Focus on Youth - Auroville 1984-1985
(Education Group information, summarized)
note: This document can be considered as the precursor of an annual progress report.
Auroville has begun to concentrate on youth and education. In the process it discovers how great a joy and adventure the search for a true learning society can be. We'd like to share this joy and adventure with you.
Where are we today, and where do we hope to be tomorrow?
Section I: Today
The Auroville Education Group is composed of all who work with children and youth in Auroville.
Representatives of each educational activity meet whenever necessary to discuss current problems and requirements and coordinate future growth and development.
Kids are welcome at these meetings and often attend.
We have our differences of style and approach, but when it comes down to paring each others' budget the general atmosphere at education meetings is harmonious and practical.
We really do try to understand each other, and we often succeed in doing so.
Education Group people work in the following areas:
- Fertile School
- Fraternity School
- Center School
- Higher School
- Trips and special projects
Section II: Tomorrow
When we talk about what we hope to realize tomorrow we really mean tomorrow, not some day, not in a vague future.
Central gov't funding (Last School project) in 1983 and the Sri Aurobindo Institute in 1984, have helped us to put Auroville on a more solid footing and prepare for a new move forward now. The practical steps that we feel to be taken:
Increase of maintenance budget
- All the activities covered by the Education Group manage on a bare minimum budget. In reality almost twice as much is needed. Some possibilities for internal funding (Aurelec and Artisana Trust) do exist. But nonetheless an additional 15,000 Rs. per month are necessary to keep on running what has already been developed.
- The Institute will build five new classrooms. Money has been made available by the central gov't. Construction should be completed within one year's time. The classrooms will be constructed on a piece of land near Transformation. In future a child-centered environment will develop in this area. Plans include a kitchen and dining area, living facilities for kids and adults, a snack pavilion for the existing kindergarten, landscaping of the general environment, services and facilities (transport cum maintenance, playground, borewell, pump, watertank, studio and workshop facilities, children's library and reading room).
Sports at Certitude
- A covered exercise area is needed in order to shelter the activities during monsoon and during the hottest period of the year (May-June).
Trips and special projects
- For the summer camps suitable camping equipment is needed. Additional money for outings, trips and camps is necessary.
Materials from abroad
- Auroville has some good sources of educational material in India, but many things are available only abroad, particularly in America. We need a yearly budget to buy teaching aids abroad.
Immediate special needs
- The maintenance budget is in bad shape.
- Sanskrit School needs building repair.
- The schoolhall at Ivar's (Kottekkarai) should be completed.
- Ilaignarkal would like to purchase four touring cycles.
- We could add a long list of requirements.
Higher School project Some classroom space for older kids is available at Sanskrit School and Fertile School. Some teaching and individual tutoring goes on in private homes. But, the kids themselves insist on having a real school. The location of the higher school is still under consideration, but a decision will be taken soon. The kids' participation in the creation of this new learning environment is very important. Wherever they will finally be located, however, the following basic facilities are essential:
- Rooms of culture (film projection, slideshow, music, library, lecture, discussion, laboratory).
- Rooms of training.
- Fine arts space. Crafts workshops. Living facilities. Guest facilities.