SAIIER 2019:Report from the SAIIER office
|Report from the SAIIER office|
The Sri Aurobindo International Institute of Educational Research (SAIIER) is now in its 35th year. The SAIIER building which a few years ago felt outsized for our small team, is now a more full and active place, with various Auroville projects generally related to SAIIER filling the desks. Auroville's 50th anniversary year (28th February 2018 to 28th February 2019) brought an influx of new projects and creative energy to many fields in Auroville including sports and education. It has been a year of growth and progress.
SAIIER, as a hub for schools, sports and cultural activities, continued its work of managing grants and donations, allocating projects for research and activities, coordinating construction projects, publishing books, participating in organisation, and exchanging and collaborating with others in the field of education.
Highlights of the year:
A minor restructuring took place through which several projects which had been administratively under SAIIER moved to different trusts. These include Auroville Archives, Pitanga Cultural Centre and Arka. This was part of an ongoing effort to focus SAIIER more strongly on educational research. SAIIER now has 41 sub-units in all, including Auroville schools, Outreach schools and others. Agni Veda Research, a unit dong research on Sanskrit in Vedic mantras, was added as an activity of SAIIER this year.
2018-19 was the second year that Bajaj Auto Ltd CSR granted funds to Auroville, administered by SAIIER. Support this year was to build new classrooms at two Outreach schools: Isai Ambalam and Udavi School. These classrooms will increase the student capacity of each school.
Several dynamic collaborations took place this year, where educators from outside Auroville came to offer their skills and experience to Auroville teachers and students. These include “Development Through Drama” with Tracy Evans, “Neuro-Dramatic Play” with Dr. Sue Jennings, and “Music classes at Udavi School” with Katarina. Some of the innovative ongoing projects are the development of games built and designed in Auroville to increase focus, concentration and attention in children, and the focus in schools on developing specific qualities relating to human unity and Auroville’s higher purpose.
SAIIER oversaw the completion of the following projects in 2018-19 supported by the Government of India grant:
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Phase I - Block A (8 lakhs)
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Phase II - Block B (12 lakhs)
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Privacy Wall (5 lakhs)
- Kuilai Creative Centre building (8 lakhs)
- Dehashakti School of Physical Education – Covered play area, Phase 02 (6 lakhs)
- Kindergarten – Parking shed (8 lakhs)
- Auroville Tinkering Lab building (2 lakhs)
- Aha! Kindergarten – Water tank (0.5 lakhs)
The following projects are still ongoing:
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Prosperity Phase I (30 lakhs)
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Phase III – Block C (41 lakhs)
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Phase IV – Block D (31 lakhs)
- Auroville Sports Resource Centre – Toilet block (4 lakhs)
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Wastewater treatment and electrical (31 lakhs)
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Prosperity Phase II (59 lakhs)
- SAIIER Staff Quarters – Prosperity – Corridor (2 lakhs)
- Aranya Forest – Classroom and kitchen, toilet (14 lakhs)
- Dehashakti School of Physical Education – Climbing wall (4 lakhs)
- Auroville Botanical Gardens – Herbarium (15 lakhs)
- Kalabhumi Art Studio – Store room (6 lakhs)
- Unity Pavilion – Toilet block (14 lakhs)
This year SAIIER helped support the 250 Aurovilians working in education-related activities, and allocated funds to 56 projects proposed by members of the community. SAIIER also supported the functioning of its 41 sub-units throughout the year, including approval and sponsorship of Rs. 39 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.