Alternative Schools - Poorna Learning Center

 

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Introduction

Poorna Learning Centre began in 1993 when some parents felt that mainstream schooling was not giving their children what they needed. They felt that learning that didn't go beyond reading, writing and stuffing the children with mindless facts and did not help them to build a relationship and bonding with nature was having a detrimental effect on their development. This attempt to return to the basics where kids can explore and begin to understand the entire gamut of human existence and bring meaning to the process of learning, especially de-linking it with the end, which is for pure material gain was started in a garage. Now there are about 36 children coming from very mixed and culturally diverse family backgrounds such as farmers, NGOs, architects, software engineers, doctors, performing artistes, scientists, astronomers, technocrats, company executives, etc. There are also active and ongoing student exchange programs with tribal schools, village schools, etc. in order to enhance the child's ability to understand better the meaning and joy in the diversity of human existence.  Poorna believes that working together without reference to boundaries of religion, language, caste, race, affluence, sex and skin colour enhances better understanding of the human spirit. Its easier said than done, but practice keeps the meaning alive. Poorna is building a facility near Yelahanka that provides very basic facilities for learning. Built from low cost, recycled and waste material, the center would attempt to bring back the joy of learning through a deeper bonding with nature and its processes.

Educational Philosophy (Presentation by Indira)

Ours is a school for middle class children. The school is open to others interested in alternatives. We aim to help everyone grow to their fullest potential ( teachers, parents, children all included). We aim at developing intellectual ability, values of compassion, humility, respect for each other, (respect for) earth, joyfulness and quest for excellence in whatever we do.  We started as a homeschool about 10 years ago.

School within the classroom is disjointed from day to day experience. It is an indifferent and unpleasant experience for most underprivileged children. (There is) fear of failure -  everyone is worried about marks, performance, grades. Education deliberately seems to want to convert people into passive consumers of goods and services. Divide between rich and poor increasing.

Our working philosophy : Respect for every one. Enabling everyone to develop inner harmony. We stress on self-learning (with the) child working at his/her own pace. (There is) not much imposition on curriculum, timetables etc. These are decided by sitting together and discussing what works and what does not. (we have) unconditional acceptance of the child. We try to bring learning closer to lives of a child.  We ensure that child has control over what they want to learn. They can choose what they want to learn. Ensure that scholastic needs of every child is understood by the teacher. Resolve conflict with as little violence as possible. We work in small group settings of 10-15 children. Communication skills through free interactions, free writing, reading. Maths is considered an adventure. Learning of science is seen as an experiential process. Creative activities are part of school and not considered extra curricular. Lot of time and thought goes into conflict resolution.

We have clear policy against verbal, physical violence (and encourage) solutions through dialogue. (We believe in) immediate resolution of conflict. Donít wait for separate punishment sessions. Assembly/school sessions can also be a place of conflict resolution. No formal religion is taught in school. Children are encouraged to explore about various aspects of religion. We do not encourage casual comments based on religion, gender, caste to pass without talking about them later on. Develop inter and intra personal harmony.  Effective education needs to be holistic Ė activities with head, heart, hand have to be addressed.

Contact Information

Indira
627C Block, Sahakarnagar
Bangalore 560092
Tel: 080-3620364
Email: poornamidam@hotmail.com

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