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Feb 12, 2019

Fast Track Education at Khoj School

Khoj School for Community Education is a school with a difference.

The students are not only immersed in relevant actions before explaining the concepts behind but also various related concepts are woven together as one whole.

While teaching plant biology, for instance, instead of bifurcating the topic into several independent chapters spread over several years, an integrated plan is chalked out under the title of How to Grow Safe Food. In a plant cycle of three months, children learn the basic scientific concepts about soils; seed structure; how a seed germinates; how plants make their food; how they consume their food; what is the cellular structure of plants and how they reproduce.

In the official curriculum, these topics are spread over a period of three years with no interconnections and no activity of involving children in learning by doing. They are required just to memorise the contents of the textbooks and the ultimate aim is to pass to the next grade without learning anything. As a result, the graduates of these classes fail to successfully grow a single plant. Applying the scientific concepts to grow plants better is nowhere on the horizon.

 But at Khoj School, children are restricted not only to the curricular topics. They learn much more in the process of growing plants starting from soil preparation to seed saving. They encounter pest and disease problems, nutrient deficiency, overwatering or underwatering and then seek solutions. They learn to make a variety of fertilizers and pesticides. They also start appreciating the importance of biodiversity, protection of habitats, garden ecology and environment. 

The action doesn’t stop there. They enjoy the harvest of their effort as well and prepare several snacks. From there they are initiated into another theme of learning that is nutrition and energy.

Some of the grade seven Khoj school students who moved from the village to the nearby towns were enrolled in grade nine. This is the testimony to the usefulness and effectiveness of the integrative and relevant method pioneered by the founder of Khoj – Society for People’s Education.

The extraordinary education at Khoj School is possible only because of your generous donations. Without you, we are not able to operate. We urge you to keep supporting us.

Nov 15, 2018

Integration of Mathematics and Gardening

Khoj School for Community Education serves as a model of integrative and relevant education. This report shares how the teaching of mathematics and gardening is blended at the school.

The children of four and fives gathered in the school garden to make preparations for growing winter vegetables. Along with the teacher, some children from grade nine were also there to guide them. The objectives were to teach how to measure the perimeter and area of a given place, rearrange the beds, redesign the garden and also to dig the soil, add farmyard manure and leaf compost and water the beds.

First of all, children removed the boundary bricks of the four large beds; the whole garden is subdivided into. Then the length and width of the boundaries of the school garden were measured and calculated. Then, they measured the area of the garden, four large beds and the footpaths with the help of the senior students. All measurements were calculated on the board and the difference between perimeter and area was explained and clarified.

The soil was dug, farmyard manure and leaf compost was add and mixed thoroughly. One large bed was further subdivided into four beds and allocated to eight students to grow vegetables of their choice. Each allocated sub-bed was measured and further divided into smaller beds and ridges.

In the end, the beds were watered for final soil preparation and sowing of seeds a few days later.

The learning as a result of the above-mentioned activity is conceptual and practical both and will remain with them even after they leave school and will help them in their practical life. 

This kind of empowering education in a remote and crime hit village is possible only because of your vital support. Please keep supporting the endeavours of Khoj School. 

Aug 16, 2018

Education is Action-Led at Khoj School

Adding sand and cement mixture to the mould
Adding sand and cement mixture to the mould

Khoj promotes education that is gender just, relevant and integrative. But the relevance and integration is not confined just to the conceptual understanding of the content and relating it to the daily lives of the learners.

The hallmark of the education here is to take the conceptual understanding to another level in their practical lives. Learning is applied in the personal and local context. While learning the plant biology, the children verify all new knowledge in the garden of nature. The garden of nature is not limited to the school garden but extends to their home gardens they have started after learning new ideas in science and mathematics.

Everyone does not have patches of land to grow ornamental and food plants. They have to make a resort to planting in pots. Khoj School for Community Education also teaches them how to makes low-cost pots of various sizes and shapes.

Children were excited to see how pot can be made using various household items using small quantities of leftover sand and cement at home. The new skill frees them from the dependence on the elders who need to look for free time and enough money to buy expensive pots from the market. Instead, they can make pots for them as well and can grow almost no cost food for the family, using organic inputs.

The new approach is helping them get conceptual understanding and scientific thinking, test their new knowledge by growing plants, make low-cost pots to grow plants on smaller spaces and grow healthy organic food using inputs available at home at no additional costs.

Children at Khoj School have started a chain of action which has the potential of growing into a movement for growing safe food.

This is possible only because of your generous donations. Your continued support will keep us doing the work.

Shaping the pot
Shaping the pot
Shaping the pot 2
Shaping the pot 2
 
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