Archive for March, 2012

My darling mom
had always dreamt
her son to be, some day,
a medical doctor,
or an engineer,
one who would lead the way.

I had no heart
to tell her that, mother,
you should let me be.
My mind goes numb
when confronted with,
my bête noire, trigonometry.

Give me a simple
sum to solve
and I am all at sea.
Calculus, algebra,
cause embarrassment
and acute mental agony.

All those with
engineering skills
have love for geometry
My world should
have no angles,
no signs of symmetry.

Constantly harassed
medical practitioners
I would rather a patient be,
Have no desire to
spend long years
learning bio-chemistry.

Agonizing, preparing
for brutal exams,
where ulcers are for free.
Wish not to spend
my balance years
dealing with human misery.

Help me be my engineer,
let me ‘doctor’ my
un-chartered destiny.
I know, dear mom,
you love me lots,
but do not plan for me.

Am aware that you want
me to lead the way
but I know what is good for me.
You lead your life,
gave me this world,
don’t steer my life for me.

(This poem with its authorship ascribed to Kapil Sibal was received by Taleemnet. If this be true and if this be the true sentiment of the minister who holds the responsible post of deciding the future of education of the children of India, there is still hope…)

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21 Mar 2012

Universal Mom by Kapil Sibal

Author: hashcookies | Filed under: Taleemnet

Eklavya’s website now displays all the books they publish on education in rural areas. Of great interest to taleemnet is their low cost reproductions of the work of John Holt, A.S. Neill and others. You can now order all the literature you want through the internet from their website. Enjoy!

E-10, BDA COLONY Shankar Nagar
Shivaji Nagar
Bhopal 462 016 (MP)
Phone (0755) 267 1017, 255 1109

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21 Mar 2012

Eklavya Books

Author: hashcookies | Filed under: Taleemnet

The Rural Curriculum Design (RCD) titled Our Land Our Life offers the framework for an educational programme for the children of farming communities in India. Home schoolers, alternative schools, Nai Talim institutions and anyone working with children belonging to rural communities will find the document useful.

The curriculum has been prepared based on sound ecological principles for reorienting the focus of learning to a rural milieu.

The document has been prepared by Taleemnet, the Organic Farming Association of India and the Natural Farming Institute with other collaborators. It is the outcome of a yearlong research based on inputs from pioneer educators, organic farmers, thinkers, visionaries, children, rural communities and academicians from across the country.

The complete document running into nearly 300 pages can be downloaded from the following link:

We look forward to your valuable feedback at:

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20 Mar 2012

The Rural Curriculum goes online

Author: hashcookies | Filed under: Taleemnet

The Year On campaign basically seeks to encourage youth to consider taking a gap year for self-reflection, travel, practical experience and community engagement. The reason we have called it a year on is to challenge the common misperception that children waste a year if they take a gap year. So rather than take a year off, we suggest taking a year on.

This campaign is timely and relevant at this time for 3 reasons:

1) It is currently exam season and there is a lot of pressure on students. A year on is a great anti-dote to this pressure.

2) Major universities from around the world, such as Harvard University, have started encouraging students to take a gap year before admissions. They feel that students who have taken a year on are more mature and can better avail of opportunities at the university level.

3) As part of this campaign in india, several school principals and guidance counselors from well-known educational institutions such as Mirambika, the Valley School, Riverside School, have started voicing their expert opinions that it is very beneficial on both pedagogical and social levels if the student takes gap year. They feel that the gap year after 8th or 10th or 12th or during college should be an essential part of the students’ educational program for the 21st century. It promotes the students’ capacities for self-designed learning. Also these principals are willing to allow students re-admission to their schools after the gap year.

Currently the biggest barrier to the year on concept is the parents. They are afraid to let the children have any space to think for themselves. They also feel that the children will waste time in a gap year if they are not supervised/controlled by a full-time teacher. We are hoping to change this perception of the parents through the year on campaign.

We have recently developed the following blog to support students in their year on explorations.

This blog has lots of testimonials, resources, posters which can be used in terms of a press pack for developing an article on this campaign for your publication.

There is also a very beautiful book, Free from School, written by Rahul Alvares and published by Other India Press, which highlights the learning adventures of a student when he takes a year on after 10th. Foreign produced Teenage Liberation Handbook is also an excellent resource.

Unlike many international gap year programs, there are no fees to join the Year On campaign. We believe that there is an abundance of learning resources in India just waiting to be tapped into. Some of these are shared on the blog. There also are several volunteers listed who are willing to counsel youth/parents on their gap year options.

We sincerely hope that you can help us spread this option to interested youth and parents as we believe that it will create a significant ripples in the education system.

Please feel free to contact me if you need any further information or would like to have some interviews from students, principals or educationists on the year on campaign.

Best wishes,

Manish Jain

Shikshantar and Swapathgami Network

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9 Mar 2012

Gap Year India

Author: hashcookies | Filed under: Multiversity
We are planning to have a samvaad on ‘What Children (we) Learn Naturally’ in Pune, India, on April 13, 14,15. This is part of a series of dialogues we are planning around the questions related to learning, knowing, being etc. The samvaad will be held in the spirit of questioning,self-exploration, reflection, sharing of firsthand experience etc and may not want to indulge in theoretical articulations of so called ‘experts’.

We would like to think afresh on all these questions related to children, schools, community space, etc.

As the event is self funded we have to keep registration fees of Rs 2000  which includes stay and food. Meanwhile do take a look at the background paper and send us your thoughts on the samvaad.

As there is limitation of space we can only have around 30 people. Hence do reply to this mail so that we can intimate you the situation.

Also do forward this to any one who might be interested.
Please reply this to
For Sadhana school
Ranjana/ Jinan
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8 Mar 2012

What Children Learn Naturally

Author: hashcookies | Filed under: Taleemnet