Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kho kho

Today is a school kho kho tournament. The four boys and girls houses are playing it out with full enthusiasm and a lot of noise.
Kho Kho is an amazing game which involves three players being chased and tagged by the members of the other team. The team that are the "taggers" crouch in the middle of the field and can only chase and tag one at a time. Any of them can be released when they are tagged by their running teammate who shouts "Kho". When chasing they can only run in one direction and can't cross the centre line although those being chased can go anywhere they like.
I realize that the above is an absolutely hopeless description of what happens but just know....great game, fascinating tactics, good action. If you want to know kho kho come and play in school!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The future is bright

These girls are our 11th class "stars". There is a group of girls in 11th class who all did extremely well in the 10th class exams. We have never had such a large number of students who had such success in the exams; In 10th class they scored as follows:

Priya Yadav                92% 9th in the District merit
Krishna Rathore         83%
Teenu Jangir 83%
Usha Kiram Charan 82%
Bhumika Rathore 87%
Varsha Sharma          82%
Neha Yadav               90.5% 13th in the District merit
Dashika Sharma        79%

It is quite a group that should spur each other on to great success in 12th class.

Congratulations to them all on their fantastic efforts in tenth class.

Filling up

The rain has been great. Nearly 6 metres of water in the talab and still coming.
For anyone who has been in Jadan you know what this means. It has been raining now for 20 hours. Not heavy but beautiful.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Just a thought - for the teachers of Rajasthan

During the past year whilst talking with many teachers I have heard the same complaint again and again. Teachers are frustrated that the Education board does not allow corporal punishment any more and that they therefore cannot control the class.

Again and again teachers comment that:
  • Children do not want to learn
  • They don’t want to do their homework and study
  • They don’t pay attention
  • They don’t know what they want to do with their lives. There is no ambition, no drive, no enthusiasm for the future
  • Without punishment there will be no discipline

  • What if the students wanted to be in class??
  • What would make them want to be in class?
  • What would make YOU want to be there?
  • What would make you want to learn a subject?
    • Interesting classes
    • Relevance of the subject to daily life
    • Encouragement
    • A teacher who also wanted to be there with a passion to be there
  • What would give a student direction and motivation?
    • Do they have career guidance?
    • Do they have a chance to have counselling for their 11th and 12th subject choices?
  • What would make a student disciplined? Come on time? Do homework?
    • A teacher who also turned up on time!!!!
    • An interesting, relevant and enjoyable subject, so good it would be a punishment just to miss a class.
    • A passion for learning, imbibed from someone who has that same passion
    • Look around. There are some great teachers in almost every school. Do the best ones have disciplinary issues? Does the discipline in their classes come through violence or through respect for their quality of teaching??
Just imagine for a moment the following possibility…….
            A classroom can be transformed into a joyous place of learning. A place full of interest and light. A place where the student looks forward to coming to rather than a place they sit passively because of fear.

Please think about the above and then consider…... The Government has not tied your hands by restricting corporal punishment. It has freed your hands to take up a challenge. To bring your enthusiasm to the classroom, enthuse your students and in the process to become even more excellent teacher. To become an ambassador for the subject which you teach. To bring the classroom to life, so that students may flourish and enjoy their education.

When the stick is required it means that the connection with the student is not strong enough. Surely we should do everything possible to establish that connection.


Childhood Awareness

I watched these children the other day as they walked to school. I was the day after a very nice rain. There was puddles on the road, the leaves on the trees were shining and all of the bugs and small creatures that had been waiting for the rain in order to come out were crawling around in the first days of their lives. These three girls took about 45 minutes to walk the last 200 metres to school. They were fascinated by everything. The freshness of the nature combined with their freshness of perspective was beautiful to see.

Of course they were completely late for school. But who cares?

It has been a long time out of the office!

It has really been a while since the last post! So…here is the report.

School is back for the 2013-14 session. There were some amazing results in the last session. For the first time one of our students came in the top 10 in the District. She was studying in 12th Science. Whenever the results of 12th class exams come out the first ten students have their name, school and photo on the front page of the newspapers so it was a big event. Congratulations to all!

All of the other students did exceptionally well. The school's speciality subject seems to be Sanskrit where in 12th class 40% of students got distinction marks. At one stage as we were downloading the marks from the internet it was like a shock when one of the students got below 75%!

Everyone is looking forward to the year ahead. The staff have started their teaching with full speed. Students are preparing for sports tournaments, plays, singing and dancing performances over the next weeks. All students have been allocated their "house" for inter school games and arts competitions which start this week.

And, best of all, in the last weeks it finally rained. Making the atmosphere clean, the temperature a little more bearable and covering the landscape in green. Somehow it doesn't matter how good the building is, how good the teachers are, how interesting the subject may be … it is always more enjoyable when it is no longer 45 degrees!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


The last days of the school year are hot and difficult. This year we used the time for games, art, singing, sports and remembering the traditional and simple games that children used to play before there was a television with cartoons in every house. It was really good fun.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012


They may only be in 2nd class at school but when it comes to doing henna work the concentration of these young artists is first class!!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

New Year and Navratri

Happy New Year!!!

Friday the 23rd March marked the start of the new calendar year according to the Indian Calendar. So welcome to Vikram Samvat 2069!!!

It is a day which also signifies the start of Vasant Navratri, a nine day festival devoted to the goddesses Laxmi, Saraswati and Durga.

Our students started to celebrate the day early by going around their villages before school with their teachers and greeting passers by, wishing them a happy new year, giving them a tilak (red mark on the forehead as a sign of respect and auspiciousness) and also giving them a small piece of sweet so that the year ahead may also be the same. It is a practice which slowly fades away and there were several comments from village elders about how happy they were seeing our students maintain this beautiful tradition.

Students were also urged yesterday to make sure when they wake up this morning that they pay special attention to how they start the day. Teachers insisted that especially today the students should wake early, bathe and make their morning worship with full concentration. Then, still in the early morning they made sure to do ½ and hours study, making the atmosphere and direction for the year ahead.

After coming to school the students, teachers, doctors and staff from the hospital and members of the ashram from throughout the world joined together at the Shiv Mandir in Jadan Ashram for puja and prayers for the Navratri festival and to wish everyone a happy new year.

From all of us here in Jadan have a great year ahead and enjoy!!!!
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Saturday, March 3, 2012

The future has arrived

Sorry about the quality of the photo and the fact it was taken just after all the students left for the weekend. Suddenly I realised that exciting things are happening in school and I forgot to put it on the blog (too busy in the excitement).
What the photo may show you is how our classrooms in school now look. As you can see there is an interactive whiteboard with a projector and a traditional blackboard. What you can't see is that the projector is attached to a computer (it is behind the board locked so that small hands can't reach it) and that that computer is attached to a network with the most amazing software for teaching and explaining the courses the children have from KG till 12th. All in English, Hindi and 10 other languages (Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati etc). Also locked away are a keyboard and webcamera.
It has been a pretty exciting time. It was clear from the time when we decided to install the equipment that the children would enjoy. What I couldn't have imagined is how the teachers have taken to it. At first there was nervousness - keep in mind several staff had never used a computer before!!! Then as their training started there was reluctance from some and instant immersion from other staff. Slowly those who were new to the computer world have taken to it like ducks to water. Now they are exploring possibilities that even the company didn't think of!! (yesterday I saw a teacher had taken a photo of one of the girls with the webcam, put it up on the projector and they were learning the names of the parts of the face from her photo!)
We have installed the above screens in 20 of our classrooms (stretching the budget borders to the limit!) and the students are taking turns to be in those rooms. Our school is the first school in the district of Pali to work with such technology.
If anyone is interested in the system we are using the website of the company is
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Our artists

The students who participated in children's day celebrations in the competitions for art, mehendi, rangoli and handwriting received their awards today. Congratulations to all!!!!!!!!!!

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dance, song and colour. Celebrating children's day.

Children's day was a day of art, decoration, colour, dancing and roleplaying. The children of 1st and 2nd class dressed up as characters from Indian history and mythology. Their lives were celebrated with song and dance. The boy is dressed as Jawaharlal Nehru, who's birthday is on the day of Children's day. At his behest India celebrates it's future, the children, on this day.
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Mehendi (henna) art on Children's day

All of the girls seem to be experts at doing henna designs. Consider that in this program they have a maximum of 30 minutes to do both hands. They are pretty good!! Sorry about the quality of photos, you can't really see the intricate detail.
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More Rangoli

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Children's day Rangoli

Rangoli - a celebration of colour. Rangoli's are made with anything that is available. In the top one you can see they have also used stones, flower petals and dhal as part of the design
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Primary school art works

Here are a few samples of the art works done by the young students on children's day
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