In our first edition of Mewat Mondays, we highlighted the dismal state of schools in Mewat. Often, corridors and classroom walls are bare, saved for some art works, and that mostly, in the better-endowed schools.
One year has passed and we are glad to share that the situation has turned around.
When it comes to the education of children aged 6 to 14 years old, we believe that classrooms should be colourful, enriching, informative and exciting. This helps to keep the young ones motivated, curious and interested in gaining knowledge; in the long run shaping intelligent individuals whose learning journeys stretch indefinitely.
Building as Learning Aid, or BaLA is a new initiative undertaken by one of our school, Kanwarsika to achieve just that. Essentially, BaLA helps to maximize the educational value of a built space by developing the school’s entire physical environment into a learning aid.
Rather than treating schools as merely structures of bricks and mortars, BaLA offers a unique setting for children to learn. It introduces a multiple sensory experience into the otherwise uni-sensory textbook or a blackboard transacted by a monotonous teacher.
From a child’s perspective, abstract concepts become more concrete and real. Dimensions, textures, shapes, angles and movements can be used to communicate some basic concepts of language, science, mathematics and environment, to make learning a truly enjoyable and memorable experience for children.
In Kanwarsika, both middle and primary schools have corridors adorned with images of general knowledge subjects. Various Indian monuments, animals, poems and numbers line the wall of the two schools, allowing children to learn and explore not only with just their teachers but with their peers as well. In addition, subject specific rooms are also being painted for its middle schools.
Currently, Kanwarsika is the only school that has gone through this transformation. In the future, with support from the government, we hope that all schools will also get the chance to experience the BaLA makeover, making learning a more enjoyable process.
The 16th edition of Mewat Mondays is brought to you by our interns, Joan, Lyndon and Galvin, who believe that times have changed and educational methodologies have to be updated to produce the same impact on children. As part of their field research, they will be spending time in the 19 villages, and will gladly share pictures and anecdotes from these experiences. They can be reached at Joan.firstname.lastname@example.org, Lyndon.Lingbaoan@srf-limited.com and Galvin.Tay@srf-limited.com respectively.