for Ananda Marga Schools in India
by Didi Anandarama
After working for many decades at the grassroots level, the regional AMGK of West Bengal is overseeing more than 600 schools from Nursery to High School. A local AMGK team assisted by Dr. Sunandita Bhowmik who made her thesis in Neohumanist Education and who works as Assistant Professor, Dept. of Education, Coochbehar Panchanan Barma University (CBPBU) crystallized the following elements of NHE curriculum operating in various degrees or aims to implement in these schools:
Shishu (Nursery) and Prarambhik 1 and 2 (KG 1 and KG2):
1. Morning Circle
This includes a combination of morning songs, action songs, exercises, warm ups and stretches, yoga, marching or parade movements, Sanskrit slokas reciting, Prabhat Samgiita, Kiirtan, meditation. The Morning Circle is partly the collective school assembly in the morning and partly each class continues it in their classroom with storytelling, discussions and leading into the theme work.
2. Monthly themes for 8 months
1. Who loves me?
2. Home sweet home.
3. I am good.
4. I like to help.
5 Neat and clean.
6. My garden.
7. Friends around me.
8. My beautiful world.
For Parambhik 1:
1. I am kind.
2. I am smart.
3. I am happy.
4. My school.
5. People around me.
6. I like to travel.
7. The six seasons.
8. Tiny Green Island.
For Paramghik 2:
1. Paramapurusa is Love.
7. Great big circle of Love.
8. My circle of Love.
3. Learning Corners
The classrooms will have six learning corners:
1. Language Arts – books, letters, puppets, anything that promotes language.
2. Manipulatives – legos, puzzles, duplos, magnets, anything that can be manipulated.
3. Blocks – 3 types (larger than 4cm)
4. Dramatic Play – play kitchen, store, dolls, anything that promotes theater- dress up.
5. Art – water colours, crayons, colour pencils, cutting, pasting, clay, play dough.
6. Outdoors for gross motor development through the playground that has something to balance, climb, play ball, run, skip, hop, jump, sand and water play.
Each level will have a workbook printed by AMGK that each child uses at home and at school. It will be an integrated workbook with exercises, short stories, English and Bengali/Hindi languages, early Math, cognitive exercises and theme related poems, songs and art activities.
Each level will have a story book with five or six illustrated short moral stories that convey Neohumanist ideas.
6. Tara Bandha Chara
A booklet of rhymes composed by Shrii PR Sarkar, founder of NHE for Early Childhood
The pictures included here are from the new textbooks and story books illustrated by Didi Ananda Carushila.