- Deyone (Centre Co-ordinator and Facilitator)This post is a collection of highs of my experience at the centre while I struggle to facilitate learning of some sort…learning which is meaningful and relevant to the set of learners entrusted to me…
One of the happiest moments for me is a 7 year old girl playing at the 'see- saw' at the end of the day after the classes are over without worrying about taking care of her two younger siblings who are 4 years and 2 years old. All through the day she has been religiously catering to the needs of the two siblings as she engaged with the learning experiences of the day. It seems to be her time to let her hair loose …similar to a mum …a role that this little mum is truly true to.
Another equally happy moment is in the morning just after I reach school: the first child to enter the school is Samanya. She loves to sing without a care in the world before her friends come to school, while she reads through the books or work with the puzzles; All this while I prepare for my classes enjoying her songs in the background. My blissfull start to the day!
Multilingual class is our reality. There are Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telagu and Kannada speaking children at our centre. One of our Hindi speaking child was much afraid of 'kannada speaking people' due to several stories she had heard and her experience in a city school. Truly speaking, she is a Bengali speaking child who sought comfort in Hindi since she could communicate with more people. Now, the interesting thing is, she has Kannada speaking friends in the centre and she formally learns Kannada and has picked up substantial amount of Kannada in 4 months. She now blends Kannada and Hindi together to communicate and fearlessly express herself. “Oottakku jao” is her blended phrase for “go for lunch”. Her friends, good-naturedly, encourage her to speak more Kannada. Yes, I am learning tolerance and cooperation from the children I am working with.
A fish that flies a kite: This is what a 6 year old in my class drew during one of the free drawing sessions.
I used to think children want to play a lot. Now I realize that children want to draw also as much. I see it everyday. They want to either play or draw if they are not attending any class (or even while they are attending a class). Most of the children at Gubbachi are unschooled or schooled sporadically. Most of the children in my class don't know how to read or write but they draw till the resources or time get exhausted.
So then the question is why can all the learning not happen through these two activities: play and drawing. This is one question I'm facing as a facilitator of children's learning. I am looking forward to finding answer to many such questions as we evolve our practices for the centre!