Tuesday, August 13, 2013


From 20th June we started working with 2 youth from Musahar community who were identified as cluster coordinators. 
In discussion with Satya we decided to come up with a list of learning indicators that we can use to understand learning ability of children.
I also decided to share perspective/understanding of Play for Peace and Experiential Learning with new recruits and with Govind(Sujeevak) who is coordinating the project.
 Following are the glimpses of how we spent our first few days!

Day 1 / June 19' 2013
Saurabh and Shyam came today, promising young people.
I spent time with them first trying to understand what they understand their role to be.
Then I was trying to do some kind of mind mapping with them to help them connect with different aspects of what and why,
We then look at at what causes drop-outs and they made a list, I asked them to look at what can they affect individually(I), what will required organized response(O) and what will need community involvement(C).
Then a started talking about baseline, we agreed that education is the focus and so I asked them how do you define education and I was happy to hear their response which was not limited to curriculum but they also mentioned rights education and learning about our social situations.
So then I asked them to think about how will be know where to start, where are children at right now, we talked about reading/writing and how we can assess that, and they said its not enough so I asked them to think of what other issues we need to look at to see where they are and what their learning needs are.
I gave them an example and asked them to come up with more, so
we had
मतलब समझना/comprehension
जिज्ञासा जाहिर करना(curiosity)
आपसी मेल/Interpersonal intelligence
so almost on similar lines, what do you say?

I have asked them to think of more issues

Then I offered them a problem solving activity 'traffic jam' and explained the experiential learning cycle through it. we spent probably 90 minutes doing it.
I have asked them to document their experience by writing it down and have also given them something to explore as they go back today.(asking 5 people what comes to their mind when they here "mango tree" and observing the difference in their response)
tomorrow I am thinking of doing left and right brain with them to expand their understanding.
I have also told them that in case Govind and the 3rd person comes tomorrow that will have to explain what we did today to them.

I was also thinking about how to help them gain experience in gaming/Play for Peace, can they visit places where play session can happen for them to learn by participating.

They left at around 4 as it takes them 2-3 hrs to get back and they said they will be able to come by 10.30 tomorrow so that they can get their own tiffiens (packed lunch).  I asked them to come with their lunch as today they had to go out.
Ashok ji(Account and Admin Person of CSEI) was talking to them about it, I think explaining how trainings are different and coming to office people manage their own lunch.
They were also saying that Govind had talked about visiting the field so I asked them if they don't here from him they can come to the office as we have a lot to learn.
that's about sums up today!
I am thinking about indicators and will share with you my thoughts soon.

The response of Satya and Annie
Satya(Director CSEI Bihar) 
It is indeed a great day and I am sure it's a huge learning opportunity for these promising young people and many more like him. 
As I expected, discussion about meaning of education with them is always enlightening and exciting. This is where we have to start building our EE modules, which doesn't only address the basic issues of reading and writing rather it is much beyond it. I am sure this entire process will give us much more insights in coming days.
I am still to send you some of my thoughts on learning indicators on which we will be developing modules/EE according to Bihar curriculum. I would like to mention the philosophical and ideological basis for our entire interventions which is pioneering work by John Dewey and Paulo Frere- Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Anni Namala(Executive Director) of CSEI India
I am also thinking how we can get some women member to be part of the process so that the gender dimensions can also be brought in.
I am looking forward to this process so that we can develop an adequate pedagogy for our children
Annie Namala
Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion 

Day 2/ June 20'2013
Saurabh shared with Govnd what we did y'day.

Then I shared with them left and right brain attributes. Saurabh was very happy to learn about it and he said it gave him insights about his own life and things he had done. He is more right brain, Govind was looking at how this will help us work with children to make our actions more inclusive.

We then talked about observation and judgement, so that we are able to report our observation when we do baseline and not conclusion.
I asked Saurabh to make observation about me, he said "you were senior" and that gave me an opportunity to explain the difference. So next when I asked him to make observation about the office he was very alert and spoke about objects that were visible.
Then I asked them to make some observation about children and we wrote it down. Both of them said things and then we looked at which ones were observation and the one's that were not we tried converting them into observation.
Saurabh was quick to grasp and today he has gone back with an assignment to notice 5-10 things on his way back or at home and see if he can write his observations.
Hopefully all of them will come tomorrow. Pratima ji had come in the evening and Govind and they discussed Saturday for field visit for the CC's to experience Khel Se Mel(Play for Peace).

I have asked Govind to share his challenges with me tomorrow to see how I can support him.
Well! that's about today.
I also asked Noopur to help me find a apartment and I also posted an add on quicker and got a response for a house somewhere in this locality.
Will try and see it today if possible or tomorrow!
so things are happening!
more tomorrow

 Day 3 / June 21'2013
All 3 turned up today, the 3rd person is Niranjan and not Indrajeet. He is quite an introvert and I hope will open up more as we work more together.
Saurabh has opened up and so has Shyam and I think over a period of time they will start speaking their mind.
So, today Saurabh and Shyam explained to Niranjan what we did on first day, I had to intervene to remind them to ask him to give his opinions.
Later on as I sat with them I was wondering what to do so I asked Ravi if there is any toy left from last trainings. He bought out some stuff. So I took a bangle and thread reels, with their help we attached 4-5 feet strings to the bangle. Then I asked them to tell me in one word what is the big purpose of the project. They came up with the word  "शिक्षा" /education. I gave them a marker and told them that they have to write the word on a chart sheet but they can not touch the marker and can only use the strings. Their was a struggle and when they shared ideas Saurabh insisted that they can lift the marker somehow and tilt it on the bangle ring and try. Shyam said we have to somehow fix the marker in the ring. Niranjan was tentative. Shyam and Niranjan then kind of challenged Saurabh to try his idea.
I again intervened to point to them how they are challenging and sharing their opinion about his ideas. I also asked Saurabh to look at how his insistence on his idea is creating the divide. They tried Saurabh's idea and the marker kept slipping so I told them that they can use a sheet of newspaper. I also told them that they can't hold the marker for writing the word but they can hold it if they are making a contraption.
They made the contraption using paper ring and since it was loose used ice cream sticks to keep the marker fixed.
When we started attempting to write the word. Now Shyam took over naturally and the transition from Saurabh leading for making the contraption to Shyam coordinating the push and pull to write the word was effortless after 2-3 attempts we did quite well I think!
While reflecting on the activity they identified sharing information/coming to consensus/understanding each other and listening to them as key issues. We also discussed "trial and error" vs using consensus as two approaches for solving a problem.
We then did a communication activity where I asked one person to draw a figure using ice cream stick and instruct others to make the similar figure. Obviously they were sitting with their back to each other.
Saurabh made an arrangement where he put all 10 sticks together and made 3 squares and 1 triangle. When it came to communicating he just said, " 3 squares and one triangle". That is it and he left it for them to try and make the same arrangement. They never checked if the resource was same. Shyam and Niranjan had 11 sticks, they first tried making 3 square and one triangle separately.  they kept attempting different things and eventually came very close but not same...also they used more resource.
While reflecting Shyam said he knew that they had 11 and that I spoke of 10 but he assumed that Saurabh will also have 10!
When they looked at what they did, the first instinct of Saurabh was to blame. Then when I asked them how did this happen they agreed that there was gap in what instructions were given and in checking back.
We did the activity again this time asking Niranjan to give instruction, also this time I made the design. Niranjan just could not make the start and was clueless, so Shyam took over and instructed. Once they said they had finished I asked them if they have checked what is been done. So Saurabh explained to Shyam what he had understood. Final product was again different.
So now I asked them to sit side by side and asked Shyam to give instruction. I pointed to him how if instructions were not specific their is lack of clarity and different things will happen.
Then we talked about feedback, they were not familiar with the word and there is hardly any parallel word in Hindi (प्रतिपुष्टि sounds like something to eat). Anyway I explained to them how one way communication or linear uni direction flow is what normally happens and how for the message to reach in its true intent to the receiver the process has to be circular and that's where feedback comes in.
Then using the coin exercise( one we used in last ASF training) we demonstrated how in communication there is no failure only feedback. They agreed that if message is not understood the onus is on sender. We talked about how if a child does not understand something it is a feedback to teacher to change the way message is given. So if 25 children fail in a class of 30 the teacher need to be assessed as having performed only 20% or so!
coin exercise - One person has to close his eyes and is told that there will be a a coin places somewhere in their reach. They have to extend a hand with one finger pointing to the floor. The communicator has to give him sound signals(no language) to help them reach to the coin and touch it. The signals can not be pre-decided.
When I demo'd it with Niranjan it was quite challenging as for a long time he didn't see any meaning of the signal. On couple of occasion he just opened his eyes.his uncertainty also affected my communication and I was not able to establish a pattern. Finally he managed. We then asked him to instruct Shyam and again he was just not ready to do it. So Saurabh tried with Shyam and exhausted himself and I had to jump in. It was quite a task to communicate a pattern and again took a long time before Shyam reached. it was an interesting experience as it was too much a stretch for them to process signals that did not mean anything to them. While talking about it we focused on how if the receiver is not understanding it is a clear cut feedback to try different things.
Shyam reminded me that I had said we will look at how to document the activity. So together we discussed and I showed them the format in which to write the activity. (picture - Traffic jam). I asked them to write the other activities we have done by themselves.
Before ending I again talked about observation and judgement as only Saurabh was their on previous day. Saurabh had talked to Niranjan about it and they shared some observation about what they saw as they came in today. I asked them to make some observation about today and noted down 2-3 sentences. then for clarity I gave them an example of "there are clouds outside" is an observation and "its going to rain" is an assessment.
Then we looked at couple of more example (seeing a tiger the child got scared) one of them said observation and the other said judgement, Saurabh explained why he is calling it a judgement and when I said what will be an observation he explained that "feet started shivering" will be an observation.
In the end I told them that it is essential for them to maintain a diary and write down every day's impression at the end of the day, I said all we need is 10 minutes to do that.
Govind explained what is expected and verbally offered them a format they can use.
I think I will remind them again to ensure they start writing.
Useful day I think,
tomorrow we go in the field so that they can experience Khel se Mel,
oh! yes, Saurabh asked if he can take the print out of left-right brain attributes that I had shared with him y'day. I asked him to explain it to Shyam and Niranjan as they go back and come back with questions next time we meet.
Wow! this is longer then I imagined, do comment if you see any possibilities of what I can offer them in the days I am here.
In Peace

Day 4/ June 22
Field visit
We went to Sakrecha today for a play session for Shyam, Saurabh and Niranjan to have a first hand experience of Play for Peace.
There were few women and girls and some young boys were there, Around 20 of us. Sunil started the session and he was quite tentative in his body language. He then looked at me for support, I was reluctant to jump in but I realized the objective is for our CC's to have an experience so then I took over and played few games. Pratima asked a girl to play a game and she did. Couple of other girls wanted to play one of their favourite so played that also(mera gadha kharidogay). Pratima ji's son played 'oh my chichi'.
Shyam, Saurabh and Niranjan participated. Saurabh was vocal and said whatever he felt appropriate about letting people play or stay out and not force them etc. 

After the session I asked them what was the experience like,
all of them said it was nice,
Saurabh said this is very helpful to relax,
Shyam said he was nervous about what is going on but eventually his anxiety disappeared.
Niranjan said it was first of its kind experience for him and he enjoyed. All of them agreed to that.
I asked them what difference they see in these games from what we normally call games
Shyam immediately said there is nothing like winning or loosing in these games, Saurabh said he was making mistakes on purpose to get more opportunities.
Saurabh said everyone was getting a chance and they were all participating
I asked them how will it help them in their work,
they said it will help them connect with children easily
children can learn through games
I asked them if they have written their diary, Niranjan said he has not. So I again reasserted that they have to maintain a diary. Saurabh showed that he had written the games we had played yesterday. I again asked them to go through the left-right brain write up I had given and come up with questions.
Now when they come on Monday I will give them a write up about Play for Peace to understand the process and the values.
I might also do a behaviour contract with them.
If we have a full office, 7-8 people including them I wonder if we can play in the office for 45-60 minutes.
Tomorrow is Sunday ! may be I will write some recipe if I cook something! :-0
Having Fun

Day 5/ June 25' 2013
I gave both of them a write up about Khel se Mel and asked them to go through it and ask question in case of doubts. They asked for few clarity and later I asked them to explain to Govind what they have understood. We also talked about the core values of Khel se Mel.
I also showed them an example of how a chapter in text book needs to be converted in an activity. It was in a format with objective of the activity and steps of how to do it.
I also asked them to list what are the different aspect of a children's growth and they came up with a list that had physical, mental, Social development, there were some other heads that we discussed falling into Mental growth. I asked them if something is missing and introduced 'emotional growth' we had a long chat where I spoke about emotional growth and how our upbringing comes in our way of emotional growth.
It did get their attention, and they also picked up books and started imagining how it can be dome experientially. We discussed that in a little detail.
IN the afternoon Amarjeet, a BASF(Bihar Ambedkar Student Forum) member came and I asked them to interact with him and find out about how it is set up, what different activities happen and whatever other details they can find out.
From tomorrow I will kind of have 3 session falling into 3 category as I mentioned in earlier mail.
One of the purpose of writing what happened is to see if there is anything missing or need to happen in priority please let me know! Otherwise also any ideas please share with me.
In Peace

Day 6/ June 26' 2013
Today the 2 people came to stay for next few days so that we can spend more time. Govind also joined and we did many activities today.
I asked them to make picture cards using newspaper cutting.
Munna(Animator from Sasaram who has been in our trainings in last 2 years) shared how to make a paper cap with them.
I took them through two story making exercise.
The one line each where in a sequence we say one line each and the next person has to take it forward by adding their one line and so on. There was an initial struggle as they were unsettled by the twist and turns everyone was bringing.
The next was the paper piece story where all of us had a piece of paper that we identified as representing something. I then told them that these are our characters on which we have to write a story. As we proceeded Nirnjan displayed an uncanny sense of humour that caught us by surprise and laughter.
They were happy with the experience and said they had not imagined the possibility of working on stories.
We then discussed elements of a story and different kind of stories. I first asked them to discuss what do a story have. Once they had a list I offered them a structured understanding bu explaining 5W and 1H (What, Where, Who, When, Why and How).
While talking about different kind of stories we used the story premise of Rabbit and tortoise and I demonstrated how the same story with twist can become a comedy, a mystery, a whodunit, a fantasy or any such thing.
Then I asked them to pick up 6 picture cards from 25 they had made and asked them to write a story
While discussing what it means to them to have done this activity and how does it apply in their work, they said some subjects can be taught through stories. I asked them if science or maths can be done, they were not sure so I gave them an example of how and they liked the idea.
Munna Jha from greenpeace was visiting the office and he sat down with them and had a conversation about journalism and alternative media and showed them an initiative of audio reporting where people can just record voice and how it can be shared with the website and uploaded. He asked them what issues they have and they shared with him their views.
I believe the diverse interaction they have with people will also help their world view and make them a more effective learner.
We then had a play session and I asked them to document all the games.
In the night I asked them to pick up any topic in any subject and imagine what will be the objective for children to learn about that topic. I told them that that will be the starting point of converting topic content into an activity. They worked on a topic water and Saurabh drew a flow chart of how a dialogue with question can trigger understanding of the topic that the chapter aims at.
I had thought about sharing multiple intelligence concept with them and do a behavior contract so that the issue of time can be bought to table and ownership be shared. Didn't happen today so those are two priorities for tomorrow.
Still have to do more work on observation so may be will do observation activity with them.
In Peace

Day 7/ June 27' 2013 

Started the day with bit of gaming involving Munna and then Govind and Ashok ji.
Actually the day started earlier with Munna sharing with them his experience about conducting training.
1) a game where first partners balance each other to stretch and sit, lean on each other.
2) a rope pull between 2 people standing in a designated spot with their feet touching each other. Govind was quite good as he dislodged all of us. Niranjan got excited and without telling kept going in.
3) Observation game
we again reflected on observation a bit talking about what it means and how challenging and talked about how it can help us in our work with children
I again asked them to list observation about the rope pull activity. We then spent a significant time distinguishing between observation and assessment.
We talked extensively about it and worked on changing some assessment into observation,
Govind lead part of the discussion to get into observation.
- Multiple intelligence
We also spent quite a lot of time on multiple intelligence. Once I shared the concept with them they got very engaged and I gave them a write up and we discussed it in detail imagining examples. Making observation about self, others .
Govind facilitated part of the discussion when I stepped out.
While talking about Musical intelligence I played Tarabai to give a demo about pitch etc.
 For each category we also reflected on what kind of people have that intelligence. Many times we thought about how a particular intelligence will reflect in a child's appearance/behavior and how we can create learning experience that combine/involves many intelligences .
We broke down musical intelligence into its elements, the melody, rhythm, harmony, composition etc and connected in to things like juggling as having a rhythm/pattern.
We also talked about how some prevailing practices fit into this frame of understanding intelligence , like small children are engaged with nursery rhythm that incorporates, musical, lingual, kinesthetic, and may be logical intelligence.
We talked in detail about logical intelligence when mention of scientific approach came in. We discussed why questioning is discouraged in current system and how it's a tool for keeping the staus-quo.
Towards the evening after playing a short initiative I introduced behavior contract and asked them to imagine the time, the children, commitment , scope, agreement and then reflect on what will help them to work together and what will come in their way.
Making it actionable- for a lot of things they mentioned I asked them to dig deeper to come to specifics so that it is clear what actions of an individual will support or block their working together.
for example for a mention like "we will coordinate" I told them that it doesn't tell me anything about what they will do, after a little reflection they made it - " we will share information about what we are doing regularly"
I also asked Govind to share with them organization/procedural needs like reporting that has to happen. I also Saurabh and Niranjan to think about what will come in their way of informing and after a little pushing they were able to put, "not getting salary in time" as a road block, they also added weekly holiday as a need to help their functioning.
I also shared with them that since they are just starting and still not worked in the field they can revisit their agre

ement later and make changes.
Showed Niranjan the film about "khel se Mel" as he was not there on day one when I have shown it.
 When I asked him what he felt he responded by talking about what were the highlights for him of the film, like children engagement, their taking interest, girls playing etc. i suddenly realized that most of the time when I ask them what was their experience of an activity they respond by pointing to the highlights as per their perception. I am still reflecting on what this means and processing it in my mind!
They kept working documenting what they have learned today even in the night. I am amazed to see that despite all day's engagement they kept going through different sheets and making notes, reading books in the night and also in the morning.

I wrote most of this yesterday fighting with my eyelids, but it had to wait till now so that I can complete it!

Now I am wondering if I need to start a blog...... to share this more ?
any opinions please?

In Peace

Day 8/ June 28' 2013
Today I asked them to start by doing 'commonality' Saurabh, Niranjan with Govind had to find what is common to all 3 of them. They started and got stuck and Govind asked me what are they suppose to talk about. I suddenly remembered about “Communication Triangle”, a eastern model of communication and I shared it with them. 
They then got into conversation and I had to go to finalize the house deal.
Once I was back I checked and they shared with me what commonalities they have found. I asked them to reflect on what level of communication triangle they are at and most of what they had shared was at the level of facts and some of it at the next level of opinions. I asked them to go one level up and share feelings. I prompted them to discuss what makes them angry. They were quite engaged in their conversation.
Next thing was for them to collect whatever they find lying around/junk in the office and terrace in 5 minutes. They had no idea what it involved and I had to assert them to look more and get things. They collected some stuff and went back to their place as if that was the activity :-) . Pointing to a specific spot I asked them to put all those things together and create a scene/something.
They arranged all the stuff and names it “CM ki Gaddi” (Chair of CM).

Reflecting on their experience Gaurav said he liked the fact that they made something from nothing and now he can see use of anything. Niranjan talked about how this is engaging for children. I asked them what areas of multiple intelligence does this activity incorporates and they identified Spatial, logical and interpersonal. Govind suggested kinesthetic and Saurabh asked why and Govind explained it to his satisfaction.

Focusing on earlier activity commonality they agreed that it helped them know each other better and it will affect how they work together. Responding too the question about how they will use it with children, they were curious about what age group children can do this activity. Saurabh made some suggestion about how children can introduce each other and find unknown faces and make groups. Expanding on their understanding I shared how in smaller groups this activity can be done. As I was talking about this activity I started talking about what kind of the activity it is and what they need to do before doing this kind of activity. Then I realized that I can share the nature of activities and the dynamics they create that can be understood with a sequence.
Icebreaking/Deinhibitizing/Trust/Communication/Problem Solving
As I was talking about ice breaking we did 8-step dance while sitting and I explained the nature of ice-breaking activities. Talking about deinhibitizers I pointed to 'commonality' as an example. Distinguishing between the two I shared about physical contact and that in the second stage they can explore 'safe touch'. I also asserted about keeping 'safe touch' in mind while working with children.

As I was explaining trust I made them do a blind walk in the office increasing the challenge of how they were supported when they were blind from physical holding to one point touch and then no touch. They said they were clueless and that they were able to do it as they were able to trust each other. We talked about how trust is a process that evolves when people come to know each other, what helps is more information about each other, getting to know each other, conversations and तालमेल, सामंजस्य(translate in english as coordination or harmony but I find both words passive while the Hindi word has momentum). Which is what first two steps are all about.
The next stage is communication and I pointed to them previous experiences of what happens and e talked about this being about ability to say what one has to and at the same time listen to what others have to say. Again discussing how having trust helps in communication. And how knowing me has helped them express themselves viz-a-viz when they had met me earlier.

 The final stage is 'problem solving' or in Hindi “साथ काम करना" . Here the English word implies working together and I am not sure there is a Hindi parallel. I reminded them of activities we have done that come in that category. I also asked them to look at all the activities we have done so far and put them in an appropriate category.

Post lunch as I sat with Satya I asked Govind to take them through the list of Indicator we have worked on so far and discuss possible activities with them.

Later on we spoke about the indicators and discussed how we can do activities. We discussed possibility of a 120-150 minute session.
I played “what is a human” with them, as we were talking about which activity to do for understanding how is their social awareness and idea about human rights

As they tried explaining what is human we came to a point where we said, “ so is there anything that can define human being per say, one definition for all?”. I shared with them that if they come to this point in the activity they can stop the role play and ask children to reflect on “how can we define a ideal human being” and the next step to see what is missing and why!

While discussing the 'creativity' indicator I told them that they can use the collage from waste activity they did in the morning. I also pointed to them that what they did in the morning, there was a lot of 'taking things for granted' so a broken chair was used a chair, and a bottle as bottle. I challenged them to imagine more and this time using same material make something that is not obvious at all! It was amazing as after some brain storming what they did!

We also discussed how a play session will help us to build connection as well as make observation and collect data for baseline.

Talking about data, as we were discussing qualitative and quantitative I requested Govind to sit with them and explore what indicators will need what kind of data or a combination of it.
 At the end of the day Satya sat with them to check how is it going for them,

Saurabh said he has learned about a new way of being and that he anticipates that there will be some resistance but he feel confident to tackle it. He said that this is like a method to change society, show people an alternate way. He also said that he has learned that we can admit our limitation and we do not have to be master of all. Children will learn to value things when they get these opportunity. He also said he will not bother his younger brother about study and only give gentle reminder.

Niranjan said that this was unique experience, education for him so far was just books, never has anyone talked about curiosity with them. He said he understand that if we build relationship we dont have to worry about discipline. Also they earlier were never conscious of time. He also said he is planning that when he goes back he will take candies for children and ones they come he will share activities with them. 

Day 9 / June 29' 2013

Today started much earlier at around 7.45 when I thought of asking them if they have ever done sudoku, after Swati's suggestion about it in Learning Indicator activity. They had never done it so I asked them to pick one form a newspaper and explained what it is. After attempting it for sometime they were ready to give up and so I sat with them and showed them couple of numbers and couple of ways of calculating it. It took them around an hour to crack it with a nudge here and a question there. They were happy with their accomplishment and they said they can ask children to try it.

Later on we did couple of activities(trust) where 2 people lean on each other for support and have to lean back or sit down and its critical to be alert.

When Govind came he also expressed that it's not something he likes, so I asked both of them to explain it to him.

After some time I gave them a brief about writing story of their name and they started doing it.

Knots – As Sujeevak(Govind) had to do some accounting stuff with Ashok ji, I started sharing with them how to tie some knots. They knew a couple of knots and I also shared with them some knots, we tried doing a 'bow-line' (king of knots) even saw videos, we managed at first but later on when we tired all of us had difficulty. I shared with them how they can use this kind of activities with children and engage them when they have few children and if they are waiting for something/or more children to turn.

Then we shared name story, it was intriguing that both of them had no clue what their name meant :-) not that I knew and later on checked on google so

though Saurav is how he spells it I checked Saurabh and it turns out that it means nectar or fragrance, Niranjan I realized refers to supreme creator (who along with Maya created this world), it means 'pure'.

I asked them what does an activity like this mean to them, and how can it help children. They saw it as something that will connect people together as they know more about each other. We discussed the culture of put down at school and how the outcome of keeping self image of children negative is to reinforce system of oppression. We talked about the people in power and how they will rather have no one questioning what keeps happening. Without referring to Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I asserted that we need to work on positive self image if we want the children to come out of the oppressive system.

Just before lunch they learned 'dam dam dibi dibi' and Pankaj shared 'Hariyali idhar udhar' and wrote it down.

Later in the day Saurav shared that Niranjan had a upset stomach and I asked him why they did not share it so far. Then again demonstrating the scientific approach I asked a series of question,

  • What is the big purpose of this organization ?( oh! That reminds me no one has talked to them about CSEI and what it does, a big picture kind of thing, or at-least this is what they said)
  • What is your role in this?
  • How can you do your job to the best of your ability?

It lead to them saying they need to be safe and with a little push one of them said they need to be in good health! So I pointed to them how they had to seek support at right now so that they are able to function well!

Then all of us sat down for planning. Govind has the whole plan as he has documented it and I think already shared with the format.

It was interesting to see Saurav vocally participating in the process and Niranjan also seeking clarification when required and giving his opinions.

Satya also mentioned his concern about reporting and we discussed need for a daily report and writing down their own experience for their own learning.

Later in the evening Govind and me discussed what we need to observe in learning indicators, what will be the qualitative and quantitative aspect of observation. The format is still in making and everyone's suggestion is required.

While talking about indicator of social awareness we said a small group discussion with children will work best. As we reflected it came up that if there are 30 children, all 3 of them can split and lead 3 groups. As it will require asking searching question we discussed the possibility of a role play for practice when Saurav and Niranjan visit the office on July 5th I think.

As I am writing this I a realizing that practice of some games will also help, so is it possible to play for 30-45 minutes that day as part of the review meeting :-)?Saurav /Niranjan /Govind can lead the session.

Govind and me also discussed about report writing we brain stormed about what can help him.

The Intent

Education and Inclusion

Highest purpose of Education is to liberate us

Liberates us to access our rights and play our role in being equal and demanding equity

Now Picture this:
70-80% children of all ages not going to school.
Those who go do not have basic reading and writing skills even if they have finished primary education.

This is the story of children from Manjhi (Musahar) Community of 6 tolas in Lalsachak Cluster in Dhanrua Block of Patna, Bihar. During an initial survey we found that 250+ children are not even enrolled in schools contrary to what Government will like us to believe.


Through CLAY we aim to bring new realities to manifest in the life of children using experiential learning methodology of Play for Peace.

The first few steps of the programs are

  • Understand learning ability of children through a baseline survey(not through a boring test but with an experiential session designed to observe children in action for their ability in reading/writing, comprehension, focus, curiosity, leadership, interpersonal intelligence, logic etc)
  • Training peer-educators in Play for Peace and experiential learning to create a learning community
  • Offer consistent learning session to children in the age group 10-14 for their growth
  • To focus on developing leadership among children and also making them active players of their surroundings. 

We also hope to build an environment where all Manjhi (Musahar) Children in their communities experience learning as fun and hopefully join schools.

For this we need to work with school and the teachers to make sure there is no discrimination in schools. We are hopeful that 
we will be able to work along with teachers to impact the learning environment of schools to make it fun and inclusive.

Watch this space for more updates....as we take our baby steps.....as that is all we know!