Special Newsletter November 2011
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Students in October 2006 in the Nagananda School
Students gardening on the new area in October 2011
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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…
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…
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
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
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 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