Ravi Kaimal is the Co-Founder of The Fabindia Schools at Bali with William Bissell. From the first stone to the first tree and the full campus he has toiled with BAT to take ahead the vision. Thanks to Ravi for the superb photos
The Fabindia School in Bali, Rajasthan. 20 years and the path breaking venture has given new hope to many young people. The first English medium school at Bali and now CBSE Affiliated, offers affordable quality education in the rural environment.
Thanks to Soumitro for making the photo shoot possible and bringing this alive for all of us!
BAT runs The Fabindia Schools in rural Rajasthan in a district called Bali for children of local artisans. They are looking to upgrade the level of education to any other well recognized public school so these children can be merge into mainstream society on completion of their education. The team is looking for professional to assist in teacher training and development. The school is well established but the upgradation process very much at the nascent stage.
If anyone is interest in working in such a set up do get back to me and us. After going through a selection process the candidates will be provided rigorous training before they assume the professional role. The work will involve traveling between Delhi and Rajasthan with base in Delhi.
For further details about the project you can visit www.bateducation.com.
Working at the School:
-this was such an amazing experience! My only complaint is that the our activities were very disorganized. Most of time, no one had any idea where they were supposed to be teaching, or if they weren't teaching, what project they working on. Within the activities too, we didn't know what we were supposed to be teaching or how we supposed to conduct the project.
Ideas for at the School: I think we should have made, on the plane or before we got to Fabindia, a "curriculum" of things to teach the students or a list of possible activities (i.e. going over English plurals of nouns, or playing hangman or pictionary). When we left we felt like we hadn't really taught them that much English so I think more organization would really help.
Spend more time with Fabindia students our age: I was really interesting to be able to talk with the high schoolers at Fabindia. Could we maybe do some work in their classes, or help them with the English papers? Could there also be more pressure to interact with them? Maybe a set time when we all have to sit together to have lunch with them, just so we can get to know them? (it's a lot easier to introduce yourself to a little kid than a teenager)
When I went to Morocco last summer, my tripmates and I brought pictures of our family members and places back home to show our host families and the children at the school. Since Fabindia students were very curious about America, it would be nice if LC students come maybe bring some pictures.
Also, since, LC students are curious about India it would be nice if we could spend more time with the students/their families. Visiting Shaily and Shefali's house was so much fun, but it was the only non-hotel or non-restaurant I'd stayed at in India. Could we maybe split the Loomis students into groups and have them eat lunch in the home of a Fabindia family one day?
The Dance: We LOVED learning the dance the girls taught us and performing it! Since they spent so much time teaching us, I think we could teach them some form of American dance. Maybe like the cotton-eye-joe or something simple and fun?
-we spent a lot of time driving --often three times as much time in the bus than actually in a city/destination. I realize that traveling is difficult and that to visit some places you do have to drive there, but maybe Loomis could find a quicker way to transport--maybe flying more? Taking a train would be good too, but only if we could find ride in 1st/sleeper class or find a train service that was comfortable and safe (not the train we took two years ago when someone's bag got stolen)
Temple: we LOVED going to the temple that had thousands of pillars and even though it was out of the way it was definitely a highlight of the trip
We went to the fabindia store a lot but it would nice if we could have gone to more markets and spent more time in the crafts/co op store we went to in Delhi.
I apologize for this being such a long email, but since I went on the trip twice (and really enjoyed it) I have a lot to say!
Only five per cent of the girls in this' the central regions of Rajasthan' complete secondary school' and to take up engineering as a profession would be beyond their wildest dreams. Yet' Veena expects to be one some day. Sowhat is it that makes her aspirations ring true' even as most other girls in her remote village look merely to follow in their mothers' footsteps? What distinguishes her from her peers and even her mother' who still works 10-hour days in the fields and covers her face in the presence of strangers?
From its inception' the Fabindia School has been committed to educational opportunity for girls in a region where most parents' even if they could afford an English medium school' would send only their sons. To attract girls' the school even subsidises their tuition. At the school' Veena is first in her class' excels in science and mathematics and has a lead role in this winter's school play. She carries herself with dignity and self-confidence' holding her own among male schoolmates whose sense of entitlement comes more from a feeling of caste superiority.
In addition to becoming fluent in English' Veena is also getting a strong grounding in other subjects. The school strongly supports equality for girls' and they hold many leadership positions here. It also stresses environmental education' exposing students to the issues of the larger world through workshops conducted by expert visitors.
With the 250-student "core school" in Bali now well established' the plan is to open more Fabindia Schools elsewhere in Rajasthan.In June' the first satellite school will open in nearby Ghanerao. A prosperous business family based in Bombay'but originally from Pali'is contributing the capital to build the Ghanerao school' modelled on the virtue of reinvesting in one's rural origins. Hopefully' some day' the hundreds of Veenas and Vinods will also play a part in the transformation of rural Rajasthan.
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- Does the teacher have a rapport with the children? Do children speak confidently with the teacher? Are there moments of laughter?
- Does the teacher address the entire class or is his/her attention monopolised by a few? If so, which few? Does s/he know the names of all children? Are some social groups/individuals ‘excluded’ in the class interaction? Are there some children who seem to dominate the class?
- Are different social groups treated at par – for instance, children belonging to general castes/SC/ST, girls/ boys, Hindus/Muslims/Christians/Others?
- Is the communication in the classroom only one-way – the teacher asks and children answer, or two-way? Who speaks more – the children or the teacher?
- Do the teacher and children listen to each other attentively? Do they communicate by speaking at a moderate (or an abnormally high) pitch and volume?
- Does the teacher’s behavior show that s/he knows the children as individuals?
- Is the teacher sensitive to the family and community context of the children?
- What is the content of conversation amongst children?
- Do the children cooperate with each other? In learning situations?
- Does the teacher only sermonize, or does she facilitate a process of dialogue to resolve conflict? Does s/he help build relationships amongst children?
- Do children participate in decision-making - about activities, class tasks, etc?
- Does the teacher solicit and accept children’s suggestions in class?
- Do children take up responsibilities on their own?
- Does the teacher explain a given topic/concept clearly, soliciting children’s understanding and prior experience? Is the topic handled routinely, only from the textbook, or creatively?
- Does the teacher use maps, charts, pictures, or children’s creations with a sense of purpose, or in a mechanical manner, more as a ritual?
- Does the teacher use children’s knowledge as a resource for teaching?
- Do children answer in chorus or individually? Are they given time to think, or is there a culture of ‘pat’ answers?
- Does the teacher respond to each child’s answer (by elaborating, indicating the need to rethink, etc.) or does s/he quickly move on from one to the other? How does the teacher respond to a wrong answer?
- Does the teacher encourage a plurality of answers or does she expect a single uniform answer to a given question?
- Are children involved in meaningful tasks? Do they know what and why they are doing a given task/activity?
- Do the given tasks address the learning needs of different children?
- Do the children discuss what they had learnt in the previous class?
- Are children encouraged to question, think on their own and discuss in groups?
- How does the teacher respond to a child’s question – in monosyllables or by attempting to answer it in detail? Does she probe the child in order to understand her question/doubt better?
- Is the teacher able to say ‘I don’t know’ when she doesn’t know the answer, or does she try to dismiss/ignore the question?
- Is the classroom display relevant to the ongoing activities?
- Do the walls display children’s creations? Their current work done in class?
- Is the classroom looking attractive and tidy?
- Do the children help in setting up the classroom?
- Are they sitting in straight lines/fixed positions? Does the seating arrangement change according to the activity? Can children see and interact with each other?
- Is there space for children to move around or it is cramped and overcrowded?
- Does the teacher move around in the classroom?
- Are there different activities – whole group/small group/individual work? What does the teacher do when children are working in groups?
- Does the teacher manage her time well, through different tasks and activities?
- Does she use the blackboard effectively - in a clear, legible, and planned manner?
- Does the teacher go out of the classroom? If so, how often and for how long?
- If there is a problem in the class how is it handled? Does the teacher try to find a solution to it by involving the children?
- Does the teacher punish/threaten children? Does she promise incentives, rewards?
- Are children actively engaged and taking interest? Do they seem to have a sense of belonging to the class? Is the attendance high?
- Do the children seem disappointed when the period is over, or are they relieved, or indifferent? Do they continue with the task even after the period? Do they seem to wait for the next class?
- Do the children take time to revise their work?
- Does the teacher check the work of each individual child? Does s/he use different methods of assessment – oral/written, games/creative exercises, collection tasks, and individual/ group work? Is there ever a process of self or peer assessment?
- Is the process of assessment relaxed and enjoyable or are children anxious and tense? Do children see it as a competition with peers only to get ‘marks’, or as a ‘learning’ exercise to understand their own progress?
- Does the teacher recognise and respect the pace of each individual child’s learning? Does s/he encourage quiet children in the class to speak, discuss, etc?
- Are children able to express their difficulties in learning?
- Are the records maintained properly? Any learner profiles, portfolios, teachers’ diaries? If so, are these used – in class, at cluster (CRC) meetings, in training, etc?
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Ownership of property may be private, collective, or common and the property may be objects, land/real estate or intellectual property. Determining ownership in law involves determining who has certain rights and duties over the property. These rights and duties, sometimes called a 'bundle of rights', can be separated and held by different parties. - Wikipedia
Ownership is not really possession, but leadership in action. When we feel committed and are motivated to establish our right over any action or material we are the real owners. Read the article in Forbes and see what ownership is all about. Thank you William for sharing with us!
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William's success and leadership will inspire all of us at Bhadrajun Artisans Trust (BAT)
Happy to share the story in The Economic Times.
85 Students with 20 teachers left Falna on the night of 20 October. We visited Nainital, Bhimtal, Almora, Kasardevi Temple, Ranikhet, Baijnath Temple, Kausani and Jim Corbett National Park.
The trip was successful as all enjoyed and learnt many things about Kumaon and specially Kausani.
Rivers Gomti, Shipra and Kosi were surprisingly refreshing as the water was clean and cool. They flowed along us for a long time.The majestic Himalayan range was mesmerising. We were awestruck by its beauty.The grandeur of Nandadevi peak was breath taking.
The trip came to an end on 27th October, 2012. It was trying to manoeuvre 105 people from Old Delhi Railway station to Sarairohilla Railway station.
This was great season, just after rains, and the weather was very pleasant too. For some of us this was the first trip up north and yet there were some who had not done a long train journey ever in their lives!
With over 25 years of hands on experience as an entrepreneur, a trainer and mentor for thousands of young people, Sandeep has been involved with schools across the country and worked with students in all kinds of socioeconomic environments. Made project reports for the Government of Meghalaya, the Government of Uttarakhand, the State Govt. of Delhi and the Min of Youth and Sports, and helped implement the development plan of the Australian Sports Outreach Programme (ASOP) in his last avatar as the National Director of The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award. Sandeep's contributions to build a curriculum for enabling young people to equip for life and set in place a sustainable model for youth empowerment has been widely acknowledged all over the world.
(original writing - produced as-it-is, this is in spoken Hindi and transcript is in English, a good effort and from the heart)
MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME MANY THINGS THAT HELP ME A LOT IN MY LIFE. SHE IS THE ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS ME AND ALWAYS READY TO HELPS ME. SHE MOTIVATES ME A LOT. I SHARE MY THOUGHTS WITH HER AND SHE DOES TOO. MY GOD IS MY MOTHER AND WHENEVER I AM IN NEED HER SHE IS STANDING NEAR TO ME. SHE IS ALWAYS READY TO SOLVE MY PROBLEMS.