SAIIER 2018:Report from the SAIIER office
|Report from the SAIIER office|
The Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Educational Research (SAIIER) coordinates educational activities in Auroville and undertakes educational research toward giving practical shape to the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. SAIIER was started in 1984 and has since been growing along with the growth of Auroville, as an umbrella body for educational activities of Auroville. It manages a yearly grant from the Government of India, with allocations for ‘capital’ (construction) and ‘general’ expenses. SAIIER's sub-units include Auroville schools, Outreach schools, and diverse education and cultural-related facilities, programs and projects.
Regular activities of the SAIIER administration include managing grants and donations and keeping accounts and assets, coordinating construction projects, publishing books and other resources, overall organisation, and exchanging and collaborating with others in the field of education.
Highlights of the year:
- This year we welcomed Divya Kapoor as a fourth SAIIER executive, joining executives Ashoke, Chali and Sanjeev A.
- At the end of last year Auroville was awarded a grant of 100 lakhs from Bajaj Auto CSR funds. SAIIER was chosen to administer this grant. A call was made to the Auroville community asking for project proposals, and 12 projects were chosen to receive support. Throughout this year SAIIER coordinated with these projects, activating and following their work and producing quarterly reports to Bajaj. See Bajaj Auto projects supported 2017-18.
- A “Children's book group” has been formed, the members being longtime teachers of small children, together with representatives from SAIIER and Auroville Press. The group has met several times to pool its collective wisdom, ensuring beautiful and high-quality children's books being created through SAIIER.
- The Auroville Campus Initiative, active in Auroville for a few years, has now become SAIIER's “Department of Further Learning”. This Department has been facilitating immersion programs which have brought Indian youth to Auroville, and in the coming year will begin to focus more on Auroville youth, providing a much-needed bridge between Auroville schooling and the next steps in one's life path.
The following projects were completed in 2017-18 from the Government of India (GOI) grant:
- Auroville Archives – Administrative space, Phase 02 (157 lakhs)
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Block 1 (108 lakhs)
- Auroville Archives – Administrative space, Phase 01 (86 lakhs)
- Savitri Bhavan – Picture Gallery Extension (74 lakhs)
- Deepanam School – ATB (Awareness Through the Body) Hall (39 lakhs)
- Auroville Library – Extension (32 lakhs)
- Dehashakti School of Physical Education – Covered play area, Phase 01 (17 lakhs)
- Udavi Campus – Covered lunch space and cafeteria (11 lakhs)
- Aikiyam School – Clay classroom (7 lakhs)
The following projects are still ongoing, from the GOI grant:
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Block 02 (99 lakhs)
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Block 03 (105 lakhs)
- SAIIER Prosperity Staff Quarters – Block 01 (100 lakhs)
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Wastewater treatment and electrical (66 lakhs)
- Unity Pavilion – Toilet block (29 lakhs)
- Aranya Forest – Classroom and kitchen, toilet (35 lakhs)
- Kuilapalayam Cultural Centre building (26 lakhs)
- Dehashakti School of Physical Education – Covered play area, Phase 02 (25 lakhs)
- Kindergarten – Parking shed (15 lakhs)
- Auroville Sports Resource Centre – Toilet block (14 lakhs)
- Auroville Tinkering Lab building (4 lakhs)
This year SAIIER provided maintenances to 250 Aurovilians working in education-related activities, and allocated funds to 58 projects proposed by members of the community. (See following reports of these projects.) SAIIER also supported the functioning of its 51 sub-units throughout the year, including approval and sponsorship of Rs. 41.15 lakh worth of equipment. Through its new and ongoing construction projects SAIIER contributed toward the physical manifestation of Auroville, in anticipation of the needs and possibilities of the future.