Ali’s Story

ANANDA the remedial school

AMMT started its field visits in state run schools with the tacit objective of working with children with Learning Disabilities (LD). As expected, we would be accosted with a wide range of scenarios . From near-empty classrooms, to classrooms packed to the brim with children. Infrastructure could range from utterly appalling to just about passable. Teacher attitudes could range from total apathy and cynicism to one of desperation.

However, one constant that struck us with unfailing regularity is that wherever classes would be on, children looked desperately bored by what was happening inside the classroom. Even in the best of the MCD schools, it seemed to us that the kids were there more out of compulsion than out of choice. The other constant was the total lack of awareness about LD’s. Nobody, just nobody, had any clue about what LD’s were. For teachers, parents, and administrators, 50 % of all children in these schools were, supposedly, “Na-Layeks” !

Two years of teaching the “Na-Layeks” inside MCD schools down the line , we were ready to open AMMT’s own remedial school in East Delhi, ‘ANANDA’ was opened in January 2015 in Kalyanpuri.

ANANDA’s Pedagogy

ANANDA has been developing a pedagogy that we believe is possible to be replicated for poor children in government schools, provided the higher authorities in educational administration in the country decides to minimize rote learning in our schools. It is based on our belief that every child, with or without any neurological affliction, has a strength and a talent in some direction. The ANANDA pedagogy It is geared to discovering the strength and the interest of a child and to channelize that interest into a love for literacy. We do it with love and care that every child deserves. And we make do with inexpensive, free and waste material.

Generally we never start our lessons with letters of the alphabet, which are meaningless symbols for the kids. We start with stories, then move on to keywords and only then move to letters, usually with flash cards in a game like situation.

Role plays, drama, music and dance are essential elements in our teaching.

Sessions of painting and craftwork improve their motor skills and happiness, unhindered by adult supervision

Monitoring change

Improvement in academic performance is monitored regularly by teachers in individual folders for children. Assessment to monitor improvement in psychometric parameters such as attention span. IQ and self esteem of the children are done periodically under the expert supervision of a leading clinical psychologist, Prof. Malavika Kapoor, a valuable member of our Advisory Council.

‘Slow children’

ANANDA has a specialized “Slow Children Unit’ (SLU) where additional time and effort is given to identified slow learners. The effort is to develop a method whereby one can facilitate the integration of these children in the general class.

Basic Principles of ANANDA Pedagogy.

The document on BPAP encapsulates the philosophy of the ANANDA Pedagogy and provides a ready reckoner for teachers for zeroing in on the correct method of teaching.