In 2009, GREAT Foundation started arranging ‘Waves of the Mind’, a training in concentration, self-hypnosis and confidence - building for every student studying in Std X. This was continued in 2010-11 with extremely positive results. Teachers and Principals of two High schools reported enhanced concentration and attention levels to school lessons and expressed satisfaction. The program also had a significant impact on the students’ self - confidence. Two girl students, Heena Shaikh and Manisha Budde, who topped the three High Schools in 2011 attributed their having secured 87% and 84% respectively, to this program. Heena told the whole school at the GREAT Foundation Stationery distribution ceremony on 2 July, 2011: “Earlier we had thought that we were capable of getting only 70% in the SSC exam but after learning mediation, we too began to dream of getting above 80%”. Manisha, who had lost her mother a couple of months before the SSC Board examination, said that “ Though I had to cook before coming to school and go back and cook in the evening, I could concentrate on my studies and do well in the exam.”
This strengthened our belief that given the right exposure and training these children had the potential of becoming the best human material in the world.
GREAT Foundation was instrumental in starting computer education training for the students of Stds V to X in three PCB High Schools in 2009. GREAT Foundation approached Vedanta Foundation and explored the possibility of a tie-up for training the students in computers and the latter expressed their readiness. The CEO of Pune Cantonment Board Dr. D.K. Mallik was approached and requested for a tripartite agreement between PCB, Vedanta Foundation and GREAT Foundation which was signed on 14th September, 2009. This was a historic step for PCB High schools. Since then, around 2000 students studying in Stds V to X are being regularly trained in computer skills every year.
Another path-breaking achievement of GREAT Foundation has been the successful finalization of Teacher training of PCB Primary and High School teachers with partner NGO, Azim Premji University. The training, beginning 25 April, 2012, will be in two phases. In the first phase there will be 10 full days’ training in the general perspectives of teaching. This will be followed by the subject-specific training of the teachers free of cost over the coming two years. GREAT Foundation hopes to change the culture and quality of education in these schools through this initiative. This has been a major breakthrough for GREAT Foundation because once the quality of teaching in the schools improves; the students are bound to score well in the SSC examination and proceed to complete their higher education in a more meaningful way.