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Nov 11, 2019

Celebrating Rural Women's Day at Khoj School

On October 15, 2019, women from 8 villages got together to mark International Rural Women's Day. It was the celebration of rural women’s contribution to the household and national economy.
It was also an occasion to build awareness on the hazards of agricultural poisons and synthetic inputs. Children from Khoj School for Community Education prepared role-plays, songs and skits with the focus on the harmful effects of chemical pesticides on human health and the critical importance of growing food in harmony with nature.
Children role-played as different organs in the human body, informing the audience of their functions in a healthy body as well as cautioning them as to what may happen with exposure to toxins and chemicals such as pesticides. It was of vital importance and informative for both the women and the students as they are often exposed to pesticides in their daily life working in their fields. The children also prepared songs and skits on the importance of Agroecology and growing food in harmony with nature.

The event had all the makings of a festival with stalls for delicious homemade food for everyone to enjoy, dances immaculately choreographed and lively music to truly brighten up the day.

The culmination of the celebration was singing and dancing on the beat of a drum by all the women.

Aug 12, 2019

Cultivating a Scientific Mind

Examining the soil
Examining the soil

Khoj School not only helps children see and understand the links among various concepts within a subject and between the subjects but facilitates analysis of how and why of the various phenomena. We believe in developing thinking and questioning minds.

Teaching at Khoj School is not only conceptual but also action led. Dealing with the subject of how the soil is formed on our earth, an oral explanation is not enough. They must go through the process to have a real understanding. Several probing questions were asked, and several situations were presented to provoke visualizing how the soil was formed. They refused to believe that erosion of rocks and degradation of dead plants, animals and other forms of life made the formation of soil possible.

They were given crushed stones, sand, fallen leaves and twigs and asked to pound them with hammers. After some time, they started seeing the change in the texture. Children were very excited, and every child wanted to take part in the experiment which they did.

The "soil" thus made was kept in a pot to carry out another experiment after Eid holidays. They will bring some soil from a crop field and fill another pot. Then one seedling each will be planted in the plants to compare the performance of both types of soil.

To detect life in the soil, another experiment will be conducted where children will see the microorganisms through a microscope. This activity will help them understand the importance of microbes in the fertility management of the soil. They will also realize the destruction of this life if chemical pesticides are applied in the fields or gardens.

This understanding will lead to how nutrients are prepared to make the soil healthy and fertile. And the list of topics on how to grow plants goes on!

This hands-on, exploratory and integrative education leads children to the path of developing a scientific attitude. 

This education is possible only because you are supporting us generously.  

Ingredients of soil
Ingredients of soil
Pounding the ingredients
Pounding the ingredients
Converting the ingredients into soil
Converting the ingredients into soil
May 14, 2019

A New Encouraging Experiment

Khoj School for Community Education keeps experimenting the relevance of the contents of the textbooks of the formal schools. The concepts of ratio and proportion are taught at the grade six level. Our hypothesis was that the contents of the topic were presented in a way that had no relevance to real life situations and the learners were required to parrot the chapter material without understanding the concepts. If the linkages are developed with real-life experiences of the learners, the children could learn the concepts much earlier than grade six.

An activity plan was chalked out. The first activity was to guide children grades two and three to make necklaces and bracelets using different ratios of coloured beads. The girls and boys found absolutely no difficulty in using different colours in a given ratio. As different children used different ratios, they were able to appreciate those different ratios resulted in different patterns. They could also make aesthetic judgements which ratios looked more beautiful to their eyes.

The boys showed equal interest in making necklaces and bracelets which was a result of Khoj School policy of promoting gender equality and encouraging unconventional gender roles.

In the end, the children could easily solve the mathematical problems related to the concepts of ratio and proportion.

Children were given the fruit of their labour - the beautiful bracelets and necklaces - to take home and enjoy wearing them. 

 
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