Our Responsibility to Children (ORC) is a unique social experiment that was initiated in Kerala in 2010 and 2019 in Puducherry, intending to create a safe, nurturing, and a just environment wherein vulnerable children involved, or at risk of getting involved, in harmful behaviour are equipped and empowered with life skills, appropriate support and knowledge to realize their full potential and become productive members of society.
This programme began with 25 government schools, and 25 more schools were added this year.
An orientation programme for the newly added and old school teachers was organized today at the Society House of Sri Aurobindo Society (SAS).
The programme started with Tamizh Thai Vazhthu followed by the welcome speech by Ms Buwaneswari, HR, Sri Aurobindo Society.
Shri Raghunath, Director of Svarnim Puducherry, while addressing the gathering, gave a brief outline of the activities of SAS. Talking about the ORC initiative, he mentioned that Sri Aurobindo’s Law of Education, which is ‘Nothing can be taught’, is being practised in this project. He added that the ORC project makes kids think critically and act rationally. He mentioned that society needs a transformation, not the kids. He outlined the process and the working of the ORC project and listed the project’s benefits.
Smt V.G. Sivagami, Joint Director, Directorate of School Education, gave the inaugural address.
While speaking, she mentioned the three levels involved in bringing up the child in a streamlined manner.
The first is the children level, the second the teacher level and the third and the important one is the parent level. She said all three have to work collaboratively for the students’ good. She oriented the teachers on acknowledging the problems faced by the students and effectively attending to those problems. She conveyed her gratitude to SAS and appreciated the team for helping the Education Department train the teachers and the students in all possible ways. While concluding her speech, she said that all heads of institutions should take up the responsibility of continuously monitoring the project in their schools and submitting the reports on time to the Education Department.
While addressing the teachers, Shri Nadanasabhapathy, Deputy Director of Women Education, Directorate of School Education, gave examples from real-life incidents and encouraged teachers to give equal attention to all students. He emphasized that students whom teachers carefully handle will reach greater heights. It is only encouragement that students expect out of teachers and nothing else.
Shri R. Ramakrishnan, ADPC, Samagra Shiksha, and Directorate of School Education delivered the presidential address. He said that Pondicherry is among the few states in India with more than 100 per cent gross enrollment ratio, 0.5 to 1 per cent student dropout ratio, and 99 to 100 per cent student retention rate. The ADPC mentioned that reaching this height is not an achievement, but maintaining this is an achievement. He recommended that all the teachers read the book Beautiful Tree by Dharampal. He said that the thought of “we are no less to anyone, and we are the leading torch of the society” should be instilled in every student. It is the responsibility of the teachers to do that.
Smt Geetha of SAS delivered the vote of thanks.
The second half of the session was the technical session. During this session, the journey of ORC from 2019 to date was shown to the teachers. Later, Dr P. R. Vinoth Kumar, Programme Coordinator, ORC Puducherry, explained the complete working of the ORC project. He introduced the counsellors to the teachers.
In the end, there was a question and answer session where the ORC team skilfully handled all the doubts of the teachers. Around 110 government school teachers, nodal officers, headmasters, principals, and educational officers participated in the event.