Shanti Ananda Nature Concept School
On October 16th I had my“seventh birthday” in India (six years building upthe Shanti Ananda School project), andI want to thank our supporters, especially our main donors Herbert Fruendt and Professor Weyer. Thanks to this precious help we reached already 50% of our visionto realize a Nature Concept School with high quality standards.Since March 2010 when we purchased the area beside the water tank we built up construction office, brick fabrication hall with store room, administration building, toilet block, guest house, gardener – and watchman house and water basin;furthermore bore wells have been arranged and many trees were planted. The administration building – nearly completed – will serve as temporary school as long as the classrooms have not been completed.
School area plan of Horst Wagner with octagon architecture
We thought already a lot about a pedagogically meaningful classroom design; the development of our nature school oriented pedagogy led to the creation of different models within the last years. On 12th October a teacher workshop was conducted in the guest house for the purpose tofind our designated model. We discussed advantages and disadvantages of the cluster model (Architect Jayesh Aptefrom Maharashtra)and of the octagon model (Project Manager Horst Wagner).
School area plan by JayeshAptewith clusters (three classrooms as a unit)
In a long intensive group work the details of both models were discussed by all the participants; at last every single teachers went forward and explained his/her decision for octagon classrooms – with these arguments:
· Optimal sound protection (listening to nature sounds is easy)
· Ideal conditions for group work because of big surrounding veranda
· Students and teachers love octagon architecture
· Good space usage - for example for exhibitions (no dead corners)
· Good connection with surrounding nature
· Good air flow because of Kerala roof and veranda around the building
· Own sphere for each class – ideal for development of individuality
· Octagon rooms feel like temples: feeling of unity
· Attractive beautiful architecture enabling work in a circle (we prefer the circle as a symbol for unity)
· Beneficial for all types of activities and as well for meditation and yoga
· Students feel peaceful and comfortable
· High identification because of the octagon shape – unique in the whole district
· More responsibility for the environment/ garden / nature
· Harmonious integration into the landscape by using same shapes (Corporate Identity)
· Protection against heat and wind through octagon veranda (option to change the place)
We hope that we will receive the support enabling us to complete this innovative octagon school model on the new areain future. Many people are interested in this spiritually inspired architecture; sometimes groups of teachers come for a visit...
Toilet block with transparent building style
Inner space in the administration building
The toilet block – built with our eco bricks, some parts in a transparent building style – is under construction. The administration buildingis in an advanced status, reminding us of the industrial architecture in the 19. Century. The mason works are completed as well as the welding works of the huge roof construction; now the roof has to be covered with tiles ordered by Chandra Mohan in Mangalore. Shelves have been started in the entrance area of the rooms for storage purpose.
Behind gardener and watchman house at the northern side of the area a nature playground will be arranged. The rocky landscape was released by some thorny dangerous weeds, at some places red soil will be added. Stairs prepared of cement will complete this action. An attractive nature playground will generate soon.
Nature playground at the northern side of the area
Green classroom with blue blossoms
We are thinking over to rename the Green Classroom into „Blue Classroom“ because of the innumerous blue blossoms (J)Directly beside a children’s garden will be arranged. Every child will receive one square meter area for plantation of his/her choice. The preparation of this students’ garden should be done primarily by the students – but a little help and advice by the adultsof course might be necessary … Entrance area and paths have to be created, the total area has to be divided into small pieces - a practical mathematical challenge… Still big stones are located on this area; they have to be removed. Afterwards the practical preparation can start.
Mostly we have five hours electricity only on the area per day. The StateAndhra Pradesh is dependent on water energy at a big amount. The monsoon was very weak, and the water tanks are nearly empty causing a low electricity amount. This lack has to been shared by all what means low current production... We plan to arrange solar energy on the area as soon as possible. The construction office and the guest house will receive solar energy first... As soon as we receive sufficient donations the administration building will follow.
Impression of Nature Day in September with the topic „flowers“
The last Nature Day was involved with flowers – magnificent... The next photo showing a typical house of our students’ families was taken for Madame Pfeiffer-Frohnert(www.naturgut-ophoven.de); she is developing the new children’ and youth museum of the Energy City in Leverkusen, Germany. She created aPowerPoint Presentation about the daily life of our students giving a vivid impression to the viewer(see separate Mail).
House of two siblings in the old village of Mudigubba
In this house no running water is available of course; the mother has to fetch it in a bucket from the water place – daily life in Mudigubba in 2012…
Headmaster Raja Sekhar and Andreas Marloth with yoyos
Andreas Marloth who visited us in 2010giving a beautiful impression about his visit in theInternet in German language (http://vimeo.com/20682429) came to the school again and brought some useful articles like welder and worker gloves, torches and safety vests; furthermore yoyos and Frisbees were included in his luggage.
Teddy bear training in the school in the Dussehra Holidays
In this year the very first time a special training was offered to the inhabitants of Mudigubba; the preparation of teddy bears. TeacherZahrunnishalearnt in the summer holidays how to prepare teddy bears and other animals like dogs and birds; now she is sharing this valuable knowledge with the other female teachers and the interested ladies in Mudigubba. Furthermore yoga (by G. Saraswathi) and meditation (by Raja Sekhar) were taught – new for most of the villagers. The ladies had a lot of joy and fun preparing the teddy bears and sharing time together – they reported that the time was running... At the end they received certificates about participation in this course. Up to 2011 the yearly Dussehra training was guided by me; some volunteers participated within the last years. Now the teachers started to manage themselves - a very good step towards responsibility, self-sustainability and personality development. The press resonance was very good as well.
With cordial greetings!
Certificates for the teddy bear training
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