribution from any agencies. It is our service to the community and it is carried out with our heart, compassion and love.

Submitted by:

Druk School Family

 

Comments