Board Games x Science Experiments x Recycling PCs: Lighten Up Rural Education in India

2021-06-03

Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of India, Jamyang School provides free education for poor children. The children in this school ranges from toddlers to teenagers, and come from disadvantaged families and socioeconomic status, and families in remote areas. On a chance encounter, Professor Mei-Ling Pan from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences of our university came into contact with this school. Subsequently, in collaboration with our university’s Service-Learning Center, the Jullay International Volunteer Team to India was formed in 2010, thus launching NCTU’s ideal of transnational practice education and service learning model.

Based on the service spirit of “We are not helper, but sharer”, the Jullay Team has been working hard in India for a long time. It is hoped that through the power of cooperation between the two schools and practical service projects each year, the locals can receive the assistance they need. Through comprehensive course training to improve professional teaching skills, close communication with the local area and in-depth study of field records and experience passed down by previous volunteer groups, the international volunteer team to India designs and implements service projects that are based on the mutual connection between the two schools and the core philosophy of “providing helping hands”. Through years of hard work, we successively channeled resources from the ASUS Foundation and our university’s math and science expertise into the school. Originally lacking even one computer and whose teachers and staff were unfamiliar with digital resources, the digital application ability of the school’s teachers and students and its relevant software and hardware equipment gradually improved. Hence the learning of the local children is no longer limited by the impoverished environment. Through education, they can transform their future and gradually connect with the world.

During the summer vacation this year, the Jullay Team brought three themed courses to the local students, namely coding logic, English grammar and general science experiments. The coding logic course was in collaboration with Papacode, a new creative educational group. Through King of Pirates, a board game developed by the group, the students in Jamyang School were introduced to basic logic concepts such as directionality, sequence and Loop, if/ else, and, and or. The interesting course helped enhance student learning interest in programming. In the English grammar course, students compiled their own English textbooks with the help of the Jullay Team. Using the present tense, they wrote a self-introduction, a campus guide and their future dreams. At the end of the course, they compiled a small personal book. Interactive learning method was adopted during the course to create more opportunities for students to practice speaking and improve their familiarity with English. In the general science course, students verified the existence of electricity and applied the Ohm’s law and electric power through simple experiments.

Jullay has recently launched fundraising campaigns in Taiwan to assist faculty and students from Jamyang in teaching classes and pursuing further study, respectively. By raising funds for Jamyang School, Jullay provides every individual, regardless of socioeconomic status, with the right to receive education and to fulfill future plans through education.

In addition to reducing the digital gap, with the assistance of the ASUS Foundation, the team provided 14 refurbished computers this year to expand the hardware equipment of Jamyang School. To maintain the normal operation of the school’s computers and other digital equipment, the team also conducted annual routine inspections, repairs and software updates. Education is a career that brings hope. It has always been an important core of the NCTU Jullay Team’s service in India. Over the years of investment by teachers and students, the Indian children have grown up, successfully entered the various stages of learning and are moving toward the future of their dreams. The continuous efforts of the Jullay International Volunteer Team to India also demonstrate NCTU’s spirit of dedication and commitment regardless of whether it is in a world-class academic competition or giving back to society in a remote corner.

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