By Cecilia Cracknell and Emily McDonald
We went to India not knowing anything about the Indian school system, only knowing that we wanted to focus on education. We weren’t exactly sure what we wanted our project to focus on specifically, but had a couple ideas in mind. We started by finding out more about how the system works, mostly from Rashmi Cole, the resident manager and also a big part of the school. We interviewed some of the ashram kids on their opinions of school, how they thought it could be improved and what they liked about school. After going through all our interviews, visited the Ashram school and had plenty of knowledge shared with us from Rashmi we were surprised to find out how different the system compared to the system in Canada, but also surprised by the similarities. We learned that in both systems children often have to choose their future before they are ready to really know what they want. We learned that students not only learn better but in many want to learn in a practical, hands-on way.
And most of all we learned that children love schools for the friends, community and memories that they develop along the way. In every school system in every part of the world students and parents will complain about their school, teachers and what they study, but we as educators also want to focus on the enjoyable parts of school and the memories that are made in the end. Just like what Radha said in the beginning about school being a place for memories we’ve learned that children love school for many reasons but most of all because school is a community where children get to learn how to grow and share who they are. We as future educators are thankful for this opportunity and have learned a fair amount about the ways in which we plan to take this into our own practice.