“Due to the way of teaching and the belongingness with which the teachers teach, the children love coming to school. They miss school on Sundays! “, said Amit Chatterjee, a teacher from Burdwan district, West Bengal.
Param Pujya Sri Sri Ravishankar ji’s vision for holistic, multicultural and value based education for all has manifested in the form of 115 free schools in tribal, rural and slum areas which provide food, clothes and books to the children. The work is still on to reach out to many more children!
With the intention of standardizing the functioning and documentation of the school work and improving the teaching techniques, a unique 3-days workshop was held by the Art of Living in the Ashram on 18-20 February, 2011. Around 140 school staff from 17 states, including representatives of school teachers, Head Masters/Mistresses of each of the schools functioning under the aegis of Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth (VVMVP) and their State Committee coordinators, attended the workshop.
“It was a wonderful experience coming together to learn new teaching techniques and improvising ourselves, that too in such a beautiful place. 80% of the students in our school are first generation students”, said Amit Chatterjee. “This is the first time I’m coming out of my state. We had to travel for 5 days to reach here but it was worth it. I met teachers from all over the country and exchanged views and ideas. The workshop was enlightening and refreshing at the same time” said Jagatdhatri, a school teacher from Tenthuibari, Tripura.
The workshop provided hands-on training for the participants in the sprawling VVMVP school campus located near the Ashram as a part of the sessions. The participants were made familiar with the process of starting and running free schools with help from VVMVP.
“We faced a lot of problems convincing parents to send their children to school. But gradually, we have overcome a lot of these issues. This workshop has definitely empowered me to work efficiently and bring a better change in our villages” said Swapan Pathari, co-ordinator of 40 schools in Tripura.
The Art of Living has made education accessible to various villages. The programs have enabled parents to understand the value of education and created harmony amongst diverse cultures. The schools believe in imparting education which not only help the students materially but also emotionally, socially and spiritually.