October 05, 2009
Recognizing what we are made up of
For weeks before the Puja holiday break, it was clear that something was UP at Shikshamitra. Kids were huddling in groups, walls were being taken down, decorations were being hung up, there were rehearsals and practice sessions, things were getting cleaned up and there was an overall feeling of determination in the air. Sometimes instructors at schools might feel that having a big event takes away important classroom time but from what we could see, the kids were doing some of their most important learning in the weeks leading up to the Annual Function, held on 14 September, 2009, just before school was to let out for a long holiday.
The children themselves put together their skits and worked with the dance teacher to choreograph new pieces. They made invitations and invited their families and friends from the neighborhood. And while the kids were busy making their own preparations to wow the audience, teachers were also working on their own presentation: the Awards Ceremony that would be held in between the acts created and performed by the children.
At every school, children are awarded for good performance in certain subjects but at Shikshamitra we like to think that academics alone do not make up the student and we try to look at the growth and personal performance of each individual as well. This year, the awards that were presented to our students were based on total performance of the child throughout their stay at Shikshamitra. For some this meant four years, for others it meant six months.
Sudeshna and Kasturi called Samrat's grandmother out of the audience and up to the stage to help award the following unique honours to our students:
For SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Biki, Mohan, Sajahan, Hasna, Ador, Boloram, Chaitali
For EAGERNESS TO HELP / COOPERATION: Boloram, Ador, Babai, Samrat, Chaitali, Hasna, Rajesh
For CONTRIBUTION IN DISCUSSIONS: Shantanu, Sajahan, Biki, Indu, Hasna, Rohit, Samrat
For EAGERNESS TO KNOW AND LEARN: Shantanu, Rohit, Neha, Sajahan, Hasna
For BRINGING A SEA OF CHANGE IN ONESELF: Priyanka and Samrat
For ART: Noor, Sajahan, Rohit, Babai, Mohan, Biki, Ador , Bijoy
For CRAFT: Babai, Rajesh, Boloram, Ador,
For DANCE: Chaitali, Rohit, Anita, Priyanka, Indu, Rahul
For ACTING: Rohit, Shantanu, Babai, Ador, Mohan, Biki,
For WRITING: Anita, Indu,. Pradip, Kakoli, Biki, Sajahan,
For HELPING YOURSELF TO GROW: Hasna and Sajahan
For OUTSTANDING PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Biki
For PARTICIPATION AND EFFORT BY NEWCOMERS: Sahidur and Dinesh
Besides the beautiful dance performances that showed what the children have been learning in the dance class over the past few months, there were other acts that were noteworthy. Bikey and Mohan wrote and performed a small skit about two guys sitting at their local tea shop, talking about Rabindranath Tagore – his works and ideas – on his birthday. One of the two guys was preparing for his Class X exam through the open school system named after Rabindranath (Rabindra Mukta Vidyalaya), so the other was curious to know if the board was named after the poet and educationist known for his alternative and open school experiment at Santiniketan. Another performance, which almost everyone took part in was called "Noise in the Kitchen," and was created by the students based on a story a previous teacher had told to them. All the performances were full of fun and we witnessed some fine hidden talent too!
It was an evening of magic, everyone was smiling and feeling a sense of having really accomplished something. Let's hope everyone comes back after the Puja break ready to unleash this determination once again for the new session!