last weekend (7-8 nov.2009) i visited the experimental school – shastralay located in vai (satara district). a visit which i was looking forward to (see my earlier post). i clubbed my trip with prof. h.c.pradhan who was visiting the school in connection with a meeting. he is on the academic advisory board of the school. we started at 6:00 am from hbcse and reached vai at about 10:30 am. the school is called shastralay.
the shastralay, funded by the kirloskars, is being run by ramesh panse, who has also been involved in setting up the gram mangal in aine. there were other people from various organisations, teachers of shastralay gathered for the meeting. before the meeting could begin, prachi natu took all of us on a tour of each subject lab to show and explain about the setup, teaching methods, students’ activities, etc. at this stage the school is upto 5th std.
after about an hour long tour of each labs, the meeting commenced. panse explained the working principles behind the school, their approach towards learning by doing science, reflection on the initial stages of setup, and planning for further developments. h.c.pradhan gave very valuable suggestions towards shaping up and enhancing the experimental school from pedagogical point of view.
then we had a fantastic lunch break. the lunch was typical of the region–bajara bhakri topped with loni, gajarachi koshimbir, thecha, karlyachi chatni, bhaji, dahi. although the bhaji was spicy, we all enjoyed and were content with the lunch.
the post lunch session was continuation of the meeting, where the teachers shared their experiences and was more of an interactive sessions. i also shared my inputs which have been received positively.
my experiences — personally it was very exciting visit about getting to know about shastralay. i wanted to get a glimpse about what happens at the grassroot level when it comes to education and how it is being practically implemented.
overall it was a very enriching experience for me and travelling on a field trip was fun.