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Tag Archives: experiences; writing; teaching;

A Magazine FOR the Children and BY the Children

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On 1st January 2015, I shared with you about my idea of encouraging reading and writing amongst rural children on Sunday morning workshops. There have been some exciting developments on this front. After writing this post, I thought that on the forum meant for discussing Gandhian philosophy it would be apt to bring out a magazine based on the principles of Nai Talim.
Nai Talim is a scheme of education proposed by Mahatma Gandhi in 1937. Mahatma Gandhi proposed crafts to be the medium of education, that is, through the practice of crafts students will learn disciplinary knowledge.
The three principles of Nai Talim are:
1. Self- awareness
2. Self-reliance
3. Self-discipline
All these principles are held together by experience and social responsibility. I thought a magazine would be the best idea to experiment the potential of Nai Talim. So, I floated the idea, of bringing out a magazine and the selling it in the village, in the workshop amongst children and other facilitators. Everyone accepted it enthusiastically.Their energy and enthusiasm made my day.

But with it began a difficult journey. Difficult because if it was to be done through Nai Talim then students will have to be trained in all skills related to publishing a magazine.
Besides reporting, children volunteered to take responsibility of different tasks. Our work began two weeks ago when students went to collect information about their village. A group of children suggested interviewing the village head and prepared a questionnaire for it.
Today was the third week and we managed to compile 15 entries in the form of information; interviews; opinions; cartoons; social messages; drawings etc. It was heartening to see this. However, I understand a lot of work is still left to do with only two more Sundays to go before the preparation of final copies.
Based on Gandhian principles, minimum machinery will be used and everything will be in-house, as a result it printing cost will be very less. As of now, we have taken a desktop with printer and scanner on loan for bringing out 200 copies. That will be the only expenditure incurred on the magazine. Everything else will be done by hand, including designing and preparing a blue-print.
All this work will be done by the children and for the children.
Lot of work needs to be done, and I am a bit anxious now.
Wish me Luck.

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New Semester, New Course

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With new year began second semester of the post-graduate course on education in my university. I was asked to teach ‘Educational Administration and Management’ in this semester. I do not have a particular liking for this course and I had explored fewer literature in this area in the past. So, some days before new year I began desperately looking for material to use in my class. I did find some readings but they are all in English and medium of instruction in this course is Hindi. I am still looking for relevant literature in Hindi, in case anyone is aware of any good translations done in this field, then do let me know.
However, while preparing myself for classes, I realised how interesting this course is. I have devised an interesting strategy to deal with the dearth of reading material. This strategy is of creating our own materials in the class. The course deals with the existing educational administration in India, so I have begun with asking them to collect information on various organisations and structures used to develop policies and implement them at different levels in education. Together we share this information, discuss it, question and analyse it. The information is generally collected from websites of these organisations and other relevant government documents. Initially, I thought students may not like gathering information. However, I was surprised to see their enthusiasm. They are all ready with their specified topics and enthusiastically present in class, which is then discussed. After discussion, students are given twenty minutes time to write their views; questions and learnings. The presenter also distributes the material she collated in the process. In this manner we are trying to develop our own materials.
However, we also read texts in class even if they are in English.
So, far this seems to be working for us. If you have better ideas, then please let me know.