Friday, January 29, 2010

Mumbai school students take charge!

The stage is set – 1200 odd school students are going to help at least two children from the tribal belts in India go to school for a year. The schooling is going to be provided by the Art of Living foundation. In Art of Living’s own word –
The Art of Living Foundation aims at providing free education to rural and underprivileged populations. We provide excellent services in the field of education for children especially in remote tribal villages. The schools setup by The Art of Living Foundation, impart value-base education in a stress-free and child friendly environment. In these schools, which combine ancient wisdom and modern technology, children get the opportunity to both broaden their vision and deepen their roots, and thus develop in all facets of life. The schools emphasis is placed on a value-based holistic education which enables the complete development of a child’s fullest potential. This is done through the creation of an environment that fosters learning. This program has been fully implemented in India, and is now in the planning stage for countries in South America and Africa.
In addition to the basic academic curriculum of science, math, reading, language and arts, a program of self learning that develops life-skills and nurtures leadership is taught as a core component. Special attention is given to human values, health and hygiene. The children also learn yoga and meditation, which help them to handle their mind and emotions. Special attention is given to maintaining the local culture and heritage by cultivating interest in indigenous language, music, arts, and sports. Vocational and art classes provide older students with the practical and creative skills required to make a living and to help make their personal lives fuller.
The statistical data of tribal schools is given below:-
- Program launched in April 1999
- Designed to support the native indigenous (tribal) population and to help achieve equal opportunity for all
- Primary education provided to first generation school boys and girls
- Basic education, health and hygiene and human values taught
- Yoga, sports, music and dance integrated into the routine to keep the children rooted in their native culture
- Specially trained teachers recruited from the villages to teach
- 30 schools built in rural and tribal areas with high illiteracy levels
- 1,492 children currently being educated through the foundation's tribal schools

The children enrolled in these schools are from families who are below the poverty line. These children are actually the first generation in such families who will be attending schools. To support the educational needs of these tribal students, the youth of Mumbai have initiated Project Shiksha – let us each one, teach one.
The aim of Project Shiksha is to sponsor education of children in tribal villages. The idea is to collect old newspapers from society and sell them to generate funds. The funds raised are utilized for sponsoring the education of children in the tribal schools of The Art of Living Foundation.

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