Wednesday, April 13, 2005


SWANIRVAR SCHOOL: A new model for total education

This is a brand-new urban initiative in Kolkata, an alternative to the current educational system that does not allow for creativity and innovation for either the students or teachers. The idea came from a special educator, Sudeshna Sinha, who had been running Aashirvaaad, an afternoon school run by a group of Irish missionaries for children from the pavement and slums. Three hours proved to be inadequate to do the kind of experimentation she had in mind so she started working toward a total school system that could incorporate new techniques, exciting for both students and teachers. The result is Swanirvar School, which is currently being funded by an organization called Indien Hilfe, a German-based philanthropic organization. Various training programs are going on for alternative education methods in all areas, including science, math, language, and social studies, etc. This is a model school project which they hope will one day be copied throughout India for all ages and classes. There is a growing resource center so that others interested in alternatives to present day education systems can also link up with Swanirvar. English will be one of the languages taught at the school.

The English teacher at Swanirvar is in desperate need of English teaching materials for children from the ages of 8-16 but who are at a very low level of English training, since they have mostly come from underprivileged backgrounds with no exposure to English at all. We are happy to have used materials (if not too tattered). They are especially looking for flash cards, textbooks, worksheets, games, classroom decorations, cassettes, CDs, craft materials, basically any type of teaching material at all. If someone would like to visit and share their teaching experiences with teachers and students, we are also happy to have your visit!

Please send donations of any educational resource materials to:

Sudeshna Sinha
c/o Swarnirvar School
Ananda Flat 7H & 5G
116 Southern Avenue, Kolkata 700 029 INDIA

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