The Self-Learning Curve
- Learning Societies Conferences: Held annually in different locations, they bring together people who want to nurture diverse learning communities, vernacular traditions and intercultural dialogue. Have taken place in Udaipur, Mumbai, Brazil, Jordan, Pakistan, Iran and Himachal Pradesh.
- Shikshantar: Based out of Udaipur, Shikshantar is an alternative learning space that supports organic farming, sustainable living, community networks and practices, indigenous culture and knowledge streams and the gift culture economy.
- Swaraj University: A two-year learning programme that helps young learners to develop the skills, knowledge and perspectives they need to create viable green-collar enterprises and to support healthy and resilient local communities.
- Gandhi Ashram: Located in Chhatarpur, MP. All activities at the ashram relate to Gandhian thought, whether it’s directly teaching it or, for eg, employing it in an organic farm. It has activities, workshops and camps that focus on work that is constructive and creative, and suitable for all age groups.
- Deer Park, Bir, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh: Centre for study of classical Indian wisdom traditions
- Vidya Ashram: Located in Sarnath, UP, the ashram emphasises the importance of “lok vidya” or folk knowledge and finds extraordinary ways to cultivate and preserve it.
“Did you learn the most important lessons of your life in school?” asks Manish Jain, an educationist. He has asked this question to over 5,000 people till date and the answer has always been in the negative. Always. The question goes to the heart of what we ‘brand’ as learning. To most of us, schools that teach the three Rs and a set syllabus is an integral part of our children’s education, the key to a secure future. But now there are a healthy number of parents in Pune, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and even smaller cities like Udaipur, Surat and Varanasi, who are questioning this practice.