Shanti Ananda newsletter 2/2012


Shanti Ananda E. M. Upper Primary

Nature Concept School

Newsletter 2/2012

Perhaps now that the Western Sciences have reached down into the atom and out into the cosmos finally to realize the extreme vulnerability of all life and value, it is becoming credible, even obvious, that the Inner Science is of Supreme importance. Certainly physics designed the bombs, biology the germ warfare, chemistry the nerve gas and so on, but it will be the unhealthy emotions of individuals, the fear, the hate, the jealousy of individuals that will trigger these horrors. These emotions can only be controlled, reshaped, rechanneled, by successful Inner Science.
His Holiness the XIV. Dalai Lama

Gloria, Akshaya and mother - teacher Anasuya - during the baby massage

The cultivation of healthy emotions is important for our Nature Concept School following the aim to teach skills and abilities for life. The baby massage – originally from India – taught by Gloria to the female teachers in a special training is triggering positive emotions. On January 20th some small children enjoyed being massaged by Gloria with coconut oil in the guest house as the ideal environment for this activity. While Gloria was busy with massage Botida exercised mantras for a special ritual on the veranda with the two male teachers and students. Botida – a scientist of subtle subjects – says that rain should be attracted by these mantras… He found a point for a new bore well as well and gave some valuable pieces of information about the cistern buildings (rainwater storage) in Rajasthan.

Students exercising mantras on the guest house veranda

Sanni Babu, an agriculture scientist, visited us on the land gave valuable inspirations how to arrange the new area with contour bonding, plantation etc.

Sanni Babu in front of the construction building

In the morning the students had learned how to recycle plastic covers; strong ropes can be made like this. The father of teacher M. Saraswathi taught this skill to the students; they by themselves taught this technique to the people of the S. C. Colony in the project week “Clean Mudigubba – ban the plastic!”

Presentation of a rope made of plastic covers on the Nature Day

Headmaster Raja Sekhar selected this topic for our fourth project week (1. – 4.2.); the teachers’ team planned and prepared all the activities together. Paper bags were made and cotton bags stitched. Raja Sekhar had a burning desire to realize this – for the environment very important – activity.

Government Doctor M. S. Basha informs about plastic problems

This very good idea was even topped by the innovative plan that the students of the higher classes should go into the „S.C. (Scheduled Castes) Colony“ for spreading knowledge about health and environmental problems linked with the plastic covers. For this purpose the students had received valuable pieces of information by the Ayurvedic Government Doctor M. S. Basha. They taught the creation of bags made of newspapers and of ropes made of plastic covers collected on their own to the inhabitants of the S. C. Colony as well.

Presentation of paper and cotton bags in the S.C.Colony

Fabrication of a rope with plastic covers

The children explained furthermore how to use dust bins or waste paper baskets (in India not very common because the people mostly throw the garbage directly onto the road) and as well the usage of compost pits for the recycling of organic waste. On the Nature Day in February a compost pit will be arranged in the S. C. Colony.

Presentation of a paper bag prepared at this place

On the third day of the project week the students of the first class onwards had a rally through Mudigubba for a ban of plastic covers. The visit of five officers was the highlight of that day; besides information flyers were distributed to the local people.

The Mandal Education Officer receives an anti plastic petition

The three students leading the rally - the plastic monster (dressed into a plastic suit stitched for this opportunity specially by headmaster Raja Sekhar), Bharat Mata (Goddess of India) and Mother Earth (carrying a globe in front of her belly) – handed over petitions to ban plastic covers to five officers in Mudigubba (Mandal Revenue Officer, Mandal Development Officer; Mandal Education Officer, police and Panchayat - mayor) and discussed with them as well.

Creation of teaching materials with seeds

The younger students painted pictures and made teaching materials with seeds…

„Uses of vegetables“ – market stall in the guesthouse

On the fourth day all the items prepared in and before the project week were exhibited in the guest house on the new area; additionally a clay brick exhibition took place in the clay brick fabrication hall. A nice model of the school area with our vision of the nine octagon classrooms arranged in a spiral (not totally completed) was shown as well. Furthermore we had market stalls about healthy food and tooth cleaning, information charts about the expiry time of different materials to merge with soil, about the building of a compost pit etc. The students had the chance to explain and present everything to the students of the Sai E. M. School visiting our exhibition; they enjoyed very much to act as small teachers …

Visitors‘ run to the exhibition in the guest house

This project week was a big success and observed by the local press intensively - 12 newspaper articles were published. The very first time a film was prepared as a documentation. Teachers and students were very motivated, satisfied and happy with the project week. The film consisting of two parts (80 minutes about the first three days and 40 minutes about the exhibition) is planned to be worked out and to be shown via YouTube in the internet.

The article published in the Deccan Chronicle on January 26th „Move ahead or else… Chaos may sound the death knell to the Indian education system, unless we change it, say experts“ - recites education experts’ opinions; India is the second last of 73 countries in the PISA (Program of International Students‘ Assessment). The writer S. Mondal: „Nobody seems to care for preparing students for life after school.” D. Mukerjea (educationist and author of books like “Unleashing genius” and “Building brainpower”): „I cannot recognize any system to be educating anyone if the basis is pure swotting, sweating and slogging. This is not education and certainly not learning. …“ Prof. H. M. Kulshrestha, Indian Institute of School psychology: “According to estimates of an employees’ survey in 2005, majority of the graduates lack basic abilities such as good communication skills, social and personal stature.” Prof. (Retd.) H. Rao, Board of Intermediate Education: „Our present system of education puts emphasis only on mugging. Getting more marks has become the only motto. Since it is neither concept-based nor practical-oriented like the western systems, our children lag behind in international assessment tests like the PISA.“ Mukerjea: „Kids should be inspired to learn that play power will always trump power play. Classrooms must become serious play zones.“ He also believes the fact that with the present education system and scenario, India can never rank in the top 10 of the PISA. „The antiquity of our current learning systems is astonishing. New dimensions of learning are unfolding with stunning speed. Either we move ahead, or stay dead; we need to outperform the world with super smart learning systems.”

The Republic Day (26.1.) in this year was very special – we had a fire on the area caused by a high voltage cable falling onto our area cable. For some hours we had no electricity; the students had to dance without music… Nevertheless our guests Monika, Silvia, Gloria and Elisabeth had a good impression of the school area; they admired the creative architecture and felt comfortable by distributing school uniforms and prices for games practised before.

With cordial greetings,

Yours, Helga Shanti Fründt

Bharat Mata is thirsty…

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Foreigners should give their donation to this FCRA account

Shanti Ananda Education Society

Andhra Bank, Mudigubba Branch

Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India

Account No: 185410100007532

IFSC: ANDB0001854

Indian persons should give their donation to the

Shanti Ananda Education Society

Geetha Nagar, Mudigubba 515511

Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank

Account No. 19073080607