Kaveri is a real star. You might have noticed — from my regular postings — that I’m impressed with her. She’s personable, a smart cookie and a wonderful help for me in the new challenging situation without Manjula by my side.
Manjula’s Mysore and I are committed to supporting Kaveri where we can and sponsoring her education. We hope some of our community of guests help out a bit too. But what options are the best?
So I had to do some research. I read up about it,
I have two adult sons and a granddaughter, my first career was as a social worker with children and families, then a manager of welfare services in government, worked on developing partnerships in the UK and India but you can never know too much, obviously. This is very challenging for all concerned.
So I’ve got a bit of experience at all sorts of different levels, communities and cultures.
But I know you can never have enough knowledge, insights, awareness, empathy and understanding. Even more challenging, I’m not part of the family and need to be completely in tune with their needs and wishes.
I’ve discussed the situation with a network I’ve created of educationalists, social workers, psychologists
But most importantly fully involved (including visits to schools) her mum, and madam herself.
so what’s to do?
There is a clear preference, from the family, for Kaliyuva Mane — A school FOR children and home for learning founded by M R Ananth Kumar.
It’s a free residential school for children in Kenchalagudu on the outskirts of Mysore.
I first visited the school on a cycle yatra over ten years ago. It was featured in my article
It’s child centred
It focuses on the needs of the child and so it is outside the mainstream system. It’s similar to the alternative schools found around the world.
But it’s residential.
I wonder if that’s best for an eight year old maybe in the circumstances its exactly what’s required.
You might be wondering, how did it get to this? who is Kaveri and why am I proposing that we support her?
I’m concerned that the school systems globally are not ‘fit for purpose’, in that they are more like sausage factories and don’t properly cater for the whole person and their diverse needs.
Not unlike this…..
I have also consulted books such as those by Ken Robinson, visited schools and discussed the situation with friends in Mysore and elsewhere.
In mysore we have a full range of options, not only Kalyuva Mane, and Arivu which offer something a little different, there’s also the full range of government, religious/trust and private schools covering the many curricular available in India.
There’s even agile Shala with its programme, online and education centres another valuable alternative.
What a super range of options.
I was seriously impressed and then bowled after meeting wonderfully articulate, well rounded children who’s parents provide ‘home’ schooling.
So, why the interest?
I have a particular young girl in mind. You’ve guessed it?
I’m trying to find out what would suit Kaveri
Most importantly I’ve discussed with Kaveri and her mum, it’s obviously their decision.
Almost thirteen years ago — shortly after I’d moved to Mysore — a group of us cycled to visit local community projects.
I wrote about it in the local paper ‘The Star of Mysore’
Organised by Sham Sunder from the National institute of Engineering here in Mysore we met activists to learn about their strong social and environmental conscience and the active projects they’d created.
One of the places we visited was Kaliyuva Mane — a school FOR children. A free residential alternative to traditional schools.
This was going to come back into my life in a very satisfying way.
In the past week Kaveri has attended a market with children selling their artistic creations, meeting the rich mix of Mysore Bed and Breakfast guests, attended a classical (grand) piano concert, and today visited three child focused alternative schools we’re considering for next year.
She left people impressed with her articulate English, and friendly confidence.