Shanti Ananda Nature Concept School
June 12th was a great day for all of us: the school moved with all items to the new area. Since more than three years we had anxiously been waiting for this day (in March 2010 the new area had been purchased). The idea to build up a Nature Concept School had already been generated in 2008 by our teachers. On June 12th a dream dreamt by us for many years became true. Class rooms aren’t yet present (they will be built in the second stage of building); we have to adjust with temporary circumstances: the classes will be arranged primarily in the seven rooms of the administration building (headmaster office, society office, library, teachers’ room, computer room and two labs).
View from the entrance gate to the administration building
Watchman-, gardener- and guest house and last not least the Green Classroom will be used for classes additionally. As our teachers and students are used to painful lack of space – the complete size of the old school was less than 300 square meters - everybody feels like in paradise right now in spite of temporary circumstances; we enjoy light and architectonically beautiful rooms. The administration building – visible directly from the entrance – is nearly completed; central space and entrance area will be finalized within short time. The entrance area was extended in the front for enabling a space for meetings as big as possible. In spite of this uncompleted status the inauguration pooja for the building was already celebrated at this very place – with teachers and students.
Inauguration pooja in the entrance area
The rooms in the administration building are big and light and have enough space for storage purpose; the lamps are fed by solar energy. Each room – as a segment of the octagon building – opens to the central space covered with a dome of green glass. It is designed as a meditation room and will be provided with benches and a fountain in the centre balancing the different activities in the building.
First teacher meeting in the administration building
The first teacher meeting – with two new teachers for mathematics and science – took place on June 12th; Coordinator and Green Coordinator participated. Two topics will be in the focus within the next time: cleanliness and security. The topic of the next Nature Day on June 25th will be „Snakes and scorpions“ as there are lots of scorpions and some snakes on the area – a potential danger for the children. The students – many went to school with bare feet – have to wear slippers from now on. Cleanliness is fundamental for our Nature Concept School, especially concerning usage of toilets and dustbin. In the old school only two toilets were present used by our teachers; all the students had to go outside... Some children don’t have bathrooms in their houses; they have to learn how to use toilets. The teachers have to teach the students how to handle the toilets and how to keep them neat and clean; the students ought to take responsibility. The water tank of the toilet building is not yet completed; big drums in the toilet rooms have to be filled with water every morning to grant the water supply for the toilets. The students have to keep the buckets in the toilet cabins filled with water as long as the taps cannot be used. Improvisation will be necessary; but this situation is meaningful because the students get the chance to create their surroundings on their own actively. New photos of the school area you find here: www.dropbox.com/sh/x6gf2uedhokhnmm/Vj6L0CkyMK
Inspection of the area by the teachers (with uncompleted water tank)
Central dustbin with four chambers
The move from the old school to the new area was done within two days; students, teachers and volunteers cooperated loading and unloading all the materials; old students helped as well. The small car had to go up and down several times for transporting everything.
The car for shifting the materials is load in front of the old school
The old school now is used as society office only; as soon as there are sufficient class rooms it will be shifted into the administration building. The Krishna temple – core of the old school in the centre – will be used for the original spiritual purpose maintained by us for the next time.
Transportation car in front of the administration building
Move in action with tricycles
Desktop transport to the headmaster office
The move to the new area and the start of the new Academic Year bring some changes for our employees; two new B. Ed. (Bachelor of Education) teachers have been engaged, and some old teachers do other jobs now: Venkata Narayana now acts as our clerk and the right hand of the head master doing administrative work, arranging materials and much more. Zahrunnisha and Munemma cooperate teaching the Upper Kinder Garden children. Munemma is going to act as librarian in the morning and teach in the afternoon; Zahrunnisha will teach in the morning and stitch teddy bears in the afternoon; she is our special expert preparing very charming teddy bears already. By selling we hope to get some additional income for the school. Some income generating activities are planned in future to enable more income for the school. In the moment we are fully dependent on donations – that means we need your help as well - to realize our pedagogical work.
Students buck vaulting
The new area enables a bigger spectrum of activities for the students. In the last two academic years two classes came to the area daily, but a permanent stay feels different… The students are no more present for a visit only; but they can feel themselves at home now. The children use the area as a big “adventure playground” with joy and enchantment for multiple activities. Obviously they feel comfortable and conquer the land with childlike joy of discovering. Of course they have to help with the daily duties as well like watering the plants, removing weeds, collecting garbage and cleaning; all these activities are part of our pedagogical concept. In general the students like to do these works; they feel that they are participating in a great experiment. Furthermore they appreciate getting free books and school uniforms, enjoying a loving pedagogy with many options for activities and being taught in spacious and attractive buildings by friendly and sympatric teachers. Within the next future additional options for sports and games will be arranged as well for improving the quality of the area.
Students playing on top of a sand heap
Photos of the move day you find here: www.dropbox.com/sh/ot06y9puu0pg8hn/QruIVeuMfH (please scroll down to reach the photos at the bottom).
First morning prayer on the new area
The next kinder garden age group was tested in a new room of the administration building on June 14th in the presence of their parents.
Testing of the new kinder garden children
The parents had been checked in the summer holidays by our headmaster whether they fulfilled the condition of poverty as we are still a school for poor children only. As usual we had more candidates for a place in the Lower Kinder Garden than we could accept (the size of our classes is limited to 20 students). The children had to go through a lottery after being tested; 16 children of 21 were accepted starting as UKG students now. Afterwards the7th class students of the last academic year received their transfer certificates enabling them to attend the local High Schools.
Participants of the Spoken English Course in May 2013
In these summer holidays a Spoken English Course had been arranged and led by our headmaster Raja Sekhar as an activity of the Shanti Ananda Education Society. 45 participants attended the course; many old students came to improve their English language skills. Additionally laughter yoga was offered as a funny high light for the participants. Everybody was happy with this opportunity for optimizing spoken language skills; in the next summer holidays the course will be continued…
Our school still is fully dependent on donations. Within the last years we received a lot of support; and I hope strongly that we are going to receive help and support in future also for realizing our Creative Nature Concept fully. The move to the new area is a most important step as a compulsory condition for the realization of our nature concept pedagogy. To reach this noble aim we have to concentrate onto more experimental and project teaching methods in this academic year. The second building phase which will start soon is most auspicious as our classrooms – in the same style as the existing buildings and arranged in a spiral – will be completed. We need more teaching materials as well; and we want to offer better writing conditions to our students (for improving hand writing) by designing writing benches. We need your support; and I want to ask you politely and intensively to give a donation to us.
By the way: all the newsletters are available on this link: http://www.natureconceptschool.org/news/newsletter/english.html
Thank you and 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 should give their donation to the
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Geetha Nagar, Mudigubba 515511
Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank
Account No. 19073080607
Inauguration pooja seen from the construction area