August 2016

Independence Day, is annually observed on 15 August as a national holiday in India commemorating the nation’s independence from the British Empire on 15 August 1947.India attained independence following an Independence Movement noted for largely nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress (INC). Independence Day is celebrated each year in the school where the Indian Flag is hoisted followed by the singing of the national anthem and other patriotic songs. Before Independence day, students are told about the struggle movement towards freedom of the nation and why the this day is of the utmost importance in the Indian history. After the flag hoisting ceremony, sweets and chocolates were distributed amongst the students. For teachers high tea was organised.

Followed by Independence day, Raksha Bandhan was celebrated. It is a hindu festival which is widely celebrated throughout India. The festival celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters.On Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a rakhi (sacred thread) on her brother’s wrist. This symbolises the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her.The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar Nepali calendar. The kids were told given a brief introduction about raksha bandana and made rakhi for their brothers and sisters. They also made cards to present it to their siblings at home.

August is a month which celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Krishna Janmashtami also known as Krishnashtami, Gokulashtami, Srikrishna Jayanti or sometimes simply as Janmashtami, is an annual celebration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. The festival is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Shravana (August–September) in the Hindu calendar. Various places in India celebrate this festival differently. In Varanasi, it is celebrated by decorating the Krishna mandir (temple) with garlands and flowers. The idol of Krishna is bathed in milk and is adorned with itrr (perfume), new clothes and chandan tick on the forehead. A fast is also observed on this day and delicacies are made in every household. At various places, Jhankis (tableau) is made and people of all age group visit to see the life of Krishna through the tableaus. At various places,Rasa lila, dramatic enactments of the life of Krishna, are a special feature mostly in the regions of Mathura and Vrindavan. While the Rasa lila re-creates the flirtatious aspects of Krishna’s youthful days, the Dahi Handi ( mostly celebrated in Maharashtra) celebrate God’s playful and mischievous side, where teams of young men form human towers to reach a high-hanging pot of curd and break it. The students at the school are told about various stories of Krishna and Indian mythology to give a brief introduction of the Indian culture. The school remained closed on this day as the city was flooded and all the schools and colleges were supposed to remain shut as per the District Magistrate’s order.

The weather took a humungous toll on the city. With Ganga showing no signs of relenting, Varanasi seems to be heading for the second worst flood in the last three years. The situation has been really bad in the past few weeks because of the continuous rains and the water level increasing up to alarming rates. Due to the increasing water levels and incessant rains, all the schools and colleges of the city were asked to remain shut as per the orders of the District Magistrate. The school remained closed till the 26th of August. Since 28th of August, the rains have stopped and water seems to be receding down. I am hopeful that the city will come to its previous state in a week’s time.

July 2016

The school reopened on the 1st of July 2016 for the students whereas for the staff and the teachers, the school had commenced on the 26th of June itself. The admission is in its last phase and is about to end soon. The regular classes for students have started. Appointment for new teachers has begun and first round of interviews have taken place. We will be hiring new teachers for various subjects this semester. Teachers have started their work and are very much involved with the new session and new students. The monthly tests for all the classes have begun.

Before the school reopened for the students, the school underwent a renovation. The walls have been whitewashed, the ceiling got fixed, chair and benches were repaired and the blackboards were polished. All the immediate important things which were supposed to be addressed regarding the infrastructure of the school were taken care off. The weather has been a respite as the monsoons have begun. It is slightly humid but once it rains, it brightens everyone’s mood.

June 2016

The school’s summer break for children started from 10th of may for the students and will be reopening on the 1st of July. The school recently opened for the teachers on the 27th of June.The teachers have started preparing for the coming academic year and half yearly examinations.The process of the admission is also in full swing. Teachers are gearing up for the session beginning from the 1st of July.

May 2016

The month began with the onset of summer hitting the city. The school was opened till the 10th of may and after that the summer holidays began for the students. Holidays for the staff and teachers began from the 16th of this month. School is reopening on the 25th of June for the staff and 1st of july for the students.

Repair work in various parts of the school started in this month. Painting and whitewashing of a few walls of the school has already been done. Other mending of the classes wall, furniture and other small school things were done. The teachers have prepared a syllabus and timetable which will be followed once the school reopens. The admissions were also taking place but at a very slow pace. There wont be any activity happening in the upcoming month as the school will be closed.

March 2016

The school organised the workshop for teachers training which was conducted by Juhi Pande. The workshop was held from 16th – 22nd February 2016. The workshop was about training the teachers on how to come up with new, creative and innovative ways to communicate and teach the children at school. At times an alternative method works more than the traditional one when explaining concepts. Also, at times teachers lose control and patience because the children get notorious and at times they go beyond one’s control. It is at those time that the teachers loses patience. So the workshop focussed on how to be patient in those times and deriving creative ways to tackle and teach children. Teachers were asked to make small dolls showing different expressions one being sad and impatient, the other being happy and calm.The dolls were an expression of the inner feelings that they faced during those times and how being calm and happy could lead to better situation and peace of mind.

Soon after the workshop ended, the teachers started with the preparation of exams for the kids. Revision classes were conducted so that the children get more thorough with whatever they have been taught over the semester. The students who were lagging behind were also taken utmost care and given more time to clear their concepts. Physical education exams were also conducted during this week. Teachers were asked to prepare the exam paper before hand and were doing minor corrections because the examination paper had to be printed.

The exam commenced from 8th March’16 till 12th March’16 for classes Nursery to UKG. The exams for classes 1-5 began from 12th March’16 and got over on 18th March’16. The break after exams till Holi Festival for small kids started from 14th-30th of this month and for older kids it will commence from 19th March till 30th. During this period all the copies will be corrected and results will be prepared by the teachers.

The result declaration is on 31st of March 2016 and the new session will commence from 1st April 2016.

February 2016

Many exciting things took place during the past month. The entire school staff and the children celebrated Republic Day on the 26th January. The Indian flag was hosted and all the children decorated the school, sang songs and danced. Many children even presented special dance performances for the rest of us. At the end, all the children were given Indian sweets, Laddus, which are loved by everyone. All the teachers and staff celebrated together with some chai and Laddus when the children went home.

Everyone was very excited about our yearly school festival, the annual function that took place on the 12th of February, which is also in India the day of celebrating the coming of spring known as Besant Panchami. Weeks before the event the children started practicing different forms of dances and rehearsing a drama with full enthusiasm. The drama was written by the teachers and was about the importance of growing trees. The school function started with a small Puja and song sung by the teachers – Ganesh Vandana. Moreover, everyone loved the solo classical dance performed by one of our staff lady who cleans the school. Even the nursery children presented two action-songs, which was hugely appreciated. All the children happily participated and watched the show and were very delighted to see the guests who had come to watch. All the teachers and staff were dressed in yellow saris because yellow symbolizes the coming of the spring. At the same time it was the day of the Goddess Sarasvati, the energy who, according to the Hindi mythology, is a symbol of knowledge (represented as well by the color yellow), purity, creativity and art. As our celebration ended all the children were given a sweet, Laddu, and a small snack before the school closed for the day. 

The kindergarten children are overjoyed to see that the furniture in their classrooms are being painted with new bright colors which is in progress now. 

We are very glad to have Juhi back with us and for her the much loved workshops for our teachers and children on 18th, 19th and 20th February. Juhi comes at least once a year to our organization as a volunteer and dedicates her time in training teachers and introducing new teaching skills. The topics covered this time are how to strengthen team spirit among the staff and acquiring creative teaching methods. 

Sad to say that another teacher left our team due to health issues. We have been in search of qualified teachers for Naveen School which is one of our biggest challenges. Besides this our current teachers have been working hard to prepare for the upcoming exams in March.

 

 

December 2015 – January 2016

The children celebrated christmas on the 22nd of December with great enthusiasm. The very sight of Santa Claus had their eyes gleaming and made them smile from ear to ear. The santa distributed toffees and candies to the students of the school. A small get together and snacks was organised for the teachers as well. Snacks and christmas case was also organised and the staffs enjoyed the get together a lot. Santa also gifted teachers some really nice christmas presents which left them all surprised. Unlike previous years, the christmas was celebrated differently and everyone right from the staff to the students enjoyed a lot.

The school break began from the 23rd December 2015 and reopened on the 6th of January 2016. The very first day of the new year in school got students wishing each other and the teachers a very happy new year.

Makar Sankranti is among the most auspicious occasions for Hindus and is celebrated in almost all parts of India. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated in many cultural forms with immense devotion, fervor and cheerfulness. The festival is celebrated on 14th January and is possibly the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day each year with just a few exceptions. It is also known as kite flying festival. On this day, the sky becomes colourful with the kites covering every possible inch of the huge canvas. With the festival spirit in mind, the students made various kinds of kites in all shapes, size and color. The kids were seen to enjoy this activity a lot. They experimented a lot with different colours and designs on the kites. The school was also decorated from the kites the kids made in the class.

One of the staff of the school is getting married in the last week of January so a little farewell was organised for her. Her name is Ekta and she had been associated with the school since seven years and we had formed a very good group with her and other staffs. She had been a very lovely teacher and her presence in school will always be missed. We gave her a wedding present and wished her for a beautiful life ahead.