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NIRMAN

Monthly Newsletter: April 2020
Education · Research · Arts
Hello readers, 

We hope you are all doing well and keeping in good spirits. In this month's newsletter, we share our ongoing work as the lockdown continues. We'll tell you about our remote-learning projects in the past month, showcase one of our ex-teachers' experiences of working with us, and give you a glimpse of our farm!
School in the time of a global pandemic
The third week of March was a shock. Our teachers, managers, children, and parents had to come to terms with the fact that we cannot have school like we used to, owing to the worldwide effects of COVID-19, and this might go on beyond June.

We had just begun our annual exams in the second week of March. These had to be called off. In their place, we made take-home assignments for all our students. We did not know that classes would have to change even more. Our teachers and managers continued working from home as decisions were taken and plans were made. In the first week of April, we made and distributed the annual report cards of children and tried to keep our channels of communication open and more effective.

We knew that it would not be an easy decision to begin online classes. We are a school where every teacher knows each parent individually. We knew that live online classes would not be possible for all our parents and students. Therefore we came up with a plan to cater to all children individually. We are doing our online classes through a combination of video classes, audio and video recordings, and worksheets, by making use of WhatsApp chat/groups, emails, and phone calls. Parents are our partners in this, and they are giving us the support we are asking them for.

As a team, our main goal is that wherever our students are, they must stay home, in a safe, healthy environment, and they must continue to learn. We are all busy planning and teaching our classes and making sure that each child understands them well. The need of the hour is demanding that we, as teachers, learn new things, are more creative, and keep improving our plans. We had been trained for this in our teachers’ training and now is the right time to use all our training.
We have uploaded a few videos of our storytelling for everyone to freely watch and enjoy! You can view our entire playlist of stories here.
Singing together is just as important and they help our children stay engaged and gives them a feel of our classrooms! You can view our entire playlist of songs here.
"My experiences at NIRMAN" by Mitali Gupta
Here is an excerpt of a blog written by an ex-teacher, Mitali Gupta, who shares her experiences of working at NIRMAN.
 
"... Initially, I followed the principles of NIRMAN only because the Director, Dr. Nita Kumar, has a long experience in this field. Then one fine day, I got an opportunity to go to Delhi and attend a 2-day seminar on Inclusive Classrooms and other current topics of educational concern and research. And I was amazed, and very proud that we, the teachers at NIRMAN, were incorporating already most of the techniques, which are still a mere dream for most of the schools. Examples of this are inclusive classrooms, multilevel teaching, and designing age-appropriate classes. Later, when I was doing my B.Ed., I could once again feel that whatever I am studying, most of the things I have already applied. And I feel blessed to know beyond my books through my experience at NIRMAN."
Thank you for your wonderful words, Mitali Ma'am! You can click here to read the entire blog article.

If you are would like to contribute something to our blog, please send Harshita a write-up on your experience at NIRMAN, whether it was as a student, teacher, parent, or visitor. Or write to ask@nirman.info!
Farming in Betawar
Although the campuses are closed to children and teachers, we have a rotational duty of staff for the essentials in both. In Betawar, we have been able to keep up outdoor work with Vikas sir, Manoj sir, Ramesh bhaiya, Sunil bhaiya, and Angad bhaiya. The kitchen garden is cleaned up and planted with summer vegetables: eggplant, okra, spinach, squashes, and coriander. We are experimenting with various organic ways of preventing caterpillars and such from devouring our nice veggies before we have a chance to. A space for a flower garden is being cleared, with elaborate dreams of a stream, benches, and all kinds of plants. The trees are flourishing with lots of attention, watering, and 'gorai'. All around us, in the village, wheat is being harvested, and cows and buffaloes are being bathed and cared for, and this helps us feel that the important work of life continues even during troubled times.
Want to read more about NIRMAN's work? Subscribe to our blog!
We are accepting admissions for 2020-21! Click to view our admission brochure.
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NIRMAN · N-1/70 Nagwa · Varanasi 221005 · India

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