Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] For India?

From: mbi <mbi_at_joy.ocn.ne.jp>
Date: Thu Dec 12 22:33:00 2002

This is very interesting to me, Jerry! Right now, I am trying to arrange
for a First Nations person from my hometown to come to Japan and meet with
the Ainu. I'm learning a lot. This person wrote a book of interviews about
people's experience at the local residential school, one of the many that
has been through the Canadian courts. No further indictment of the current
education system needed. (And we all lived right there and didn't know,
didn't do!). Anyway, it's enough to turn you into Guy Fawkes, wanting to
hold bonfires in schools and government offices!

I visited a very interesting site called Cultural Survival, which as a group
has also been trying to fund a project to document Ainu culture. The
problem here seems to be less of forced assimilation and cultural violence
than plain ignoring and writing them out of the law books, so there are some
interesting empowerment issues if I can actually manage to bring some people
together.

Would love to hear more about your experience to help us along, Jerry.

Have just finished watching AERO's Summerhill and Democratic Meetings video.
The latter, especially should be part of everyone's library. I was
wondering, Jerry, if I could try to summarise what I learned with you,
either on this list or off?

I really respect what you are doing to put people together and give some
tools for figruing out how to do all this. Watching the video gave me a lot
more insight. I will have to go shopping at AERO again.

Alison

----- Original Message -----
From: <JerryAERO_at_aol.com>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 8:47 AM
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] For India?

> Dear Ranajit:
> From my experience in India I completely agree with you. I was once asked
to
> go to help a native American tribe in Northern Ontario. Their had moved
back
> to their ancestral land, but this was not recognized by the government, so
> there was no help with education, they had no school, and the kids were
> illiterate. In two weeks I helped them realize that they had the resources
> within their tribe to start their own school. All they needed was some
> empowerment. Once their school was started, the government was obliged by
> treaty to support it, and they have been thriving for ten years now.
>
> There are many villages in India where there are no schools at all. I
think
> it would be possible for teams to go from village to village, empowering
> parents and other interested people to use their own resources to create
an
> environment which would support learning for their children. In fact, I
> presented this idea when I spoke at the conference in Pune and the idea
was
> well received.
>
> Jerry
>
> In a message dated 12/11/02 8:28:39 PM, ranajit_chatterjee_at_yahoo.com
writes:
>
> << Well in a country of over a billion the possibility
> to find parents of many different categories are
> quite high.
>
> > I have heard that that changes have
> > taken place and that children of today have more
> > freedom than ever before. If this is true, then a
> > few schools in the large cities or residential
> > schools for the super rich kids could be possible.
>
> In fact my optimism about the possibilities in
> India comes from quite opposite end of the spectrum.
> In communities where there is a long tradition of
> following convention and receiving the 'fruits' of
> conventional education policies - it is expected to
> be more difficult to convince many of the parents
> to choose some un-trodden path for their kids.
> But unlike the situation in many other countries
> the 'center of gravity' of access to education in
> India is quite shifted towards the 'have-nots'.
> And if some feasible option can be made available to
> the parents who cant even think of having even a
> preliminary education for their children -
> philosophical resistance might be the last thing one
> need to worry about. Which makes a vast open ground
> available to experiment with out-of-the-way systems
> to prove the benefits. And as more precedence will be
> available within the familiar socio-economic setting
> - the part of 'convincing parents' may become less
> complex.
>
> But the issue remains a daunting task more from the
> point of economic feasibility and finding people - who
>
> inspite of being brought up in conventional systems -
> could managed to unlearn the imposed thought and value
>
> structure for better.
>
> Looking forward to keep hearing from you.
>
> Best,
>
> Ranajit >>
>
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Received on Thu Dec 12 2002 - 22:32:39 EST

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