ICSE and ISC Results (2017-2018)
ICSE and ISC Results 2017-2018
Venerable Kabirji facilitated a session/teaching on ‘Why are you being educated – from a perspective of Jiddu Krishnamurti and Buddha’.
It is indeed a significant event, when educators stop and deliberate on ‘Education’ and attempt to understand its etymology, its defintion, its purpose and the future direction that it needs to be nudged into.
‘Why are we being educated?’ was the topic on which Venerable Kabirji recently spoke to the students, teachers and staff of Shikshantar.
The session started with looking at the meaning of the word ‘Education’ in different languges. While its Sanskrit equivalent ‘Shiksha’ means ‘to train the mind based on the authentic parampara’, the Latin verb from which it is derived, ‘Educare’, means ‘to draw out or bring forth’.
Through sharing of words by thinkers like Sri Aurobindo, Jiddu Krihnamoorthy, Kabirji aquainted his audience with the meaning of education in its truest sense- that which relates to self-awareness, an understanding of one’s emotions, a liberation from the constraints of the mind, that which leads to Nirvana and Moksha. This education rests on the premise that every individual holds within himself/herself a pure seed which when provided with optimal opportunities grows and flowers into a balanced and happy human being. The purpose of education, according to Gandhiji, has to be a development of the head, heart and hands.
Once the tone of the talk was set, it didnt take long for all in the room to realise that contemporary education in the country had departed far away from the ideals, lending truth to Sri Aurobindo’s words of 1909 that ‘Education in India is immitative, self-forgetful and fake’.
The gravity of the situation was very well communicated through Kabirji’s choice of words and the seriousness on his face and in his voice. All educators present in the room went back with a sense of responsibility, of being change-makers, in helping realign education to be meaningful, contextual and authentic, focusing on the development of the psychic being.
‘Investigate what genuine love is’, were the parting words of Kabirji.
And the starting point of a new journey for all teachers.
A Dharma Talk
A Dharma Talk by The Venerable Geshe Tenzin Namdak is always a meeting with the self. With his calm demeanor and a gentle voice laced with subtle humour, Geshe La’s words bring home many an insightful moment for his listeners.
It was no different this time around.
“I, me is not concrete”, shared Geshe La.
The silence in the room was palpable as the audience plunged into depths of thought to grapple with the enormity of the words. For several of us, it was a revelation and a discovery at the same time, opening up immense possibilities of self-awareness and self-realization.
When Geshe La attempted to encapsulate ‘Samsara’ and ‘Nirvana’, he did so in the context of ‘Emptiness’ which he described as the ultimate reality. Just as knowledge of what makes us happy comes from knowing about all that causes unhappiness, an enlightened state of mind or ‘Nirvana’ can be attained with the knowledge and experience of ‘Emptiness’ of the unenlightened state or ‘Samsara’. He could not stress enough on the benefits of meditation to train the mind gradually for mental consciousness, an inner awareness and ultimately peace of mind.
An observant and attentive audience, questioned Geshe La on their emerging thoughts- When we say that soul is eternal and moves from one body to another, are there fixed number of souls?, Why does Geshe La gesticulate towards his heart while talking about his mind?, Why are there many more children who are precocious in their pursuit of different fields?
The talk gave food for thought to one and all. As also questions to mull over and answers to seek.
From oneself. Through one’s reflections.
There were so many possibilities created through an hour and a half in the midst of an enlightened being like Geshe La.
Sports week at Pre primary
First Vishvas Open House Interaction
Theme for the session: A shared journey – Towards Independent Living
“Self-propelling motivation and belief is the only force to nurture and reckon with and diffuse social barriers”. This essence was taken forward in the session facilitated by Dr. Asha Singh and her daughter Ms Maya. An expert in the field of Child development, Dr. Asha Singh, shared her research based valuable inputs to the parent community. Profound insights of her journey as a parent possessed the potential to inspire the educators as well as the parents.
Maya’s effervescent sharing of her attainment of academic, social and professional milestones generated hope and opened new avenues. Through Maya’s narratives from her school years and workplace, Dr. Singh emphasized on the fact that children thrive if a dyadic relationship is premised on implicit trust and belief in their abilities. Sharing the possibilities for independent living, she further elaborated on the significance of having small supportive groups. These groups generate belief, positivity and unflinching support that help nurture the individual optimally.
An interactive and thought provoking session, it left us with a reflection that to overcome any challenges in life, we can learn to convert our despair into humor and laughter. Finally, consistent and collaborative efforts will continue to create a positive and enabling environment for self reliance.
Exhibition of Summer Experiences
Summer Experiences Exhibition in Class II
Come end of summer break, and the walls of Shikshantar are abuzz with excitement and enthusiasm of starting afresh. A feeling of returning to the familiar, albeit refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed, envelopes the school. This energy becomes the ground on which children reconnect with their friends, didis and bhaiyas, and environment.
The first week in primary school is an opportunity to children to share their summer experiences, learnings and explorations. This time, such a sharing was facilitated through exhibitions wherein each group invited another to view their summer projects. Tables were set up to display a myriad of creations. Handmade jewellery and 3D models (both moving and static!) inspired from reused objects, reading logs with painted covers of books, math games involving addition and subtraction, and stories supplemented with handmade puppets – these were some of the displays at our exhibitions! Children waited patiently for their peers to come to their exhibit, and when someone did, they talked at length with them about the same. Their peers reciprocated the excitement with attention and curiosity.
All in all, the most prominent feature was the children’s visible sense of ownership and confidence regarding their work. They truly celebrated and appreciated each other’s work and in doing so, they welcomed back each other with joy and love.
POSH Training Session on 26th December 2017 for our support staff
Loving Kindness and Respect – Teaching by Venerable Geshe Tenzin Namdakon on 3rd Nov 2017
The interdependence of child, parent and teacher
“Know your mind first, to be able to understand the minds of others”, echoed the words of Venerable Geshe Tenzin Namdak as he addressed a gathering of students, teachers and parents at Shikshantar. Sitting under the Champa tree, Geshe la appeared to be the Buddha himself. Still face, gentle demeanour, serene energies and words of wisdom continued to flow in the spaces.
Geshe La touched upon the profound nature of student, teacher and parent relationship. An institution grows through the spirit of humility, compassion and respect for each other. To enter the orbit of happiness, we must be aware of our feelings, thoughts and must be able to train our minds. Meditation is the key to this – may seem to be difficult in the beginning but can be mastered with consistent practice. Expansion of inner happiness is achieved by treating all we come across with kindness, empathy and respect. This is the basis of true and harmonious relationships.
Quoting his experiences with people from various walks of life, Geshe La was able to reach out to each and every soul through his teaching. From what we were yesterday, to what we are today, to what we can be tomorrow; we must consistently strive to evolve as individuals.
Geshe La Tenzin Namdak responded to questions from students, parents and teachers – What is the right age for a student to begin meditation? , Why do I lose focus and find it a challenge to meditate?, Why do those whom we love fail to understand us? With a smile on his face, Geshe La asked, do we understand ourselves?
A lot to sink in our souls and absorb, we will continue to do so for days to come. Geshe La you have left us with a lot to ponder on and with the quest for more.
Refresher training session for our Drivers and Conductors bhaiya’s by Pasco Automobiles on 14th October 2017
3rd Open house interaction Pre Primary
The third and final Open House of the academic session 2016-2017 saw enthusiastic participation by the parents of the Pre-primary block. The experiences designed for them, relating to activities enjoyed by their children, helped them connect to the child within them. Creating river systems in the sandpit, building housing complexes with wooden blocks and singing lullabies to their imagined young ones, they did it all with complete enjoyment. Understanding the relevance of ‘free play’ helped them feel more relaxed and connected to their child’s life.
Mann Karta Hai
Mann Karta hai chidiya ke jaise udhne ka,
Mann Karta hai painting karte rahne ka,
Mann Karta hai ki Mamma Papa ke saath khoob saare songs gayoon,
Mann Karta hai ki Dadu ko dikhaoon main kitne tez bhagta hoon.
These and many more wonderful moments were together shared by the families of Playgroup children, along with their group didis, on the day of ‘Mann Karta Hai’. The children surprised all with their stamina, enthusiasm and expression of simple joys.
Holi celebration Pre Primary
The advent of spring, the abundance of colourful flowers and butterflies, the shower of ‘Tesu’ flowers. It’s time to celebrate the festival of ‘Holi’. The children of Pre-primary block made natural colours, ‘besan laddoos’ and played ‘Holi’ with their friends and didis. It was heartening to see them gently ask before applying colour on the cheeks of their peers. They celebrated in the spirit of ‘Togetherness’ and took back loving memories of this festival.
Hamara Manch, the much awaited event on the calendar of the Pre-primary block, was celebrated by the children and their didis on a warm winter morning of February. Sharing their favourite chosen experiences, songs, creative movements or stories with their families and friends was something that each one of them had been looking forward to for a long time. Dancing like a peacock or enacting a hibernating bear, rowing a boat or together flying in an aeroplane, cartwheels and rhythmic movements, our mound of the front lawn came alive with these and much more.
Training Session on 4th March 2017 for our support staff by Tata Motors – [Hamare Bus Ki Baat – Let’s help make bus travel for children a happy experience]
Campus Bird Count 2017
The Campus Bird Count is a sub-event of the larger Great Backyard Bird Count. It is a coordinated effort to document the birdlife in multiple campuses across India.
A team from Shikshantar participated in the Campus bird count event this year, an initiative taken by the Science Committee of the Student Council. The procedure is to identify and count all species detected in every 15 minutes of the walk in a particular location. The checklists of the entire duration of the walk is uploaded for every 15 minutes on ‘eBird’ which is an online checklist program, launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. eBird provides information on bird abundance and distribution.
Birding enthusiasts from Classes IX and XI gathered at the school on Saturday, 18th February 2017, at 7am in the morning to count the various bird species frequenting the mini habitats. The team comprised 12 students and 5 facilitators. The walk was led by Mridul Anand, an avid birder and a student of Class XI. The walk started from the primary wing. The team was full of excitement to see these creatures in their natural habitat but had to remain very calm as silence is the main key to observe the beautiful ones in their natural niche. Children were equipped with cameras and binoculars as they didn’t want to miss a single glimpse of these birds. From the Primary block the team moved to the Senior block and then the team covered the Pre-primary block. By 9 am the team had been able to spot 27 species of birds in the school campus.
Two spotted owlets peeking through metal pipes in a very adorable manner were the highlights of the day. Some of the other species spotted were Red-wattled Lapwing, Eurasian Hoopoe, Rufous Treepie, White Wagtail, Purple Sunbird, Oriental White eye, Shikra, Brahminy Starling, Common Tailorbird and Asian Koel.
The observations led the team to conclude that our campus is suitable as an avian habitat. The checklists can be accessed through the following links:
Training Session on Fire Extinguisher for our support staff – [Safety and Security are always on high priority] – 25th February 2017
Draw of Lots for Integrated Family