Shanti Ananda

The Nature Concept School

Shanti Ananda Newsletter 1/2008

This first newsletter of the year 2008 is focused on the prospects of our school. In the last 18 months the elementary needs were fulfilled: Water and electricity were made available, the use of the building was ensured, the rooms were renovated; teaching and instruction materials – not present up to this time - were given as well as dresses and books for the students. The recognition of the government of Andhra Pradesh concerning to the school is also a part of these elementary equipments; we are going to receive it in the very next time.

All the teachers receive daily English coaching; they take part in "summer camps" during the holidays and in workshops concerning to different subjects as well. Further more they took additional responsibilities in the school life like caring for the library which is being structured, the laptop and the new teaching and instruction materials. Education in Human Values, meditation, yoga, painting and drawing, games and handling with the computer became regular contents in our school expressing the education with head, heart and hands which is our endeavor.

Last not least sufficient salaries are also a part of our changes since 2006. I am happy that it is possible to pay fitting salaries to our teachers starting in 2008. Here is a survey on the new salaries:

Name Function Salary in 2008 Salary before

Chandra Mohan

Headmaster

3500 Rupees

2400 Rupees

A. Saraswathi

Correspondent

2700 Rupees

1550 Rupees

Sabitha

Teacher

2600 Rupees

1350 Rupees

Jayalakshmi

Teacher

2500 Rupees

1300 Rupees

M. Saraswathi

Teacher

2500 Rupees

1400 Rupees

Nagaratna

Teacher

2500 Rupees

1250 Rupees

Anasuya

Teacher

2000 Rupees

850 Rupees

Shivamma

Working lady

1000 Rupees

500 Rupees

Venkatesh

Watchman

600 Rupees

500 Rupees

 

As a part of a teacher workshop the teachers painted their "ideal school". Basing on these pictures the group wrote a list of the priorities which is exhibited at the notice board of the school as well as the paintings:

The teachers’ paintings are very different, but they have in common that we need more space! Since December we are trying to find out whether it is possible that the school can extend to the neighbor properties. Two pieces of land are available, but their size is not sufficient; and the second piece of land is in some distance to the school. The prices are also very high because our school is located in the center of Mudigubba. So we came to the opinion that it makes sense to start a new school. We are planning to buy a bigger piece of land at the boarder of Mudigubba and to build new buildings. Of course we need the help of some donors to realize this vision!

The visit of two "Nature Schools" strengthened this point of view. The Timbaktu Collective in Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh (www.timbaktu.org) built up child like and organically structured schools: seven schools in Anantapur District. All the teachers of the Shanti Ananda School visited two of these schools and are fascinated and enchanted of them.

Headmaster Chandra Mohan in front of a building of the Nature School

Headmaster Chandra Mohan in front of a building of the Nature School

In the Nature Schools the students are only in the morning busy with the traditional subjects generally defined as “education”. In the afternoons they learn weaving, handling electricity and agriculture, stitching, cooking etc. On the big and also very attractive area of the first “Nature School” one small house was built up by the students themselves – one example for the ability of the students to practice “living skills”.

The problem of most of the schools in this country and also at other places is that children with practical oriented talents are very disadvantaged; they have to sup- press their abilities in favor of theoretic and often boring teachings. Many of these children resign, fall into apathy and are no longer able to learn anything. That means in the consequence that they learn nothing because they are not able to learn the traditional skills useful for the life as well. They don’t have the time and the opportunity to do anything else because of the strict timetable of many schools (in the daytime “education” and in the evening “tuition”). Their future fate probably will be poverty. The Nature Schools took this need and concreted wonderful schools finding the full acceptance of the teachers of the Shanti Ananda School. The students of these schools are intelligent and cheerful and seem to be able to master their lives. They are able to handle the “normal” subjects as well as to work in a team; they are self confident and creative.

View to the school area and a learning group

At the second „Nature School“ a „Children’s Center“ is located. Children coming from other schools and from the village can use it as well as the students of this school. They can borrow books from the voluminous library and also take part in courses „How to handle a computer“ or learn how to stitch, to do embroidery and other handicrafts. A big range of products made by children invites the visitors to buy some items for taking home as key holders, toys, dresses, jewelries etc. The children learn many techniques of handicrafts they can always rely on. Further more the school receives funds by selling these products.

On the next photo groups of children can be seen producing notice boards, cro- cheting and painting. All the walls of this big group room are painted by children only. They prepare food, are busy in the agriculture; they are busy with everything useful in the practical life: "Non scholae, sed vitae discimus “ (We don’t learn for the school, but for the life)!

Group room in the Nature School

On February 15th a parents’ meeting is planned in the Shanti Ananda School con- cerning to the future vision and our prospects. All the teachers are very inspired by the visit of the “Nature School” and want our school develop into a similar di- rection. But we need the support of our parents to be able to do this. So it is very necessary to convince our parents – most of them are very simple persons – of the need of such an education.

Our "Kinder garden“ – up to this time it is not really one – is in the focus of our awareness as well. Our endeavor is to integrate more childlike sense oriented and movement oriented elements into the daily structure. At least the children play with artificial clay twice a week; and a big box with wooden blocks made by a carpenter in Puttaparthy is used daily; some puzzles and construction games complete our offer still very modest. In the next teacher workshops the main matter will be how to improve the quality of the kinder garden. "Small children need a lot of sense experience for their personal development. They smell, taste, feel, see and hear to get known of themselves as well as of their surroundings… They can play the same game ten times, twenty times or one hundred times without feeling bored. Their playing is not simply a time pass but it is necessary for them to ac- quire new skills and abilities. Every child wants to develop itself and trains a special action as long as it is able to do it in a sufficient way… All the children want to develop themselves. But not every child is able to control the steps of its development. Some children have some problems, they need more time or more support.“ (Y. Ellneby: Die Entwicklung der Sinne – Wahrnehmungsförderung im Kindergarten, S. 7).

Small children playing with the wooden blocks

Our students accepted the medium of the "drama“ or theatre play as their own medium also in their free time. Every time when I come to the school they perform some dances, songs and small theatre scenes. They like very much to present themselves in this creative way:

With sincere greetings from South India,
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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