It has been one month and a few days. I have travelled to four states in search of some purpose. I work with Aavishkaar-non profit in Kandwari, Palampur, H.P. Aavishkaar promotes STEM education through a different framework, fundamental and critical understanding for the students who will be citizens of tomorrow. We emphasize students’ understanding so that the student’s finding becomes a developing concept while designing their curriculum. This will help intervene learning, designing and innovating. Rewiring process is developed so that students do not complain about the hardships that they face while studying abstract cogitation such as mathematics and physical sciences.
Aavishkaar also conducts student and teacher’s workshops. Recently, I attended a teacher workshop ‘Hamaari Shikshaa’. Potential educators and learners were invited from across the country to join the enriching session about education. My knowledge of education in development sector was very limited. It had no figures and data to see what was the condition of India in terms of its education landscape. Aavishkaar hosted the program, all the members of Aavishkaar family joined their hands together to start this session.
It was November 9th, 2019- many unknown faces could teach me about education. All I knew about education was that it’s the manifestation of perfection that already exists in any human (rightfully quoting Vivekananda). Still, my aim and purpose in this area was not clear, but I knew I wanted to pave change in my society and to understand its needs in education. As the day proceeded, I visualized education’s law and it’s formulation. It is rightfully ours but we are ignorant of its usage. But I was a little unhappy and thoughts were wandering around- ‘what have I done’. The picture of education became broader when people in this field shared their knowledge and their approaches. Again I was perplexed when my group mates were not ready to accept the reality of society- the caste system which might prove a hindrance to education. In the morning where we spoke about the difference between education and literacy but concepts were in a debate in the evening- where we started behaving as uneducated yet literate people. I was taken aback by the sentiment of nonacceptance. Caste system in education in India is very prevalent. A person from a lower caste doesn’t get an education as teachers or other students do not let them feel safe and secure in that environment. If I wasn’t part of this particular exercise, I would not have known what was the sentiment of educators from urban society about the caste system in education.
10th November started fresh- once again we were introduced to education policies, ASER and some educational tools. ASER results pointed out the structure and finely tuned sketch of education of India. My senses became aware of facts and number, education landscape was never eroded( keeping in mind that we are not talking of quality education) it is just beginning its course.
I became excited and I had a quench for more information. Satiety is not the key to human evolution-knowledge, power and progress become ultimate to our thought process.
Reflection and recapitulation of the previous day proved crucial to me when one of the group members shared his thoughts from the previous day, to quote Aditya Ji ( one of our elderly learners adapted this from Veer Zara- a Bollywood movie)
Some thoughts are so transparent that it eases our minds..
Throughout the day we learnt a great deal about tools and designed some of them. Experience of learning something intricate cravings.
I came across another subsection of education- ‘Education in exile’. This was beyond my capacity to take in but this is the ‘truth of society we live in’. The session proved valuable and my insights about the goodness of Indian government opened up. The focus was primarily on Tibetan education system it’s policies, it’s the ambition to uphold Tibetian culture and tradition triggered a sense of cultural and heritage preservation which is declining too in my country.
The day ended with sessions taken by Sandhya and Sarit. They taught me science and math are creativity and can be comprehended by everyone through their perception. To improve education, it’s important to realize it’s quality enhancement which can be brought about by skills which are developed at Aavishkaar.
Another important aspect of my learning about education was the exploration of ‘U’.
Last day of ‘Hamaari Shikshaa’ had given me a load of self-realization and reflection about education and the scenario. We accept an idea and reject it, if it’s not rejected it gets shifted to new dimension-adaptation. If thoughts were to evolve we need to shift from our way of thinking to the process of creativity and innovation. Morning session taught me that visualization of mind is entangled with our want and imagination.
I learnt about ‘unschooling and homeschooling’. The concept amazed me. Though it sounded daunting but a question still remains am I ready for it? The session continued with Sandhya’s journey, Aavishkaar and the connection with Nari Gunjan and other state government. The other educators too spoke about their foundation-Vibha, Bharti Foundation and Mind Crafters. At last, we made models and plans for our future. That helped me learn and unlearn facts regarding education and one’s perspective to what they want to contribute in this field.
Knowledge of understanding and comprehending a particular field becomes infinite. Every story told and listened is a single-story after all. I don’t feel convinced with myself and my aspects of education. Sometimes I become snobby and don’t want to acknowledge facts over my views. I don’t know what is wrong and right but I realized, something if you can implement and improve then your hard work is remodeled in terms of improvement and development of a particular area. These few days helped me to recognize the skills that I can contribute to this field. Research, capacity building, child safety zone, teacher’s priority and needs are all too understood to bring about a drastic change in this sector of development. I will always be learning. The more it is, the better it gets. Now, for me, every step is closer to betterment. I hope to imprint and contribute to education. I am both assertive and hopeful towards changed modulation.
Priyanka-An India Fellow posted at Aavishkaar.