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Beating the Lucknow heat

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 by Shradha Patnaik | Category: Blog, Field Notes | Comments: none

“One week on the field! Oh my God”, is what I said to myself looking out of the window in my bedroom. It was getting hot and the only thing that I could think to myself was the enormous amount of work staring at me. The thought made me nervous. I have been out of school for seven years but I must confess that entering the premises of Seth MR Jaipuria School, Lucknow for the first time brought back happy memories. Senior school boys who look older than you, kindergarten students who are no higher than three feet, children playing, loitering in the corridors and just about every miniscule happening in the school brought back the good old school memories.

Setting foot on a totally unfamiliar territory (at least for me), I walked slowly towards the main building. Making my way inside along with a bunch of UKG students, I started clicking pictures of the junior school girls playing football. This is where I met three boys studying in UKG class. One of them quickly comes up to me and says, “This is the camera I saw on TV!! Will you come to my class and take our pictures?” I graciously accepted the offer and walked right into their yoga class. What a delight it was!

My work revolved around interacting with the students and teachers. These students, I must admit, are a bunch of really smart, outgoing and most importantly, well-mannered youngsters;right from kindergarten to the senior classes. Shubhang, the school’s Vice Head boy, is pretty satisfied with his teachers. He says, “The methodologies adopted by them have been effective since the time I have been studying here. They have groomed us and have helped us not only in establishing ourselves in the school but also outside the school premises.”

I also noticed few students wearing a different uniform. I learnt that ‘Nav Sanjivan’ is a parallel school run by Jaipuria which provides free education to children from the underprivileged section of the city. Also taught by Mrs. Anju Wal (Principal, Jaipuria School), the school which provides classes from KG to 4 has a different set of teachers. I had the opportunity to observe a couple of their classes.

Celebrating Earth Day, the school had arranged for a competition for the students, “Best of Waste”. The students were asked to collect whatever waste material they thought could be re-used. One particular piece of art that drew my attention was a mango tree made with the help of fallen twigs and mangoes cut out from empty ‘Frooti’ packets. The student had depicted the importance of saving the soil in order to avoid the damage of mangoes due to improper and untimely rains. I was delighted when I learnt that quite a few students from this school have gone on to appear for the class 10 exams from Jaipuria school.

On getting an opportunity to meet the school’s principal, Mrs. Anju Wal, I started talking to her about the school and its work with Educational Innovations. “It has been a rewarding experience for the Jaipuria teachers, all members of the staff and myself particularly.” The school has now found a new way to look at the teaching learning process and is happy to have been able to experience the importance of a child centered learning environment. Ma’am agrees that it is a long process and takes a lot of time to get the students to respond in the right manner and ask them the right questions along with developing critical thinking skills in them.

Overall, the week-long field trip was a wonderful learning experience for me and the entire EI team. The hands-on classroom experience has definitely added value to our work.

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About the Author

Shradha Patnaik
Shradha Patnaik
Senior Associate- Corporate Communications

“Education for me is the ability to open my mind to learn things every day. I learn, therefore I am.”
Shradha Patnaik is a graduate in Political Science Honours from Delhi University. She has completed her Post Graduation in Radio and Television Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. Her interest lies in the field of communication and child development. Shradha is also pursuing a Masters degree in Gender and Development Studies from IGNOU.

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