The Roads to Schools
Every morning when I go to school, I get to witness and experience the utmost beauty of nature. Imagine driving through dense forests on curvy roads with bridges, raindrops falling over you, rays of sunlight crossing through forests, and the chirping of birds, insects, and reptiles crawling across the road. I see people beginning their day, walking with wood on their heads, collecting forest products, and small, no-cost, local sustainable shops beside highways where you can find women selling mangoes, local drinks, local mushrooms, and green veggies from their kitchen gardens.
Apart from all these natural beauties, what’s important to observe are the local contextual things: the people, their attire, their day-to-day livelihood activities, the things they carry, their food choices, local plants, local insects, reptiles, their festivals, culture, local fruits, and livelihood options.
There are many more beautiful things that can be understood and experienced only once you go and visit the tribal villages. “Stay there and experience it to the fullest with an open mind”.
Contextual Education in the Classroom
We at Shiksharth work on bringing contextual education into the school. And all this can’t be bought if we just go into the classroom with a lesson plan and come back. We need to observe and reflect on what is in our surroundings and see how we can incorporate these elements into our classroom conversations. There are a number of contextual things that can be used in pedagogy. All we need to do is give time to these things, going to the community beyond our work, learning from the community, and bringing their local knowledge and practices into the classroom. Having a learning space that is created by the community will result in a sustainable and effective practice.