Shanti Ananda

The Nature Concept School

English

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…

Donation Accounts

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

Shanti Ananda newsletter 1/2012

Shanti Ananda E. M. Upper Primary

Nature Concept School

I wish you a very happy New Year 2012! Albert Einstein – German physicist – expressed very clearly what we want to achieve with our project: “A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

School excursion in December 2011

Mother Nature with all her beauty was admired at the excursion of the school on 12th December 2011. Students and teachers went to a place in 3 km distance and visited the Shiva temple. For the picnic the students selected a most beautiful place – many big stones are presented by the geologically ancient Deccan Plateau; but with this – fascinating in its miraculous beauty – Mother Nature did her very best…

The 6th class students learn how to fly…J

Headmaster Raja Sekhar introduced white dresses to be worn by all the students on Friday – this is very common at many good schools in India. The children look like angels with the white clothes – that’s why they learn to fly right now…J Monday till Thursday the children wear school uniforms, Friday white clothes (white colour is a symbol for Peace) and Saturday coloured dresses. Each Friday the pooja (religious ceremony) is celebrated; afterwards all the students receive prasadam (sacred food).

Distribution of Prasadam after the Pooja

The new donation box presented by 5th class students

Our students are very fond to give donations to needy persons and want to help others all the time. These students of the 5th class came to the idea to create a donation box and to collect money with the aim to help poor people. They collected 110 Rupees immediately; and the donation box receives money by teachers, parents and visitors… When it is full the students will decide what exactly to do with the donations.

Donation money for a boy is handed over

In December an old student of headmaster Raja Sekhar came into the school to collect money for a boy who needs a very expensive operation of more than 6 lakhs (600.000 Rupees, nearly 10000 Euro) because of a blood disease. At many schools money is collected for this boy; the newspapers gave report about this topic. Our students welcomed the guest very cordially and donated 324 Rupees of their own money.

Herbert Müller – who has been in the school already in April 2011 – spent some days on the new school area with project manager Horst Wagner and felt so happy that he donated and planted 18 fruit trees.

Herbert Müller, gardener Raju (centre) and helper Ramesh planting trees

He introduced his ayurvedic doctor in Kerala to us – this man wants to donate 70 medical plants to the school area. To build up an ayurvedic garden for medical and healing purpose is an old dream of our teachers…

In December the students took more than 100 Morenga trees to their houses because we had grown up more trees in the school area nursery than we needed. The trees were planted and watered at a place of their selection– as a contribution for a Green Mudigubba. The next project week of the school is planned from 1st – 4th February; it will concentrate onto a Clean and Green Mudigubba – if you want to know more about this topic have a look to the next newsletter.

Students with Morenga trees for Mudigubba

Teachers and the classes 4 to 7 gathered in the guest house - not yet completed - on the Nature Day in December. Everybody was very enchanted with the architecture and harmonious vibration – the octagon shape has a magic effect to all of us…

Nature Day start on 20th December in the guest house

Headmaster and teachers told that meditation and concentration are very much supported by the octagon shape. The guest house – bigger than planned because of a measurement mistake – will sometimes serve as a class room for yoga, meditation and special activities up to the completion of our classrooms in 2012/13. In the moment a school area model is created by a group of 6th class students under the instruction of coordinator Chandra Mohan.

The Nadep compost house is admired by students and teachers

Sunneetha, organizer for organic agriculture at the society JSDA, taught us how to build up a “Nadep Compost” on the Nature Day in December. It is erected directly on the ground (the compost pit in front of the school had to be dug); the walls made of coconut leaves should give protection against animals. A roof is necessary because the compost needs shadow – we have only one single big tree on the area. A three layer system is recommended: the first layer – cow dung – should attract earth worms; organic waste is the second and red soil the third layer. Cow dung is used to cover… Every fourth day the compost has to be watered; after three months it should be ready. In the moment we have less organic waste – we want to collect organic waste from the vegetable market and dung from the goat market and bring it to the compost.

A high jump and wide jump pit was created beside the path to the guest house; in November B. Prabhavathi - a professional sports’ teacher with a lot of certificates in athletics – joined at the Shanti Ananda School. Students and teachers actively participated in the production of the pit. The students look forward to enjoy sports training the very first time. Like this the creativity period activities will increase…

Students and Herbert Müller preparing the long jump pit

We produce clay bricks for building up houses; later we want to sell them according to our vision and receive some income for the school project. When coordinator Chandra Mohan participated in the clay brick course in Auroville in February 2011 he was told that the production of a big brick needs10,5 Rupees expenditures. But now we calculated that one brick needs 17 Rupees (!) to be produced. We analyzed the production expenditures and came to these results:

· Sieving the red soil takes 3 Rupees per brick

· Only 60% of the red soil can be used for the brick production because the local red soil is very hard; like this again three Rupees expenditures generate

Of course we use the red soil not suitable for the brick production for plantation and levelling purpose – nevertheless it is desirable to increase the percentage of the usable soil for the brick production. Sieving is done by hands on our area and in Auroville by a machine. A sieving machine could increase the percentage of usable soil up to 90% and lessen the production expenditures for one brick with four Rupees. A machine would sieve the amount done by three women within one week in two days. The price for a sieving machine is 50.000 Rupees – but because we had to present a new budget to our donors for the new school area we don’t want to add additional expenditures...

Women labourers take the red soil to the sieve

Like this we came to the good idea to build a – very simple – machine on our own; we need 25.000 Rupees for this purpose. Welder, electrician and carpenter as well as project manager and coordinator will form the engineering team – for students and teachers this project might be very interesting and inspiring as well.

With your donation you enable us to downsize the expenditures for the brick fabrication and support the technical creativity. Please mark on the demand draft “sieving machine” – thank you very much!

With cordial greetings,

Yours, Helga Shanti Fründt

Donation Accounts

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

Teachings under the bush

Shanti Ananda newsletter 7/2011

At the beginning I want to announce some very good news: we received the extension of the school recognition for three more years on 15th October! Chandra Mohan, our coordinator, reached this good success at the DEO (District Education Officer) in Anantapur. The next time when we apply for an extension we have to expect ten years – because at that time we will have shifted to the new ground and will have much better conditions than now in the old building. The recognition caused a lot of paper work and took some time to be managed – because of this everybody at the school is very happy to have received the extension finally! The recognition was introduced by the State government some years ago only; many schools struggled to achieve the new standards which became compulsory for all the schools. But nevertheless this is meaningful because the uplifting of the Indian education system is possible only by improving the standard…

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Discussion with the teachers about the working contracts

In the school one major issue is the quality improvement of the teachings. The new working contracts – signed by the teachers on 1st October – are a big progress in our pedagogical work: they include - beside mission and vision of the Shanti Ananda Nature Concept School - clear quality standards for the pedagogical work like child centred teachings, usage of different teaching methods and activity based learning.

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Linda – who donated many books to the school – in the teacher training

Linda (an English teacher with big teaching experience at International schools in USA, Saudi Arabia and Turkey), the headmaster team (Raja Sekhar and Sabitha) and I had elaborated these standards. The teacher training in the Dussera holidays included each teacher presenting one or two teaching units. The other teachers acted as students having a lot of joy and fun like this; this new role brought some new experiences and widening of consciousness... The feedback was given by the “students” and by the colleagues. Every teacher shared his feelings with the others; Linda gave very helpful and clearing comments about the performance at last.

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Headmaster Raja Sekhar and teacher Venkata Narayana in the teacher training

The teachers’ feedback of their different roles as students and as teachers was very useful because of producing a perception integrating different points of view. Some performances were better than expected by us; our main issue were the teachers’ abilities to plan a period systematically and to show the performance according to this plan. Raja Sekhar showed an excellent very inspiring kinder garden teaching unit which was a marvellous example in every regard. We want to put it onto our new school website planned for the next year – as a good example for child centred and activity based learning with head, heart and hands basing on Human Values and with many sense experiences, meditation and a fantasy journey.

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A. Saraswathi and M. Saraswathi as Kinder garden students playing with wooden bricks

Within the next six months – this probationary period was introduced in the working contracts for all the teachers – Linda and I will conduct 27 teaching visits (three times for every teacher) for evaluation and advice. The new standards we are going to realize in our Nature Concept School are compulsory if we want to guarantee a high quality of teaching. By doing this we might become a defined model school for the Anantapur District. India – introducing the children’s right for education very recently in 2010 – has to struggle more for achieving good standards; most of the schools are trying to realize the very basics in the moment… But there are some efforts done by the government: in the next year 20000 teachers are planned to be engaged for the government schools in Andhra Pradesh; for these jobs Bachelors of Education can be hired exclusively. For our school it might be possible – if we realize our quality standards – to integrate an additional group of students coming from families with more money – beside our poor children whose parents pay an admission fee and the society amount for the membership only.

Two tailoring machines have been purchased by the Shanti Ananda Education Society; a share of the new school uniforms for our 145 students is planned to be produced with them. Cloth and additional materials like thread are already present. The next project week is planned in November: the teachers want to stitch and learn tailoring and practise decorative techniques like embroidery as well. For the school uniforms 580 pieces have to be sewed – per student two dresses or pants and as well two blouses or shirts. The teachers want to produce approximately 100 pieces. In the last year Raja Sekhar and Munemma stitched school uniforms in the creativity periods in the afternoon. Raja Sekhar had brought his own tailoring machine to the school for that time – he is a very talented and experienced tailor as well. The local tailors from Mudigubba have to stitch the other pieces; fortunately some mothers familiar with tailoring are ready to help as well. At our school every two years new school uniforms are given to all the students and as well to the teachers – a big amount of money for the school budget… But school uniforms are compulsory in India and present at each and every school – including the government schools. Our teachers like the uniforms as well: they took the decision to wear light violet sarees.

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Gardener Bassava Raju presents the new gardening tools

On the new school area the new very experienced and capable gardener Bassava Raju presented new gardening tools for the students on the Nature Day in September and showed to the teachers and students how to use them. Afterwards the students of the classes 6 and 7 presented a small drama with the topic to protect and honour the trees because they are most important for our lives and for our survival. This message was very touching for the audience. The children showed a lot of commitment and empathy by presenting what will happen after cutting down the trees without consciousness.

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Demonstration how to use the gardening tools

The students‘parents are very eagerly supporting us with practical work – nearly every day some members will come to help. They are doing a number of different activities.

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Parents sieving the red soil which will be used for the brick fabrication

The new brick machine is used regularly – because of the rainy season we had to wait for some time to avoid being disturbed by unexpected rain falls. Coordinator Chandra Mohan is leading the production he learnt in February in Auroville. The next photos should show the procedure of the brick fabrication:

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Read soil, 5% cement, sand and water are mixed – the students are participating

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The clay mixture is put into a module and pressed with high pressure

The clay bricks – whose firmness is a result of the high pressure while making them – have to stay in the hall covered for three days. They have to be watered three times daily for one month to become very strong. In research experiences this type of bricks was put into water for five years (!) without losing shape! Our clay bricks do not have to be burnt – that’s why they are eco sustainable… Five different forms or modules enable us to produce 20 different types of bricks.

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Students observing the fabrication

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Project manager Horst Wagner behind four staples of freshly produced clay bricks

Interview with project manager and (environmental) architect Horst Wagner

Question: What do you think is your most important work?

Answer: …the holistic creation of the school area regarding the Sacred Geometry and human friendly proportions and usage of natural materials like granite stones, round field stones and self produced eco clay bricks. The energetic quality should satisfy the needs of students and teachers for harmony; because of this we want to grow up organic healing plants, fruit trees and vegetables. All the measurements on the school area are basing on the number 9; the shape of this number is a spiral already and therefore representing the dynamic expansion of our universe – including us as human beings as well. The mystery of the number 9 which cannot be explained becomes obvious in the singular mathematical phenomenon that every number being multiplied with this number will be the number 9 again as the sum of the digits. The architecture of the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí with his mosaic works is a creative component inspiring me very much and giving wings to my soul. As well the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser – with his philosophy concerning healthy building – did impress me very much.

Question: Do you want to add something as a welfare worker?

Answer: In an area with the most darkness, hopelessness and despair we are lighting up a candle with our developing project. Like this we might encourage the human beings and show to 80 Million inhabitants of Andhra Pradesh how to overcome bad conditions: by realizing our Nature Concept School with a completely new quality – pointing the way ahead with a holistic pedagogy basing on human values.

Question: Please describe your working week!

Question: My working week has more than 100 hours in the moment – 70 hours in the day time and 30 hours in the night time as a watchman. My continuous presence is most important because I have to check the quality of the work as the project manager; and I want to have my ideas realized as the architect. German standard is completely unknown; because of this the uplifting of the very low level is absolutely needed. I go three times weekly to Mudigubba for two days because the project is in 40 km distance from my living place; to drive 80 km daily would overwhelm me because the road is extremely dangerous. Because of these circumstances I am at the limits of my personal capability all the time (concerning body and psyche as well). I have to care for my wife and my children additionally. But I am ready to take all these difficulties to realize the vision of this extraordinary project.

Question: Please tell us about the major problems and the major success!

Answer: The biggest problem is the low level of the workers which has to be uplifted to meet my demands approximately only. The higher quality workers left Mudigubba before and went to Puttaparthy, Anantapur or Bangalore. The Anantapur District has the next to last position of all the districts in whole India (according to Deccan Chronicle in 2010) concerning the present life conditions (alcoholism, indebtedness, violence, missing infra structure, garbage problem etc.).

The biggest success means for me the vision of a creative Nature Concept School becoming a reality in spite of these difficult conditions I like to mention a lotus pond as a comparison: the lotus flower – purest of all the flowers as the seat of the Gods – needs the most dirt for unfolding its full beauty…

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Horst Wagner talking with mason Krsna in front of the Guest house

With cordial greetings,

Yours, Helga Shanti Fründt

Donation Accounts

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

Shanti Ananda Newsletter 8/2011

Special Newsletter November 2011

 

Five Years

 

Shanti Ananda Education Society

 

18.11.2006 -18.11.2011

 

 

 

Students in October 2006 in the Nagananda School

 

 

 

Students gardening on the new area in October 2011

 

Introduction

 

On 18th November 2006 the Shanti Ananda Education Society was founded in the temple room of the Nagananda School in Mudigubba, a town of 30.000 inhabitants in Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, South India. The 6th birthday gives an opportunity to look back to the development of the last five years – many changes took place within this time period at the school, but as well in the Indian society. It has been a very fascinating and busy period – the temporary stress was more than balanced by the amazing development of the school…

When I came to India in June 2006 the very first time after four years to say Good bye to Nagananda Swami who had founded and carried the school I did not yet know what would happen to me... He was in a locked-in syndrome since May; and I knew from my heart that he would not survive this situation. Some years ago when I lived in his Ashram temporarily I was very busy with education and teacher trainings – as a teacher from Germany I had the deep wish to raise the very low level of the local schools; primarily I wanted to give more space for creativity. My inner voice told me very insistingly that it was my duty to care for the school in future…

After some time of hesitation I gave up my life in Germany and shifted to India in October 2006. My financial means were very low; but I knew that God would support me by giving a challenge like this to me. Thanks to the support of many helping hands – working practically or giving donations or supporting the school with their presence – and primarily thanks to my brother Herbert- who was engaged from the very beginning in many aspects - this project became reality.

In the following chapters I wrote about the development of the last five years – as short as possible and as detailed as necessary. People who don’t know anything about our project should be able to receive some ideas about the unfolding of the Shanti Ananda School – please forward this newsletter to your friends, colleagues, neighbours…

Helga Shanti Fründt

 

The Nagananda School becomes Shanti Ananda School

The Primary School – for poor children only from the very beginning – was started in 2001 by Swami Nagananda; he wanted to realize a social project for the poorest of the poor people. The core was a Krsna temple very near to the railway station in midst of the railway area. Swami Nagananda arranged – by donations - a veranda as the class room which was covered with a roof. It was a very simple school like many schools in India… Not even a school stamp existed; teaching materials had to be arranged by the teachers themselves. Only rooms, children and teachers were present beside some blackboards…

Teacher workshop October 2001 in the Nagananda School

When Swami Nagananda died in July 2006 nobody knew how to continue with the school he had supported with donations because he had no follower… My decision to „adopt“ the school took place in this – obviously desperate – situation. Horst Wagner, founder of the Helping Eagle Foundation, the Helping Eagle Service and Helping Eagle Sports Association, gave the salaries to the teachers according to my wish; I had collected money in Germany for this purpose. He told: „When we arrived at the school only 50 children were present; most of the parents did not send the children to the school any more after Swami’s death because they were not sure that the school would be able to continue. The water access for the school was not active since two months because a pipe was damaged. Furthermore the last owner of the building did not pay the electricity bill of 8000 Rupees; because of this power was not available. The water tank – some years ago built for the water storage – was not used because a motor – the price would be approximately 3000 Rupees – was missing. The teachers continued with the teachings on 15.6.06 after Helga had promised to care for the school continuously.

I did my very best to solve the problems in cooperation with the seven teachers; but we needed regular money support. We started a new society and changed the name of the school from „Nagananda“ to „Shanti Ananda“. I hoped that some persons in Germany would open their hearts for the small school. For me a transparent and clearly structured transfer of the donation money was most important. Furthermore I planned to give regular reports to the German friends and supporters about the development of the school; like this the newsletters started; this is the 44th since 2006. Fortunately enough donations were given by German friends – enough for the school to exist on a simple level and to add some improvements.

Till 2008 primarily the elementary needs had to be satisfied like water and power access, official right to use the building, maintenance, teaching materials, school uniforms and books. The Recognition was a part of this basic equipment – recently introduced for the Indian schools. The teachers received English coaching, trainings; and they took additional duties like the responsibility for the small library and the - only and one - laptop and new teaching materials

Since 2008 Education in Human Values, Meditation, Yoga, Handicrafts, painting, Games and computer work became – due to our new school program – regular contents expressing an education for the head, heart and hands. One important aim was to integrate more child centred, play way, sense oriented and movement elements into the daily structure of the kinder garden. In March 2009 we published a booklet with more than 40 games to inspire teachers and educationists to use more play way methods. Since 2008 we had regular teacher trainings for the quality improvement of the teachings. In February 2008 the teachers – inspired by the visit of two Nature schools of the Timbaktu Collective - decided to build up a Nature School with the important focus to learn for life. Since 2009 we conduct project weeks regularly; mostly they were meant for the preparation of our Nature School. In February 2010 we could purchase a piece of land with the size of more than 9 acres thanks to our main donors Herbert Fründt and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Weyer; since May 2010 we are building up our Creative Nature School causing many changes in the daily life of the school. Now – in November 2011 – every day many activities of the students take place on the new ground in the afternoon. The monthly Nature Day - training for teachers and the students of the 5th till 7th classes – and as well special events are regularly performed here. All the students like very much to go to the new land because so many creative options are present – like this they are able to co create the developing Nature School…

The construction office, first building on the new ground, October 2011

 

The Shanti Ananda Education Society

On November 18th 2006 the Shanti Ananda Education Society was founded according to the wish of the teachers. The new society was meant as the school maintainer - symbolizing a new beginning. The main aim was to improve the pedagogic in a sustainable and holistic way. Our education should guide the students to peace (Shanti) and happiness (Ananda) by practising a child centred education. The main aims of the society are:

  • Education with head, heart and hands
  • Education in human values (EHV)
  • Free education for the poorest of the poor
  • Spreading of information about the value of this education

 

Garbage vehicle donation by the society to the Sarpanch of Mudigubba

 

Luckily Monika Müller, President of the Anahata Society in Munich – an institution maintaining social projects in India – offered to transfer the donations for the school to India. In 2011 the Anahata Foundation (Stiftung) replaced the society. The Shanti Ananda Education Society does not have the right to receive money from abroad yet; we need an Indian transfer society. Since 2008 the PRDS (Prabath Rural Development Society) receives our donations and hands them over to the school according to our demands - written down in the monthly sanction letters (Before the SRIRED (Society for Rayalassima Integrated Rural Education and Development) and the Helping Eagle Foundation had done this work). In August 2011 Prabhakar Reddy gave the application for the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulatory Account) to the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi; we expect the FCRA within the next few months giving the permission to us to receive money from abroad directly. Our students don’t have to pay school fees; but the parents must become members of the Shanti Ananda Education Society paying a yearly amount of 200 Rupees.

The Society has the purpose to support the school and to spread information about our aims in the public. Coordinator Chandra Mohan became the first president on 18.11.2006; on 25.10.2008 M. Sabitha followed as the president. The Society gave a garbage vehicle to the Sarpanch of Mudigubba on 8.12.2008 – a gift to support a clean Mudigubba in the future.

 

School Program/Mission/Vision

The School Program of 2006 includes a child centred education; holistic learning, creativity, education in human values and a good quality of teachings are the important aims: "The students should learn in a holistic way with head, heart and hands. Beside the normal subjects… art education, handicrafts and sports should be taught. Play way nature exploration already in the kinder garden is a fundament for understanding the nature and environmental issues. Gardening, caring for animals and the school area are as important as education in human values. Music is important for self expression enabling learning; play way English teachings should take place as early as possible. Projects are a regular part of the school life; students and parents should actively shape their school."

 

Teacher Jayalakshmi with third class preparing a salad 2009

 

Mission: We can survive in peace and harmony with Mother Earth only, our fellow human beings, animals and plants. The students should become loving, independent and creative personalities able to earn their livelihood in a responsible and self sustainable way respecting the environment and practising human values.

Vision: Love and appreciation are the highest aims in our pedagogy. Our teachers should be dedicated to teaching with head, heart and hands. Besides Telugu, Hindi, English, Mathematics, Social and Science topics like art and handworks, yoga and sports, gardening and growing up plants, caring for animals and forming the school area are practised at our Creative Nature Concept School. Play way methods and experiences are fundamental in our education. Projects should replace step by step the traditional methods.

 

 

Teacher Training

It was very obvious for me that additional qualifications for the teachers would be a central key for the development of the school; most of the teachers had an average qualification and practised the normal teachings. My defined aim was to integrate permanent teacher trainings into the daily life of the school. My first activity in 2006 was a workshop for the vision development; the teachers built a model of their “ideal” school with waste materials in October.

 

Vision of the teachers in October 2006

 

Every month a teacher workshop was conducted – mostly about creative techniques, education in human values and kinder garden education. Within these five years some guests came into the school to give their knowledge to the teachers. Klaus Premananda (Bhajans and spiritual songs), Sheila Swift (Education in Human Values), Horst Wagner (Music and self expression) are some of them. Johanna (Sensitivity Training) and Krsna (Yoga) became active in the teacher training 2008. Botida conducted two workshops in 2010 mainly for the perception of subtle energies; he found a place for digging a bore well with his divining rod and held a yagna (Holy fire) on the new ground.... Andrea and Angelika from Germany conducted yoga and painting workshop workshops in 2010 and 2011. Linda led several trainings for improvement of the teaching quality; as well she was active as a school consultant concerning evaluation and working contracts.

 

Musician Klaus Premananda in the Bhajan Workshop 2007

2007 all the teachers participated in individual trainings - according to their wishes - in the summer holidays. 2008 a 10 days’ teacher training took place – creativity and education in human values as the focus. Since 2009 every year we conduct a five days’ teacher training in the Dussera holidays in the school, mostly focused onto a special topic. 2009 two groups planned buildings and landscape of the designated Nature School; 2010 aspects of kinder garden and Nature School education were concentrated on. 2011 lesson planning was our focus, every teacher performed one or two periods being evaluated by the colleagues. Additionally every month we conduct a one day’s special training – since October 2010 for teachers and 5th to 7th class students on the new ground. On this „Nature Day“ practical topics are concentrated on like usage of gardening tools, painting alphabet letters or learning songs; in April 2011 a priority list for the buildings on the new area was arranged; very soon we want to build a new type of compost pit as well…

M. Saraswathi with her vision of the Nature School in October 2009

 

Creativity in the focus

Trainings of creativity techniques, kinder garden pedagogic and Education in Human Values (EHV) were planned to bring forward the creativity of the teachers. The Black education with fear and pressure in the focus is very common in India. Learning takes place without joy and fun demanding much more time because the intrinsic motivation is missing; fear does not support learning… The schools in Andhra Pradesh have extremely high dropout rates because the students cannot stand the pressure – (see Education in Andhra Pradesh), to make it even worse beating by teachers is very common. Art education, music, sports and handicrafts are not taught – only the mind is trained. In the evening additional tuition must be practised by many students. Children with practical skills have to suppress their potential; many of them become apathetic and dull - no more able to learn. They do not learn anything; and because of the prevalent education program leaving no time for other activities they forget the practical skills useful for life. The Indian President Pratibha Patil claimed in 2007 that a new type of education should be introduced to satisfy contemporary challenges… Suddenly articles about a demand for creativity could be read in the Indian newspapers. I seemed to be at the right place at the right time…

 

Paper theatre workshop September 2007

 

 

 

What means Creativity?

 

 

Creativity is our god given ability to create

We are creators, and the world is our creation

Nowadays our ability to create is more important than ever before

Our creativity is supported by an atmosphere of joy, acceptance and love

Fear and pressure are the natural enemies of creativity

Children expressing their creativity learn better and keep the matters more deeply

They are happier and more self confident caring for others as well

As adults they are more successful in their concernings

 

 

Children presenting their paintings in 2008

 

 

Horst Wagner composed the Shanti Ananda Song in 2007 and taught it to the teachers in a music workshop. The song is written from the sight of a teacher towards the students; it is representing our pedagogical approach.

Shanti Ananda spreads the wings

 

 

There is a power in my hand;

O God let me lead them to their OWN way.

There is a power in my hand,

O God - give me love from your heart.

 

You are my teacher for the day,

Please remember me my childhood.

You are my teacher for the day;

Guide me to understand your life.

 

We will sit together for that day

and try to be in silence.

We will sit together for that day

and try to be in love.

 

Tell me what you want to know,

I will help your understanding.

Tell me what you want to know,

There will a way for you.

 

Shanti Ananda spreads the wings

to the people of the village.

Shanti Ananda spreads the wings,

We will be a model nearby you.

 

 

Building up a „social net“ in the teacher training 2007

 

Kinder Garden as a challenge

Many Primary schools in India conduct a kinder garden – LKG und UKG (Lower and Upper Kinder garden); but the kinder garden mostly seems to be very similar to the school classes - not at all child centred. What advanced educationists think of a good kinder garden – something like an inspiring children’s paradise with lots of materials and usage of play way methods is not very common, new types like Montessori- or forest kinder garden are not at all popular in the India of today. … The original word kinder garden means a garden for children; the comparison with a garden is very suitable; plants and children as well should be treated according to their needs. The only child centred element in the kinder garden seemed to me the Rhymes with Action – very much beloved by children and parents in most of the schools. The improvement of the kinder garden education became a permanent issue for us. The processing of a good kinder garden is not completed. But the excellent teaching performance of headmaster Raja Sekhar in the Dussera teacher training is very auspicious for the further progress…

 

Kinder garden children playing with the new wooden bricks in 2008

 

 

Essentials of our kinder garden education

 

We start every day with a circle!

We let the children practice a lot of movements!

We work with all the senses!

We use play way methods!

We respect the individuality of every child!

 

In March 2009 a coloured kinder garden booklet with many photos and more than 40 different games was presented to the public – as a motivation for teachers, parents and facilitators to use play way methods. Beside the cultural program of the school the new kinder garden materials were exhibited: many coloured clay figures, models of different houses, handicrafts and more – in the inspiring class rooms being painted with beautiful pictures in the first project week by teachers and students. The visitors were enchanted by the inspiring colours and the different shapes of the exhibits inviting to touch them and play with them. The M.E.O. (Mandal Education Officer) as well was very interested and gave a positive comment.

 

Kinder garden children playing a game – title of the kinder garden booklet

 

Exhibition of the kinder garden materials 2009

 

Quality Standards

Since 2008 the quality improvement of the teachings is in our focus – the so called „normal“ teaching at many schools means memorizing and teacher centred style only. Most schools are over-intellectual; they don’t give the chance to the children to live their private lives. Often the school day starts at 6 o’clock in the morning ending at 9 o’clock in the evening – plus home works… Many parents like this robbery of childhood and are fond of their children being in the school all day long because they think they learn a lot. Teacher trainings are not sufficient; most of the schools offer class teaching only – “chalk and talk” – and theory not linked with the practice. The same subject matters are repeated again and again (Tuition).

With the introduction of our new pedagogical aims in 2006 it became very important to improve the quality. It was very obvious that we needed trainings for learning and training lesson planning and structuring, different teaching methods and students’ evaluation. On November 1st 2008 Linda Whitaker - as an experienced English teacher with long teaching experience at International Schools in USA, Turkey and Saudi Arabia - conducted a workshop at the Shanti Ananda School. She explained the usage of new teaching materials and teaching aids, showed learning techniques and inspired the teachers to respect the three types of learning (visual, acoustical, kinaesthetic) for achieving good results.

 

Linda explaining the structure of Puzzles in November 2008

Mohan Babu – a very excellent teacher trainer from Mudigubba, co author of some school books and member of the school book commission in n Andhra Pradesh – performed regular workshops for lesson planning, theory and practise, aims of learning and syllabus. He explained to us that we have to cover 25 – 30% of the syllabus only; we can decide which examinations we want to conduct. That means we have more freedom and space for new methods than we were thinking… The examinations – performed every three months - are compulsory for every class with all the questions fixed by the government. The questions ask for innumerable facts and details; holistic and problem oriented techniques of learning are neglected. Within the next years we want to check every lesson in every subject – we want to combine theory and practise more and more.

 

Teacher training with Mohan Babu in July 2009

 

In 2010 we introduced a Pedagogical Progress Meeting taking place every two months for continuous improvement of the quality of teachings. Our school advisor Manjunath Reddy inspired this meeting to give the opportunity to the teachers to discuss the progress in their teachings. Especially M. Sabitha was very involved for learning without fear and as well the acceptance of practical skills; as the head mistress (June 2010 – September 2011) she introduced the examinations including theory and practise 50% each.

2011 Linda, Raja Sekhar, M. Sabitha and I arranged working contracts for the teachers including compulsory quality standards like child centred teachings, activity based learning etc. Up to the end of the academic year 2011/2012 all the teachers will be evaluated three times each. Like this we will be nicely prepared for the start of the Nature School on the new area in 2012 or 2013.

 

Project Weeks

For the realization of pedagogy with head, heart and hands it was necessary to introduce holistic learning situations; the first project week took place at the school in the academic year 2008/09 - topics were Painting and Nature School Models (2. – 7. 2.2009). An inspired project group of teachers and students painted the white walls of the class rooms with big enthusiasm; the second project group built models (for example the model on the photo below). The younger students – not included in the project groups – formed clay sculptures and exhibited them. All the participants of this project week were very fond and enchanted – nobody would have thought that we could produce such beautiful items. The teachers and the students as well became more self conscious by this pedagogical experiment. Like this we became encouraged to continue with this type of experience…

 

Nature School Model as a result of the project week February 2009

The second project week was conducted in the academic year 2009/2010 – nine months later – and concentrated onto the preparation of the Nature School we were longing for. Two groups of students visited both nature schools the teachers already got known in February 2008; on the other days fascinating house models of different cultures were created; a compost pit in front was built on the premises of the school; poems and songs about the sun were invented by the teachers and sung by the students… The local press was very interested; one big article in Eenadu gave a report about the school, our specials and our vision of a Nature School.

The third project week in the academic year 2010/ 2011 taking place in February 2011 was again very creative – a big variety of items (including teaching aids and learning aids made of nature materials) had been produced by the students and could be admired on the new school area. As a high light a very touching drama about Mother Earth, human beings and trees was performed by the students…

 

Mother Earth at the presentation of the project week results

Andrea and Angelika – two very committed and creative teachers from Germany conducting a workshop about kinder garden yoga and creativity at the school at the second time already – took some items made by the students to Germany where they were presented and sold at a school bazaar. The incoming money was transferred as a donation for plantation on the new area.

For the project week in the ongoing academic year 2011/12 we plan an Awareness Camp for garbage reduction. It will take place in the FC-Colony where we have to go through to reach the new school ground. We plan different activities like selling of self stitched cotton bags and self made paper bags (to replace the plastic covers according to the plastic ban in the Anantapur District). A Drama, a rally, building of a compost pit and plantation activities will be conducted beside discussion and information. It will be the very first time for a project week taking place outside of the school; headmaster Raja Sekhar with his “burning desire” for a clean Mudigubba inspired this event. The Nature School vision is spreading to the town of Mudigubba – a very exciting development…

 

My words are like stars; they will not disappear. Every part of this earth is holy to my people; every part of the earth is holy to my people, each glistening fir needle, each sandy beach; each fog in the dark forests, each clearing and each summing insect is holy in the thoughts and as well in the experiences of my people. We are a part of the Earth.“

(Speech of the Red Indian Tribal Chief Seattle to the President of the United States of America in 1855)

 

Gardening on the new area September 2011

 

Language and Culture

English is the first language at the school from the very beginning – to be able to speak English means better prospects for the future. Most of the „English Medium Schools“ in India are private schools with high school fees not accessible for our parents (the poorest of the poor people 64% coolies). The Government Schools teach English since 2010 starting in the 5th class. Swami Nagananda’s idea to start an English Medium School for poor children was a true benefit for the poor people improving their chances; on the other hand it was a vision only because no teacher at the school spoke English fluently in 2006. Since 2007 the teachers enjoy English coaching by Raja Sekhar with the aim to speak English in the school mainly. Today we are achieving this vision; the level of the teachers improved very much; we even have a mail exchange with a German class…

 

Page of a school book with English, Hindi and Telugu texts

The Indians are very talented with languages; many persons speak three, four or more languages fluently. The average European is a visual type and learns with the eyes mainly; the Asian people are learning with their ears primarily. The eyes are linked with the mind and the ears with the emotions – a very important reason for cultural differences. In the Western countries the communication mainly focuses onto the topic; here in India the relationship between the persons is more important normally – heart and mind…

It is an outstanding performance - also for the Indian children very skilled with languages - to learn three languages at the same time with different letters each. Telugu (language in Andhra Pradesh) and Hindi Alphabet (Hindi is spoken in whole India) have 46 letters each (our Alphabet has 26 letters). The children start in the kinder garden classes to learn English; in the first class they are able to read and write Telugu and English. In the third class Hindi will join as the third language.

 

Structures in the daily life

We offer a free and comprehensive education characterised through an integration of the normal subjects, a creativity program and Indian cultural techniques as well as Education in Human Values. We call this creative mixture “education for head, heart and hands”. The following structure of our everyday life seems to be most useful: The school day starts at 8.45 am with cleaning the school area followed by the meeting of all students in front of the school. The Indian National Anthem is sung; and a pledge is recited: „India is my country; all Indians are my brothers and sisters. I love my country, and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage. I shall always strive to be worthy of it. I shall give my parents, teachers and all elders respect and treat everyone with courtesy. To my country and my people I pledge my devotion. In their well-being and prosperity alone lies my happiness.” Drill is exercised – very much beloved by the students, the saying of the day is read. After this ceremony the elder students (class 2 – 7) practise meditation in the temple room and the small students in their class rooms. Four periods in the morning and two periods in the afternoon as well as a creativity block of one and half an hour complete the school day. At 4.30 pm the children go home. Since the end of the last academic year every day two classes go to the new school area for conducting different activities like gardening, games, handicrafts, singing etc. They like very much to go for a bath into the small water tank in front of the construction office. The big new school area at the water tank of Mudigubba means a more attractive school life; the students have more opportunities for different activities…

The teachers and students with me in front of the school building 2008

 

The teachers conduct different types of meetings and trainings:

  • On the Organisational Meeting – introduced in 2006 and taking place every month – all types of topics about the school are discussed. Project manager and Coordinator take part if the topic is school area linked.
  • the weekly Staff Meeting cares about practical issues with the daily teachings
  • since 2010 every two months a Pedagogical Progress Meeting takes place for improving the quality of teachings
  • alternating – every two months - a Creativity Progress Meeting is conducted for improving the creativity periods (since 2010)
  • the monthly Nature Day on the new school area is a training for teachers and classes 5 – 7 (since 2010)
  • once yearly we have a five days teacher training in the Dussera holidays; additionally sometimes other trainings are conducted.

 

Health

On November 29th 2007 the monthly Health Camp was started; the students are examined by our doctor and receive medicine and advice if needed.

 

First Health Camp in November 2007

 

The Health Camp inspired the Doctor Game in the kinder garden booklet: “We select a doctor (wearing a white shirt) who has to examine two or three members. The doctor asks the first patient about his diseases. He says for example that he is suffering of cough and cold. The doctor writes this into his note book. The teacher gives an explanation to all children how these diseases develop and how they spread. Then the doctor can examine the next children”. Now in 2011it is important to give plant medicine to the students if possible; the school doctor Mussal Reddy is cooperating. We want to plant Medical Plants on the new area and have the vision to produce medicine of plants and substances coming from plants. Project manager Horst Wagner found out that the leaves of the drumstick tree can balance bad nutrition; because of this we want to grow up a big number of these trees. Aloe Vera as well – beneficial for health and medical purpose – is growing on the school area and needs more ground already…

 

Parents’ Interaction

Our teachers go to the home of the students twice every academic year. Like this they get known of the atmosphere in the students’ families and can communicate with the parents. Often they give some advice to the – mostly simple – parents concerning education or how to handle circumstances of the daily life. Additionally regular parents’ meetings are conducted in the school with different topics. Most of the parents show up regularly and are very involved – they support us actively. Regularly they help by working and helping on the new land. At most of the schools it is not common to communicate more with the parents like this; we think that we are a very good model school in this regard.

Parents sieving the red soil for the clay brick production

 

Nature School under Construction

The old school has a size of 3000 square feet approximately; this narrow space is limiting our pedagogy very obviously. Only two toilets are present; the area around the school can be used; but we don’t have the right to change the arrangement because the railway is the owner. An extension in the school 2008 brought up a new small class room and an enlargement of three other class rooms; but the major space problem could not be solved… The visit of two „Nature Schools“ in February 2008 brought up the wish of the teachers to found an environment friendly school with the students being able to learn practically, with the teachings in harmony with nature, with the buildings built of nature materials and with gardens, agriculture and perma culture. This wish meant the birth of our „Nature School idea“. Swami Vivekananda who inspired many schools in India with his educational philosophy said about a school for life: “The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle for life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion – is it worth the name? Real education is that which enables one to stand on one’s own legs”.

 

The new land at the water tank of Mudigubba

 

The parents – very fond with the development of the school – offered all types of help; we were searching two years for a suitable piece of land and could – thanks to our main donors Herbert Fründt and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Weyer – purchase a property of more than 9 acres in February 2010 at the water tank of Mudigubba. School advisor Manjunath Reddy and headmaster (now coordinator) Chandra Mohan arranged this. Teachers and students from the very beginning participated with planning because it should be sustainable. Octagon class houses should be arranged in the shape of a spiral; the spiral as the most dynamic shape of the universe is included in nearly every natural creation and means expansion and growth.

The planning and building up of the Nature School changed the daily life in the school; new structures had to be created: project manager Horst Wagner and coordinator Chandra Mohan – before headmaster – are responsible for the new buildings and the area. Since 2010 there are two projects: the school and the new land used by students and teachers more and more: teachings, special events and a big variety of activities take place. Horst Wagner – very fond of the Sacred Geometry – creates a very vivid, beautiful and inspiring architecture; the energetic quality is satisfying the needs of students and teachers for harmony. The local people are very interested; sometimes groups of teachers come for a visit, admire the architecture and want to know more about our vision and aims.

 

The first architecture plan, designed by Horst Wagner 2010

The entrance gate - Horst Wagner’s first creation – is a very charming and artistic creation; it is located between two curved walls with four nice onion towers. The gate was built at the higher side of the area – going downwards to the water – where in 2010 a road was built. 50 cm soil had to be added for balancing the difference of height. The first building was the multipurpose house used now as the construction office followed by the clay brick fabrication hall. (We produce clay bricks for our own usage; later we want to sell them giving a contribution to the finances of the school like this). A small storage room became necessary to store valuable items safely. The octagon administration building, gardener and watchman house are under construction; the first guest house is nearly completed. The „Green Class room” is constructed of iron rods being planted by fast growing plants. Children and teachers are using it for games, meetings etc. already. Gardener Raju is expanding the plantation on the area very eagerly; a vegetable garden is built up; and we are going to harvest the first tomatoes (organic of course!). A beautifully shaped water tank is „under construction“. A path around the area – with many trees – started with the plantation of some trees grown up in our nursery.

Vision of the Nature School by students of the 5th class in 2010

This picture was painted by students of the 5th class reflecting the vision of a new school; class rooms, a flower garden, trees, a gate and the Indian flag besides other subjects are present. Botida explained to us that – energetically regarded – the picture implies very positive elements. “The arch way means an antibacterial and life supporting terrestrial golden point looming into the sky as a subtle energy column. The square shaped gate symbolizes Dharma (right conduct and good behaviour). A vertical square symbolizes the static quality and a diagonal square the dynamic quality of Dharma or the Divine Order. The octagon combines both aspects; because of this it is energetically high graded. The shape of the trees shows as well that they are growing on top of golden points coming out of Yagna and Agni-Hotra ceremonial fires and others; they are a symbol for the healing process of the Earth and for vitality. The picture is vibrating of joie de vivre, blaze of colours and abundance. It shows to us the consciousness of an own cultural heritage as well as a positive future for the own lives, the nature, the society and for India as a nation.”

 

 

Prayer to Mother Earth

 

 

Oh Mother Earth, in your lap we live our lives

and die our deaths.

On your body we have our joys and our pains as well.

You are a very old home of us;

we appreciate you and love you forever.

We want to transform you

into a pure planet of our dreams,

We want to transform you into a planet

where all the creatures have the same value.

We want to transform you into a lovely and soft goddess,

And we embrace you, Mother Earth, with all our love.

You are the ground nourishing us and caring for us.

We want to transform you

into fertile fields of peace, bliss and happiness.

We pray that joy and freedom with millions of sweet smells

may fill our hearts and our souls.

Oh Amma! Oh Amma! Oh Amma!

 

View to the area in October 2011

 

 

 

Education in Andhra Pradesh

The well known English Newspaper „Deccan Chronicle“ wrote an article on June 22nd about the disastrous situation of the schools and education in Andhra Pradesh: „With a very high dropout rate in schools, Andhra Pradesh is competing with Jharkhand for the lowest rung in the literacy ladder. The chief minister, Mr. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, said that he was ashamed to admit that Andhra Pradesh’s literacy rate lagged behind all the other states in South India. In fact, Andhra Pradesh is competing with Jharkhand for a place at the bottom of the literacy ladder. The huge dropout rate in government schools in the state poses a major challenge to the government; but one it seems in no hurry to accept. The state has an unacceptably high dropout rate of 46,21 % at school level. Out of every 100 students who were admitted to class 1 during 2000-01 only 54 reached class 10 in the academic year 2010-11. The dropout rate is higher in the case of students belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, primarily due to poverty which forces them to work at a very early age. The pathetic condition of government schools in the state is said to be the prime reason for the huge dropout rates. “Students in government schools which constitute 88 lakh of the total of 1.49 crore students in the state, face a lack of basic facilities like toilets, drinking water, power supply, benches, tables, blackboards and even chalk pieces.

 

Artikel im Deccan Chronicle vom 22.6.2011

 

Apart from this, 10000 school buildings are in such a dilapidated condition that they are a threat to the lives of students during the monsoon,” said Mr. N. Narayana, President of the AP United Teachers’ Federation. In government school the dropout rate in class 5 stands at 45 %; it increases to 56 % by class 8 and to 63 % by class 10… “In primary schools there is a severe shortage of trained teachers; and in high schools there is a shortage of teachers trained in various subjects,” said Mr. K. Venugopal, president of the AP Teachers’ Federation.

From this back ground we have to appreciate our school…

 

Thanks

After five years presence in India for the realization of a humanitarian vision – the implementation of a child centred pedagogy at a small school – I want to say very cordially Thank you in the name of 145 children enjoying our education to those who supported us realizing the extended vision – a Creative Nature School for the benefit of Mother Earth – primarily I want to say “Thank you” to our main donors Herbert Fründt and Prof. Jürgen Weyer. I want to thank all our donors for their donations, Monika Müller for her willingness to transfer them by the Anahata Society in Munich, Germany, and since 2011 by the Anahata foundation, and Prabhakar Reddy receiving and handing over the donations to the school via PRDS since 2008 (Prabath Rural Development Society). I want to say Thank you cordially to Manjunath Reddy as an excellent advisor for school and school area who inspired and arranged the Society and gave many times advice and support within the last five years, to our nine teachers - demanded to fulfil new standards knowing that the realization of our Nature School makes this necessary - and especially to our headmaster Raja Sekhar who is very committed and devoted to his work. I want to thank our doctor Mussal Reddy for his good service; I want to thank Project manager Horst Wagner for his unshakable presence and his wonderful inspiring creativity and coordinator Chandra Mohan for his dedicated and conscious work for the project. I want to thank all the persons conducting teacher trainings in the school: Linda (who as well gave good advice in some critical situations), Klaus Premananda, Andrea and Angelika, Botida and Sheila Swift, Johanna and Krsna. I want to say Thank you to my friends who supported me morally, primarily Dr. Richard Ratka and Anton Hross from Germany. I am most thankful to the Big Spirit or the Great Cosmic Power who helped me to go through these five years, who gave me faith and trust in situations demanding for patience, perseverance and courage. The deep thankfulness and openness of the children (and the open hearts of the teachers) are very touching and moving to me - balancing all the difficulties… The children know that it cannot be assumed always to attend a school; they appreciate our good education. We serve the children believing to give a contribution for a global humanity without borders and for peace.

 

Teacher training October 2011

 

Vision

We want to build up our Creative Nature School more and more; in the academic year 2012/2013 all the students and teachers are designated to shift to the new area. We want to extend the school up to the 10th class and will need recognition for the classes 8 to 10 as well. We want to teach according to the nature concept only and replace the traditional structure of our teachings through experimental and project teachings. Furthermore some teachings should be done by the students; (elder) students should teach (younger) students sometimes; children become temporary teachers… We started already with this exciting experiment by giving the chance to the 7th class children to teach the kinder garden students from time to time. At the Schetinin School in Russia students act as teachers; all the lesson plans are written by them – with this concept this school was explained as the best school in the whole world… The teachers should act as facilitators more and more inspiring and supporting the students with their activities. As Horst Wagner wrote in the Shanti Ananda Song they should primarily answer the questions of the students – this is the focus of our total vision… Persons from outside the school should be integrated – a concept we are already realizing; parents and other persons give their knowledge to teachers and students. The fathers of Coordinator Chandra Mohan and teacher M. Saraswathi will teach about cows and making baskets and ropes of waste material on the next Nature days. Everybody who has some knowledge linked with Nature should receive the opportunity to spread it to us – this means a „natural“ teaching and learning.

Claudia Rödler, kinder garden teacher and spiritual healer, gave a channelling in 2010 in Munich with some messages about the future of the Shanti Ananda School: „The school will become successful; you will hand over the concept to other schools. It is a school suitable for the human beings in the New Era. In your inspirations you became aware that learning in the Nature is very essential for the human beings. You will have more inspirations… You are one of those who brings the learning in the New Era to the Earth because you are able to understand the being of the humans and to give to them what is supporting them to develop their potential. Man is a natural being; and like this the work you are doing will be a inspiration to schools in Germany as well.”

Furthermore more ideas and inspirations will generate – naturally – for the benefit of our children, the Nature School and Mother Earth. Who knows – may be one day we might develop a Zero point generator???

We are a well known but not officially recognized model school. We would like to be recognized by the government of Andhra Pradesh as a model school – it might be possible that some years later the government could pay the teachers’ salaries… Furthermore we want to sell our self produced eco friendly clay bricks and other products, for example Aloe Vera jelly… Like this we want to give a contribution for the support of the school. Meanwhile we need your donations. If you want to donate for a special purpose (Kinder garden or creativity material, plantation etc.), please mention this on the demand draft. We will use your donation according to your wish.

Please forward the Newsletter and recommend us to your friends, colleagues, neighbours, relatives and to all those who might be interested in our developing Creative Nature School…

With cordial greetings,

Yours, Helga Shanti Fründt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donation Accounts

 

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 can give their donation to the

Shanti Ananda Education Society

Geetha Nagar, Mudigubba 515511

Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank

Account No. 7880

 

 

Press article in Eenadu on 11.11.2009

Shanti Ananda newsletter 6/2011

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Head mistress Sabitha handing over money donated for plantation to project manager Horst

As already reported in the last newsletter we collected money in Mudigubba for a basic plantation on the new area. In a hot country like India – and even more in our drought area Anantapur District – it is most important to arrange an elementary plantation - at least some trees - at the very beginning. This has priority not only because of creating some shadow for students, teachers and others. We want to build up the school with parents, students and teachers participating as much as possible; and we should give the opportunity to them to become active with practical work as well. The students should become familiar with plants by caring for them and looking after them. An emotional connection with the new area is caused primarily by living organisms – meaning plants and animals. Besides: we have a watch dog named “Shiva” – he came to us on his own. In this area it is not common to have personal dogs; because of this there are lots of stray dogs…

Our request to donate for the plantation on the area was heard and rewarded. I want to say cordially “Thank you” for these special donations – in Germany we received donations of 230 Euro and in India more than 15000 Rupees (roundabout 240 Euro). Coordinator Chandra Mohan collected money from friends, workers on the school area and other persons – together 3600 Rupees; the students’ parents donated 5290 Rupees, and our musician Klaus (Premananda) gave 6300 Rupees. Meanwhile 30 small trees and bushes have been planted (ten coconut trees, five almond trees and five mango trees, furthermore two bigger and two medium sized trees in front of the multipurpose building as well as two trees behind. Additionally we prepared a nursery enlarging continuously – in the moment 200 trees are growing up there. Furthermore we received a lot of plants and seeds as donations from students, parents and teachers; as well we bought some small plants. Some private persons from Puttaparthy donated special plants. Gardener Raju taught the students how to energize plants with a Mantram. The children had brought a small weak mango tree; meanwhile it is growing up in a powerful way – thanks to the Mantram. The pillars of the brick fabrication hall were planted with blue blossoming fast growing bushes admired by all the people coming to the new area. One bush was attacked by vermin; a mixture of Neem tree oil, soap powder and water was sprayed all over; this medicine is used traditionally in ecological agriculture. A yellow blossoming weak bush around a pillar apparently seeming not to grow received a song from 40 students and teachers when Premananda was here; after five days only (!) a new strong branch was visible… Our inspiring example is the worldwide well known Findhorn in northern Scotland with big marvellous vegetables and flowers although the soil consists of sand only… http://www.findhorn.org/

Trees and bushes – and the small pond for watering in front of the project manager office – attract animals which can be observed by the students. Our pedagogical concept wants the students participating consciously with activities like watering, removing weeds, collection of garbage, sweeping etc. Every afternoon two classes with their teachers come to the new area; the students love to go to the land and look forward to this event already some days before…

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Fifth class and Lower Kinder garden students observing frogs

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Students pulling out weeds, in the background watch man house under construction

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Kinder garden children experience the administration building under construction

The new area is used, enjoyed and experienced intensively by the students every afternoon with playing, performing creative activities (for example modelling with clay), collecting experiences with senses and nature and watering, removing weeds etc. Furthermore the „Nature Day“ - introduced in the last academic year for the purpose of strengthening and uplifting the emotional and energetic connection with the new area – takes place one time monthly. Besides the teachers the 5th, 6th and 7th classes are regularly present; for special events only the younger students come as well. In August we sang – still gathering in the brick fabrication hall – international and Indian spiritual songs guided by Klaus (Premananda) on his guitar. Consultant Linda conducted a small ceremony in the centre of the spiral to pray for help and guidance for our Nature School project; she brought Cocapalli with her – an iron figure made by the Hopi Red Indians in the USA. This figure – reminding us of the god „Krishna“ because of his flute – inspired us very much.

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Klaus (Premananda) teaching songs for Mother Earth

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Play way experiences with the new clay brick machine

The students‘parents are very actively „conquering“ the new area. They had offered practical help on two parents’ meetings; now they were asked to do so. They were asked class wise to approach the new area. Some parents helped digging holes for fixing iron rods needed for the „Green Class Room“. Others helped to clean the land around the Neem Tree – originally the one and only tree on the whole area.

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Students‘parents cleaning the land around the Neem tree

The “Green Class Room” (a light iron construction) is desperately needed because the classes coming to the area don’t have a space on their own…

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Five fathers fixing the iron rods including our mason Krsna (2. f. r.)

The brick fabrication hall – occupied by the students normally in the last months – is now used by our workers mostly; furthermore it will be needed for the clay brick fabrication. The multipurpose house is used as the construction or project manager office. Because of this situation we came to the idea to erect a simple nature class room behind the administration building; iron rods form a skeleton planned to be planted with fast growing blue blossoming climbing bushes. Round windows and a gap in the roof should guarantee the air circulation and allow a look around to the area. In two meters distance from the „Green Class room“ special bushes disliked by mosquitoes will be planted. A bank for relaxation is planned around the Neem tree.

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Under construction: „Green Class room“ and administration building (back ground)

On August 12th we had a fascinating pedagogical experiment at the school: the six students from the 7th class taught the children of the Lower Kinder Garden – most of them five years old. The two boys and four girls had planned play way and teaching sequences before; now they had the golden chance to perform them with the kinder garden children. In spite of stage fear at the beginning they had a lot of fun on the one hand; and they were introduced into a new role as adults on the other hand. This academic year is their last year at our school because we – as an Upper Primary School – can guide the students only up to class 7. Head mistress Sabitha, LKG teacher Anasuya and I were present and gave some hints and advices to our young “teachers” sometimes. Afterwards in a meeting we shared our feelings and experiences; every student of the 7th class had the opportunity to talk about this experiment and received feedback from the adults.

The six students from the 7th class

Jyothy teaching rhymes with action

The 7th class students enjoyed their new role as teachers and announced that they would like to repeat this experiment some time later. The small children were very alert and enjoyed the changing of teaching “staff“ and methods – a successful pedagogical experiment.

Amulya as a locomotive leading the train of the children

Last not least I want to introduce the „Three bears“. We carry this school project energetically. We are highly motivated to give our very best for rocking this visionary project into the future. “Female” leadership (in consensus of the human beings involved), pedagogy basing on Human Values, a spiritual consciousness for Mother Earth and an ecological approach for building up the new school are some headlines only – this project is much more than a school project “only”.

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The three „bears“: Linda, Horst and I (f. r. t. l.)

So we are happy about your support – however it might look like (moral support, service or donations). Everything is valuable for us; this project could never have been realized if not being supported by people like you. So I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our well wishers very cordially – mainly to our main donors Professor Weyer and Herbert Fründt from Germany! To all the human beings donating regularly or irregularly for the project and who are helping us by giving advices, by recommending us, sharing with us, encouraging, praying, singing or …

Thank you very much!!!

With cordial greetings,

Yours, Helga Shanti Fründt

Donation Accounts

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

Donations

Foreigners should give their donation to the

FCRA account:

Shanti Ananda Education Society

Account No.: 185410100007532

IFSC: ANDB0001854

Andhra Bank, Mudigubba Branch

India


German account:


Spendenkonto der Anahata Stiftung fuer Naturschule Mudigubba

Bank für Sozialwirtschaft

Kt-Nr.: 375 1241 124

BLZ: 700 205 00

IBAN: DE72700205003751241124

BIC: BFSWDE33MUE


Indian persons might give their donation to the

General account:

Shanti Ananda Education Society

Account No. 19073080607

Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank

Mudigubba Branch

India

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