Khoj The Search Begins

What is khoj all about….??bold text**

To,
The Principal,
____,
____

Subject – Launch of Project ‘Khoj’ by REACHA

Respected Sir,

We all know that the inquisitive mind never ceases to grow and evolve. The more it ‘seeks’ the more it ‘rejoices’ in the beauty & mystery of the infinite & the unknown. The knowledge so acquired is not only empowering for the individual but also elevating.

REACHA (www.reacha.org ), a registered Voluntary Organisation, has been at the forefront of developing Child-Centric Learning By Doing (CCLBD) modules since 1992. These modules attempt to provide a platform to kids to explore their hidden potential, relate these to real world situations and seek solutions – both within and without.

Over the years REACHA has been promoting volunteering amongst college students too. Such internships provide a ring-side view of the world to these youngsters, and attempt to motivate them to participate in solving some of the problems that beset humankind, nature and mother earth.

In furtherance of these causes REACHA is launching a school based Quiz – KHOJ – the spirit of exploration! College students from the IIT, IMT, Ghaziabad, NIT, IIIT & National Law School are joining hands with us in this venture. More college students as well as socially committed professionals are likely to join us as we go along. These volunteers will be assisting REACHA experts in designing school based monthly quizzes which will be e-mailed to the participating schools.

REACHA has been interacting with schools since 1992, and we feel that a certain level of trust and understanding has evolved in our relationship with them. It is time, perhaps, to harness this faith to evolve further and assist children and the youth of the nation to communicate constructively – and thereby promote a unique model of ‘mentoring.’

The details of KHOJ are as follows:
• A set of interesting and invigorating quiz questions will be e-mailed to your school id/to the id of your school quiz co-ordinator during the last week of every month – starting October 06. These would be of varying degrees of difficulty – with the objective of igniting the imagination & instilling a spirit of exploration in kids.

• We would request you to send us an email confirming receipt of the quiz every month. Later, these monthly quizzes will be uploaded to our site – www.reacha.org. We shall inform you when this happens.

• We request you to take relevant print-outs and pin them up/conduct them in Classes VI-VIII (Juniors – Group A) & Classes IX-XII (Seniors – Group B) as per your schools convenience/approach.

• These questions may be rearranged as per assessment of the kids’ intellectual strength in your school so that the young mind is sensibly challenged, and then subsequently given to the two groups.

• Answers will be e-mailed in a separate file at the same time – for internal assessment by the teachers/co-ordinator etc.

• We will look forward to receiving the names/classes/e-mail ids/addresses/contacts of the best 3 performers from each of the 2 broad groups stated above by the 10th of each next month.

• These names/details, after compilation from all the participating schools, will be e-mailed to all the participating schools by the 20th of next month and later on uploaded to our site – www.reacha.org as well.

• The compilations will include the student details as well as teacher co-ordinator details as mailed to us by respective schools.

• A copy of the monthly compilation will also be emailed to the teacher co-ordinators for networking and sharing of best practices.

• These monthly khoj quizzes will be complemented with periodic inter school quiz competitions in participating schools, depending upon available time and resources.

• There are no financial implications for khoj. The whole idea is to promote ‘open source’ learning amongst school kids.

• Interested parents can also connect online with REACHA – for sharing their ideas, time and knowledge – with the objective of promoting ‘knowledge sharing.’

• We do not propose any prizes. Gain of knowledge, and its inter-sharing, would be the prize for every participant. Schools can give prizes at their individual levels if they so desire. Certificates will be given by REACHA to the winners of inter-school quizzes as and when they are held.

• The spread of the khoj movement will depend entirely on our collaborative efforts and participative zeal.

• Topics to be covered will include subjects like History, Geography, Civics, the Sciences, English Literature/Grammar, Environment & Ecology, Sports, Current Affairs, and Information Technology etc. Special quizzes/questions will also be framed on Indian Heritage & Culture, Disaster Management, Health, Energy/Natural Resource Conservation, Traffic Management & the Life Sciences.

• Special theme based quizzes will also be designed on important instruments like Right To Information (RTI), the Consumer Movement, Anti Tobacco Campaign etc so that the future of the nation – the children & the youth - is adequately empowered to make the right choices and take appropriate decisions in their lives.

The overall objectives will be:
• Increasing the child’s general awareness.

• Developing in children a ‘thirst for knowledge.’

• Inculcating a ‘scientific temper,’ amongst children.

• Promoting responsible internet usage.

• Developing an online community for inter-sharing best practices in the pedagogy of knowledge acquisition methodologies.

• Promoting responsible parenting habits amongst guardians – by involving/engaging them constructively.

• Empowering the child and the parent to make informed choices about future career progressions/talent harnessing, through self assessment.

• Promoting mentoring of school kids by college students – and thereby giving an opportunity to the youth to participate in nation building even while they are building their own careers – by promoting volunteer internships in colleges.

• Encouraging and motivating this youth to carry on with this association even when they have joined their respective jobs after college – and thereby promote responsible corporate citizenship as well as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

• Seeking to involve the underprivileged children & youth in the country by attempting to reach out to government schools & colleges in urban and rural settings – gradually as the programme strengthens.

We look forward to your support and participation in this unique programme.

Your school should email a soft copy of the scanned membership form to gro.ahcaer|lihkin#gro.ahcaer|lihkin and mention the subject as ‘khoj’ at the earliest. A copy can also be couriered to the REACHA office mentioned on the letter-head.

Your valuable suggestions and positive criticism will be tonic to our efforts. More details of our mission, vision, philosophy and activities are available on www.reacha.org (browse with Internet Explorer only).

Thanking you with warm regards.

Yours truly,

NIKHIL PANT
Head, Child & Youth HRD Division

Kindly send all your emails to:
gro.ahcaer|lihkin#gro.ahcaer|lihkin (+91 – 9811447613; 2-3pm & 6-8pm weekdays)

‘KHOJ’ MEMBERSHIP FORM FOR SCHOOLS
Name & address of the school ____________________________
Contact details (telephone/fax) _
_______
E-mail id of the school _
________
Name/contacts/subject of designated ‘Khoj Co-ordinator’ (KC) teacher ___________
E-mail id of KC _
________
Does the school have a Quiz Club _______
If yes, what are its main activities (state briefly. This will help us complement your efforts) _
_______________________
Approximate total strength of students:
Classes VI – VIII (Group A) ______
Classes IX - XII (Group B) _
______

PRINCIPALS SIGNATURE/SCHOOL SEAL/DATE

A mail to the Principal, Apeejay School, Pitampura, Sri D.K.Bedi after my visit to his school in Dec 2006 sums up the concept still further:

Respected Sri Bedi,

It was a pleasure meeting you the other day. I felt encouraged that you gave me time to know more about REACHA work.

As discussed, we would welcome Apeejay, Pitampura's association in developing 'Khoj' further. Presently, khoj has about 20,000 students participating from 25 odd schools spread out across Uttaranchal, UP, Punjab and Delhi. We intend to take khoj to every corner of the country. Please refer the attachment to get a feel of what khoj is all about.

REACHA would like to develop & train a CORE TEAM at your school – comprising of 5 young, creative and motivated teachers (from any subjects; any Class levels) and a group of 10 odd students from classes VI to XII who show a real potential to take the programme forward. This CT will be interfacing with our College Volunteers (CV) from IMT, Ghaziabad, IIT-Roorkee, National Law School, IIIT-Allahabad etc in order to develop a Question Bank (QB) of khoj questions. This QB will feed the ongoing monthly programme that was launched on 2 nd Oct 06. The CT will be in constant communication with REACHA experts as well as the CV's. It would be a great opportunity for peer-group mentoring of your students besides other benefits for the institution and the staff. The CT is an evolving concept – new schools, IIT's & IIM's (through their CV's) etc would be welcome to join hands with us.

Later, as the association evolves and depending upon the level of success achieved, we intend to host 'LIVE KHOJ' at venues like your school so that young students and teachers from across the country, in association with Resource Experts (RE) can join hands (and their minds!!) to explore PRACTICAL, WORKABLE solutions to present day problems – issues like traffic (mis)management, public (ill)health (dengue, viral infections, obesity in children etc), the disappearing tiger (and the frog!!), water contamination & scarcity, garbage (mis)management etc, and draw BLUEPRINTS FOR THEIR IMPLEMENTATION. These solutions could be implemented in select Pilot Programmes depending upon available resources, community participation etc. REACHA has already evolved a successful COMMUNITY MOBILISATION MODEL called MAITREYA CLUBS (refer www.reacha.org). Maitreya Clubs are excellent forums for getting community stakeholders on-board a common programme through the persuasive skills of children.

The NDPL Energy Club is an off-shoot of one of our SCHOOL-BASED EDUCATION MODEL called SAMEER CLUB (Social Action Movement for Education & Eco-Restoration; more details on www.reacha.org). Khoj likewise has its roots in the Child-Centric-Learning-By-Doing (CCLBD) philosophy advocated by SAMEER.

There are no financial implications for your institution in this programme. Khoj represents a true desire to MAKE SOLUTIONS WORK ON THE GROUND and not remain on paper. It seeks these solutions through community participation, using available/new knowledge and information, and then applying them to MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE on the ground.

REACHA would only expect logistical and resource support in kind depending on the need of the workshop/training sessions etc for the CT, and later for Live Khoj etc.

We look forward to working closely with your innovative institution to attempt to bring about meaningful social change.

Warm Regards,

Nikhil Pant
Member Secretary, and
Head, Child & Youth HRD Division,
REACHA
www.reacha.org
Open with I.Explorer only)
+91-9811447613

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