Category Archives: Innovations

Unlocking the Secrets of Childhood and Evolution of Humans : Classes begin for NEEV Vidyalaya, Hurlung

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Even as the construction of new NEEV Vidyalaya at village Hurlung continues, classes have begun at the NEEV Herbals unit with 25 children on board. Thus sails out the ship of NEEV to the scarcely chartered lands of true education. Not only that, NEEV Vidyalaya becomes a center of enrichment in an environment bereft of anything ennobling for the children of Village Hurlung. Given the class distinctions that prevail in our world, for the child are reserved only the material, moral or intellectual resources of the family into which he/she was born. And if in his family there are no such resources, the child has to develop in material, moral and intellectual misery. With NEEV Vidyalaya, a whole new vista opens out for the children of Hurlung.

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The ship of NEEV Vidyalaya sails out – Shibu of LKG with his drawing

Education as it is today

Most of us think education to be a trivial affair – a routine affair of transferring skills like the 3 R’s, passing examinations, getting degrees and becoming subsumed in the vast socio-economic machine of society. Educational institutes are well oiled organizations clanking out mass stereotypes. Our economic system must create men who fit its needs; men who cooperate smoothly; men who want to consume more and more. Our system must create men whose tastes are standardized, men who can be easily influenced, men whose needs can be anticipated, men who will fit into the social machine without friction.

We are concerned to the degree of obsession with what we will make of our children and begin engineering them at an increasingly early age. Not content with school at six years of age, we have continued the logical regression into preschools, early learning, infant education, pre-natal music, ultra sound screening and what not. We are certain that we will create the perfect child through all of this, but would we recognize perfection if we came upon it through all our manipulation.

For those who see the child as born failed and broken, in need of repair and redirection, education will mean a revamping of the child that is, into the child that “should be”. We are all adults who “should be”, and we are never enough with “what is”. We can easily implant this essential dissatisfaction in our children and induct them into the cult of unhappiness that looks to materialism for its solace.

What concerns most parents is that their children should pass the examinations  and learn their lessons as quickly as possible, so as to save time and money. It is not learning in itself, the attainment of a loftier culture that concerns the families, but the response to the summons of society, to the obligations imposed, an obligation which they find burdensome and which cost money nonetheless they consider it important that their children should acquire their passport into the life of the society in the shortest time possible.
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Explaining to Parents the Vision of NEEV Vidyalaya

The Effects of Today’s Education on Individuals and Society – Repression

In all discussion about how best to teach children, we don’t often hear about the purpose of education from the children other than a social obligation and preparation of the child for the adult world of work. We don’t hear much about the child, and almost nothing from the child.

Perhaps all that education aspires to be is the preparation of the young person for their role in the larger society. This is certainly a good idea for society, but in the efficiency of producing citizen workers, are we missing the deeper meaning and higher purpose of learning? Have we forgotten about the spirit of the child, the unique and fragile expression of a passionate and integrated life?

Perhaps we are a little afraid of happiness. We were educated (away) from that state long ago, molded into a set of skills and a catalog of information. Our education was not to fulfil us but to fulfil the needs of productivity in the market place. But children are born knowing the creative life, and fortunately creativity is hereditary – we can easily inherit it from our children.

Psychoanalysis shows that memories evoked from the subconscious are sufferings that occurred in infancy and lie latent in the consciousness, shaping and guiding human behaviour outside of his volition. These sufferings were caused by repression of spontaneous activity of children by adults who wielded authority over them. And the surprise of surprises is that the person who does wiled the maximum authority in early infancy is none but  – the mother. The next wielder of authority is of course the school.

So society as a whole is populated with repressed adults who are driven by extrinsic motivations like money and power, chasing a chimera rather than fulfilled individuals led by intrinsic motivators like love for work, nature and humans.
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Story telling time – A very special activity for the growth of children. The stories told are not from textbooks or history. Rather they are spontaneously made up on the spur by observing intimately the behavior of each child during the day. The story every day centres around a particular child in the class and talks about how that particular child faces some challenging situation. It is an effective way, a psychological tool for catharsis of the child, relieving him of his/her repressions and boosting self- esteem. 

The Only Way for the World to Change is through Education

We look forward to science, technology, politics or economics to change the world. However, it is education that may point the way to the normalization of the adult world. Such a social reform would not come about through theory or the energies of a few organizers, but through a slow constant emergence of a new world in the midst of the old – the world of the child and the adolescent.

From this world the revelations, the natural guidance necessary to the normal life of society, would gradually evolve. It is truly absurd to suppose that theoretical reforms or individual energies could remedy so colossal a void as that made in the world by the repression of the child. No one can remedy the ever growing evils of which the first roots lie in the fact that men are all abnormal because their infancy could not develop along the lines traced by nature, who therefore suffered irremediable deviation. Every good thing comes to a naught with deviated men who seek to possess it for themselves and seek to make of it a means of power. Then every good thing is destroyed before it can be of service, and thus becomes a danger to human life. That is why every good thing, all progress, all discoveries, can increase the evil afflicting the world as we have seen in the case of machines, which represent the most tangible form of social progress for us all. Every discovery that might mean elevation and progress can be used for destruction, for war, or for self enrichment. The progress of physics, chemistry and biology, the perfecting of means of transport , have only magnified the danger of destruction, wretchedness and the appearance of a cruel barbarity. We have therefore nothing to hope from the external world till the normalization of man is recognized as a basic achievement of social life. Only then will all external progress be able to lead to welfare and a higher civilization.

The unknown energy that can help humanity is that which lies in the child.

We need a reorientation of education, a radical and fundamental realignment of the purpose of education. Can education shift from it’s current model of shaping children into components of economic production, into an active experiment in optimizing the creativity of the whole child? We have been so busy educating our children that we have missed the heart of education, the creation of a happy child.
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The Aim of Education – A Happy Child (A very difficult aim )

A happy person, fulfilled in their connection to their friends, family, and community and in the expression of their vocation, is likely to be useful and productive in their life and to help weave the collective fabric of a functional society. What else should a society need from education other than the happiness of its people?

According to the 5 S philosophy of NEEV – Education is no longer about people taking exams and proceeding on that verification from that secondary school to the university, but of individuals passing from one stage of independence to a higher one by means of their own activity, through their own effort or will, which constitutes the inner evolution of the individual.

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“Precious things are conveyed to the younger generation through personal contact with those who teach, not – or at least not in the main – through text-books. It is that which primarily constitutes and preserves culture” –  Albert Einstein

Taking an Unknown Journey Along with the Child in Education

If we don’t see children as broken at birth, then what are they if not a mystery. Can we join them in exploring the unknown in their life and have strength to reveal that we live in the unknown too. In that, we are not trying to change them, or ourselves for that matter, but rather we are revealing in the amazing discoveries that life holds for all of us. We cannot teach our children to drink deeply of life because the knowledge of life is not transferred by will. But children can understand so easily if they are not stopped, more so if they see that the adults in their life are continuously learning.

We heartily thank all of you who have supported us so far to create this unique journey of NEEV possible, and who have joined hands to create a transformation in human consciousness through education. The journey is long, relentless, back-breaking but at the same time an adventure of a lifetime. We sincerely look forward to all your support for this journey which is always just beginning…………..

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Jaya of Nur – Beginning her life’s journey with her new partner in NEEV Vidyalaya

NEEV Vidyalaya : Creating Leaders to Change the World – Blog on Leadership by Harshal (Student of NEEV Vidyalaya)

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Harshal (centre) in a meeting with her class mates

Dear Friends,

The world today is in a crisis. Bad news pours in at such a steady rate that the effect is paradoxically numbing. We can trumpet the fact that we have the world of knowledge at our fingertips : indeed we do. Unfortunately, knowledge is no guarantee of wisdom. Knowledge can be stored, transmitted, acquired, bartered and sold across internet: but not wisdom. The trend of current world events are quite clear; no amount of mere knowledge can save the world tethering on collapse. Knowledge is value neutral. The question is whether we are motivated to do anything after all the knowledge we acquire. Merely knowing about oppressive inequality, global environmental degradation or terrible ethnic massacres in the world does not initiate in us the seriousness or the sense of responsibility to do something for changing this world. What we require is the awakening of wisdom – an Integral human being.

Wisdom is a fusion of the head, heart and the hands – not just mere analytical skills of the intellect, but the compassion of the heart, and the humility and skill of the hands. It has to be nurtured intricately in an environment of immense care and patience. It has to be a space where minds are allowed to flower in intelligence without moulding them into a preconceived agenda of a system, state, economy or religion. Do we have spaces in our world today that incubate such wisdom?

Our schools have become places of mere knowledge transfer and training in technical capacity. What our ailing planet and humanity needs today are children who shall be leaders : healers and warriors; not second hand, trained, unquestioning, docile human beings. And this is what we are trying in NEEV Vidyalaya.

As I mentioned in my post on 15th August Celebrations – The Tricolour Unfurls at NEEV Vidyalaya, all the programs above Std. 6 till Std. 10 were managed by the children entirely with no teacher supervision. Harshal Jain, the Head Girl of the school (and my daughter), a student of Std. 10 was given the responsibility of managing the program. Managing such programs is one of the crucibles for building leaders at NEEV Vidyalaya. These are events where the entire human reality crowds in. The same reality is played out by humans in a global arena constructing the world we live in.

Throughout the fortnight I saw Harshal grappling with issues cropping up every day. As I mentored her through the process I saw that the issues leaders face are the same, just the scale changes. So after the program got over and Harshal breathed a sigh of relief, I asked her to pen down her thoughts on what she learned about leadership. I am presenting the article written by Harshal. The language, thoughts and composition are entirely her own. I have not made a single correction. The only help she received from me was a set of questions as a feedback after she finished writing the first draft. So the article stands entirely on her own merit. There is a noticeable chauvinism at the end of Harshal’s blog for NEEV Vidyalaya. I left it unedited because I found it as a quintessentially charming love of a student for her school : a school where she has spent ten most formative years of her life, ripening from a toddler to a self assured adolescent ready to face the challenges of the world.

I am providing her article below, interspersed with some photographs.

Harshal Article

The article in Harshal’s own writing

MY LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE

So it was August and like every year, we had to start our preparation for independence day in school. But, this time it was different for me. I was the head-girl of the school and had been given the responsibility of conducting the entire program of the senior school.

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Harshal leading the march past at NEEV Vidyalaya

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Harshal – Flag Hoisting at Independence Day


I used to love participating in various programs and  enjoyed the happening environment of the school during independence days, but now, instead of participating in some selected programs and perform them on stage, I had to organize and conduct the entire independence day function.

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Harshal participating in dancing in a previous function

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Harshal singing and anchoring in previous functions

It was a bit scary for me in the beginning, but then I started taking it as a leadership lesson of my life. I could feel the sense of responsibility for all the programs which had to be put up on stage and could just not be as carefree as I used to be during the earlier independence day practice in my school. There were a vast number of fields where I had to bring my attention to. I was slowly starting to get more confident of myself… In the beginning, I tended to find out a lot of flaws in the selection of children and the kind of song/dance/speech which were chosen and had a pre-notion of the in-capacities of children. But then, my principal taught me that if I think of my team to be having limited capacities, my team will also think of themselves to be the same. He also taught me to be positive and how to manage all the programs together.The first thing I did was ‘try’ to remove my preconception for the students. I started to make them realize their potentials and flower them by giving a lot of positive energy and encouraging words. It so happened that slowly they started seeing me as their teacher and would on their own come to me and ask for advice. They started taking interest in their programs and would practice even after the practice time was over. A girl of class 8, Anamika, had been selected for dancing. She was facing a lot of difficulty in coordination and had been discouraged by her companions. I tried to set aside my irritation and be patient with her. I would spend a lot of time working on her steps and coordination, praise her, give her a lot of words of encouragement… Slowly, she started working hard and would come to me for remarks every time after performing on stage for practice. Now, she has really improved a lot and is able to keep up with the other dancers. Thus, the greatest thing I learnt was that a leader can never be negative, he/she has to be positive as this energy would be flowing through his/her team.


Speech Practice

Harshal backstage giving last moment tips for the English speech to Tannupriya


However, being positive does not mean that you don’t have to be strict or be soft all the time. There are times when you have to scold them or make them work hard and bring them in discipline. Your team may not always be ready to work, but you have to bring energy to your team and drive them to perfection. You may not always achieve what you wanted, but what matters is how you take it and how you team takes it. My greatest challenge during this whole event was to  train students for march past. I tried for hours and hours to make the children match their hands and legs and the right leg to lift when I say ‘ek’, but I failed. I later let them get on with their own pace of learning. Again, I had been helped by my principal to train the students for march past patiently and effectively. Another thing which I learnt was that you can’t handle everything on your own. You have to create a team of good followers as well as good leaders. They should have the ability to think for themselves and to have their own brains as well. Thus, I would like to state the following qualities of a leader which I learnt during this short ’15 days’ period of time :

1. A leader has to take care of the ‘whole’ and has to have an open and vast mind
2. He/her should not be led by a preconception about his/her team
3. He/she must realise the potential of his/her team and the way to flower it
4. He/she must not be negative and always have a positive energy
5. He/she should be ready to take blame on behalf of his team
6. He/she should know the art of communicating and coordinating the various functions
7. He or she must be able to develop good followers along with good leaders in his team
               I am really thankful to my school and my principal to show their faith in me and to give me this huge responsibility. This has helped me a lot in developing my leadership skills which will be of great importance in my life. It has taught me to handle situations and to take initiative and not to follow others blindly. I has brought me a lot of self confidence which will help me in following my dreams which I have yet to discover. Our world is in a desperate need of leaders. It cannot function without them. Majority of people in the world are confused and don’t know the purpose of their life. They blindly follow those who are in power and are leading the world through their power. So it is very necessary to have right leaders. Right leaders, according to me, are those who work for the entire mankind and nature. They seek to establish peace and freedom and love in the world. I can proudly say that Neev Vidyalaya is a place where such leaders are being created. There is so much of misery, poverty, jealousy and hatred in our world. If this continues, then our world will soon be in pieces. I think, God has created Neev Vidyalaya as the avatar of the saviour of this world.

Harshal and Shipli

Harshal with her comrade Shilpi : All smiles after successful completion of Independence Day Program

Visit of XLRI School of Business Students to NEEV School–Project PEHEL

Dear Friends,

As part of their social project a team of students from XLRI visited NEEV School in the months of July and August, 2013 with an initiative called Project PEHEL. Under this project the students organized several activities for exposure and empowerment of NEEV School children. The activities included showing the students inspirational films, special classes in Physics and Maths to deal with fundamental concepts in innovative ways, visit to XLRI where they played educative games with children and lastly a career counselling session with children and their parents.

While the XLRI students got to get a hand on understanding of the difficulties of providing good quality education to the underprivileged children, a very pleasant spinoff was the bonds the children of NEEV formed with the Bhaiyas and Didis from XLRI J

Here are some photographs of the events. Unfortunately we could not capture all of them.

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NEEV Public School launches first Multimedia Classroom in Partnership with HCL Inforsystems – Help Required

Dear Friends,

Keeping in view our thrust on providing the best learning experience to our students, overcoming resource constraints, we are pleased to inform you all about our latest endeavour of introducing a multimedia classroom. NEEV has partnered with HCL Infosystems to start one multimedia classroom. For details please browse through the PDF Link provided below.

HCL Infosystems Ltd, India’s premier information enabling, ICT System Integration company announced the launch of ‘HCL DigiSchool’, its state-of-the-art solutions designed for Indian schools that offer modern multimedia classroom with world class content. HCL Digischool solutions are designed & customized as per Indian school curriculum including all K12 boards. Over the years, classroom has evolved for both teachers and students. HCL’s latest learning solution HCL DigiSchool will offer students an opportunity to not just learn according to the curriculum but also give a chance to improve their IT competency. The key features that this solution offers are digital multimedia asset library covering all major aspects in K-12 category.

Build on the latest eLearning standards, the state of the art module effectively integrates Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) which is a collection of standards and specifications for web-based e-learning. SCROM compliant Learning Management Systems (LMS) helps in effective lesson planning and content management and seamless integration of various features like interactive white board, student response system and online examination module.

For this we have to pay a monthly rental of Rs.5000/month for the next five years. Since most of our children our from economically poor sections we solicit your help. Please get in touch with us in case you wish to help us in this regard.

HCL Digi Class_NEEV.pdf