Monday, July 2, 2012

My Magical School

My Magical School  
Dr. Abhay Bang
Translated by Arvind Gupta

As a child I went to an amazing school. Today, I feel helpless and sad for I’m unable to offer such an education to my son - Anand. “Our childhood was so different. Things have changed beyond recognition,” old timers often moan and groan about the past. Still, my heart is heavy. You may ask what was so different about my school?

Until standard ninth I studied in a school which followed the tenets of Nai Taleem (Basic Education) as enunciated by Gandhiji. Out of these I actually spent four years in the Nai Taleem School located in the Sevagram Ashram in Wardha. Education should not be confined within the four walls of the classroom mugging up boring subjects away from Mother Nature. Gandhiji’s Nai Taleem strongly believed that children learnt best by doing socially useful work in the lap of nature. This is how children’s minds would develop and they would imbibe a variety of useful skills. To implement such a system of education, Rabindranath Tagore at the behest of Gandhiji sent two brilliant teachers to Sevagram. Mr. Aryanakam came all the way from Sri Lanka and Mrs. Asha Devi from Bengal. This duo combined Gandhi’s educational methodology with Tagore’s love for nature and the arts. My parents were involved with this educational experiment right from its onset. The school tried out many novel experiments in education. Here, I will attempt to recall some of them.

No comments: