Starting with the beginning of the school year 2008/2009 on June 13th the Shanti Ananda School engaged a new teacher - not only for our new 6th class: Raja Shekar. We collected very good experiences with him as English coach for our teachers already.
Headmaster Chandra Mohan and Raja Shekar
23 new students visit the kinder garden; that means that in the new school year more than 120 students are present in our school. We need more space very urgent. We are discussing to rent a piece of land beside of the school and to establish a temporary building of cane at that place. The new property we are dreaming of as our ideal school space cannot be sold with our funds at this moment; it costs about 13.000 Euro – 8 Lakhs (800.000 Rupees). When we would shift to an- other place we could take the temporary building with us. May be this cane building will be the very start of our planned „Nature School“.
In the holidays we had a „Summer Camp“ for all the teachers in Puttaparthy. It took 10 days; main subject was how to learn learning. Developmental psychology, kinder garden education, Education in Human Values, Sensivity Training, Yoga and more were our contents. Group-, partner- and single work, lectures and talks, movements, creativity, sounding, theatre play as well as an excursion to the „Envi- ronmental day“ in Penukonda gave some alternations to the teachers. The last two days were used for the creation of the new time table at the school. Two small children aged one and two years were also present all the time and inspired us in many ways. Shivamma, the school aya (cleaner and nanny) came with the teachers to care for our smallest participants.
The teaching staff working together concerning the essentials of the education
On the next day some happy activity with Johanna (psycho therapist and group leader) took part – she inspired us with Sensivity training.
Sensivity Training with Johanna
The teachers liked the awareness exercises very much; they are useful for self awareness and for consciousness raising and for body training as well. They are also useful for children in the school to train their senses.
Krsna, experienced yoga teacher and „food designer“ (he leads the popular health restaurant „Swamy’s kitchen“ in Puttaparthy) brought some variety with sounding, pranayama (breathing exercises) and a lecture of the yoga basics in the morning and asanas (body exercises) as well as a phantasy journey in the afternoon. The day was completed with tasty sugar cane juice from the eco farm.
Yoga in the group room
The teachers were very fond of the asanas – most of them practiced these exercises the very first time on their life – though the yoga comes from India only! Not often I saw them so relaxed. In July headmaster Chandra Mohan will take part in intensive yoga training at the Vyasa Institute in Bangalore. After he will be able to teach our students in yoga as well as the teachers or parents.
Our group excursion on the next day led us to the „Environmental Day“ in Penukonda – about 50 km distance from Puttaparthy. The Timbaktu Collective (www.timbaktu.org) organizes this day for improving the consciousness of a natural way of life. For example a big selection of different kinds of rice, wheat, ragi, lentils and peas were presented to the visitors. A special attraction was an ayurvedic
“hospital” with medicine.
Two years aged Prabath is feeling different seeds
One important aim of the „Environmental Day“ is the protection and the spreading of the cultural heritage which falls into oblivion because of the fast economic development of India and the increasing consumption of media connected with this. Traditional handicraft techniques like weaving and pottery were presented as well as a dancing and singing program. Organic food, natural textiles and handicraft works made by the children of the “Nature Schools” could be sold by the visitors.
School advisor Manjunath Reddy in front of a poster about organic farming
The evaluation in small groups showed that most of the teachers were especially impressed by the exhibitions and the cultural program. We could integrate events like these into the daily life of the school. It could also be a possibility to grow up plants together with the children to have an education useful for the daily life.
The teaching staff leaving for the "Environmental Day“
Prabakhar Reddy, the President of the PRDS (Prabath Rural Development Society) is leading our funds to the school after receiving them from the German Society Anahata) came from Anantapur on the following day. He wanted to show to the teachers how to lead the accounts in the right way. Our accountant Manjunath Reddy is planned to show his knowledge to the teacher Jayalakshmi in this school year. She should take this responsibility starting in the next school year to guarantee independence for the school as well for the Shanti Ananda Society.
Prabakhar Reddy shows how to conduct the accounts
Beside the team program the teachers could also do some „free work“. Everybody could do what he or she liked to do:
Anasuya and Chandra
The last two days of the summer camp all the teachers constructed the new time table assisted by our school advisor Manjunath. There is an important change compared to the time table of the last school year: in the morning we will have the normal subjects; in the afternoon we will have “creativity”. In the next newsletter you will receive some more details.
With sincere greetings from
Helga Shanti Fründt
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
Indian persons should give their donation to the
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Geetha Nagar, Mudigubba 515511
Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank
Account No. 19073080607