Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shikshan Samwaad

Shikshan Samwaad
3rd – 4th – 5th March 2008
Adharshila Learning Centre
Venue : Village Sakad, P.O. : Chatli, Via Sendhawa, District Badwani, Madhya Pradesh.

Dear friends

This year the Adharshila Learning Centre is completing ten years. We started working with children after working in an adivasi organisation for about fifteen years. The main aim of starting this experimental journey, was to see, what role can education play in people’s struggles and movements for social and political change.

During our work in the sangathan we experienced that the educated section always stayed away from the struggle. Most of the time their role was to oppose the struggle and not just stand aloof. We realized that during the 12 – 15 years of schooling they learnt to look down upon their society and became totally alienated from their people and society. In these years the system teaches them to leave whatever is theirs - clothes, language, knowledge, values etc. and dawn a new attire – they are told that this is the way to become civilized. There are very few exceptions whose hearts and head remain in the right place even after long years of schooling.

Can anything different be done in education ? Can the youth while studying, or after studying, contribute to the work of social change or is the role of education only to help them join the mainstream ? And is this the only way out for the poor ? While starting Adharshila, there were many questions like these in our minds.

Should the peoples’ organizations concerns about the issues of education be limited to demands for making govt. schools run more efficiently and making the govt. system more strong? Or can we go beyond this and start thinking about strategies of transferring the thoughts and ideas born out of struggle, to the next generation ?

Every economic and political system designs an education system to serve it’s interests. What is the design for education of children in the minds of people / organisations who are engaged in struggles for a more just and equal society ? Can education play a role in realizing the dream of a just, humane and more egalitarian society, a new human being ? Or will the market eat up all the educated ?

We have organised a three day dialogue on education - Shikshan Samwaad – to understand, in depth, the linkages of education and social/political change and the emergent possibilities for groups involved in people’s struggles.

The sessions have been broadly divided in the following manner. This is not final. You can give suggestions as soon as you get this.

· The first day will go in understanding the viewpoint and work, regarding children and youth, of the various social/ political movements of the past, in India and elsewhere – Dalit, Gandhian, Socialist and the left movements. We are trying to call people involved in these movements or people who have studied these.

· The second and third days will be devoted to understanding, what role can education play in the long term struggle of social/ political change. In these sessions the main players will be the leaders of the various struggling groups/ organisations.

· If it is felt that there is a need to take up education as a proactive agenda, then the concluding sessions will be devoted to thinking of various strategies to do this and ways to deal with the various challenges that confront us in doing this.

So friends, come prepared to battle with questions related to education, for three days. You can bring documents, posters, pamphlets, books, films or anything which you would like to share with others.

We request and insist at the same time that you please take time off from your busy schedule for this dialogue, and spend time with us from 3rd to 5th March. We request you to reach here by 2nd evening. Feel free to inform and bring other interested people with you.

Please inform us by phone of email.

Adharshila Learning Centre, Badwani, M.P.
Adivasi Mukti Sangathan, Badwani, M.P.
Manthan Learning Centre, Rajasthan
Sobran Smruti Shikshapeeth, Jharkhand
Rani Kajal JeevanShala, Jhabua, M.P.
SRUTI, Delhi

Contact –
Jayashree – Amit at 09425981606 or email at adharshila.learningcentre@gmail.com

Arvind Anjum at 09431113667 Devendra – Sudhi at 09413103171
Bijoy - 09425364761 Kemat Singh – 09424005490
Rohit Jain – 011 26964946