March 31, 2014 – Graduation Day!

March 31, 2014 – Graduation Day!

Like all graduation day rooms the first floor of Ratan Tata Institute was full of mixed feelings, there was a sense of achievement, a sense of satisfaction, completion, belonging, happiness, a tinge of sorrow about separation, apprehension about when will we see all again, the anxiety about life ahead and to top it all, the excitement of wearing the graduation hat with the certificate in the hardworking hands.

With chief guests, Miss Zenobia Adajamia, Mrs. Acharya and Teenaz Reporter the occasion was greeted by the head of Activity Infant School, Le Ecole and Aseema along with the supportive and proud parents, relatives and friends of the graduating batch of 2014 and of course the faculty members. The journey so far and ahead was and is about the child after all; and hence the occasion would have been incomplete if the child was not remembered at that special moment. The importance and relevance of the philosophy was viewed in aspects like education, history, child and life as a whole by Miss
Pareecheher Daviarvalla, Miss Ruhi Marne, Mr. Vijaykumar M, Mrs. Geetashri Shetty, Miss Afrooz Farmanbordari and Mr. Harikumar V, all coming from different paths of life. Yet among these differences there ran a common thread that the learning over the past eight months was the panacea for the crisis.

Then as the cameras clicked and flashed the certificates were handed over to their proud owners. As the excitement ebbed so did the crowd, the silent goodbyes replaced the loud cheers and an unarticulated scent of love and belonging settled in the tranquility of the space.

Education – such a familiar term
Every nook and corner a discussion so predictable
Whirlwind of sporadic actions to untangle the quagmire
Alas! To provide fixes at a level so secondary!
What then, where to, for what for whom as the questions crowd,
It’s the child! It’s for life! It dawns suddenly
The answer so obvious so obscure
Child – a term much misunderstood
For we, we the adults perceive our souls as supreme, with the authority to diminish a growth to force our
thoughts on a life that’s just blossoming, to encroach upon the freedom, to assume their needs to provide
things unworthy and then….. claim our unconditional love with so many conditions applied
Now, these texts as I read and understand,
the image gets redrawn
Child – an individual with an identity, with a personality of his own
Who are we then?
Fellow beings of a community so same, a support system, a pebble by the stream to direct the flow
A revelation, a realization of the identity of not just the child but also me

Ruhi Marne
2014 Cohort
RTI Montessori Training Centre, Mumbai

Four years back I decided to change the world, though I haven’t yet, I have learnt a lot of things during this period and would like to speak of the two main learnings I have had. First, I don’t want to change the world. It was Gijubhai’s novel ‘Divaswapna’ where I was introduced to the word ‘Montessori’. A brilliant book that transformed by views on education and children; I recommend all to read it once. Gijubhai was a Montessorian and then I wanted to be one.

For me Montessorian is a person with answers and I have a philosophical perspective to hold this view. Historians from Herodotus to Bertrand Russell have proved to us the basic nature of a man is
vileness. History is just a series of war for us. In philosophy from Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Voltaire, Nietzsche and almost all smart philosophers have spoken about the wickedness of man’s nature. Socrates even got killed for speaking against the people. The answer was very simple but the question so hard to conceive. What is the nature of a man? The French enlightenment gave us Rousseau who said ‘l’homme de la nature et de la verite’ (The man of nature and truth). Everyone laughed at Rousseau and the failure of French revolution added oil to the fire.

Dr. Montessori a simple woman from a very rigid Catholic community provided an extremely simple answer to this difficult question that revolutionized education and philosophy. It gave an alternative in the quest for understanding of the human nature. In words very lucid she said ‘ If we wish to discover a pure being, a being who has neither philosophical ideas nor a political ideology and is equally removed from both, we will find this neutral being in the child’. The child was the answer for centuries of philosophical war. Human nature should be studied from a child not from an adult.

The second learning I have had is, ‘I know I don’t want to change the world but I know how to change the world. All I have to do is to indoctrinate the child’s mind and soul with love only love’. The revolution will happen again, our children will lead us this time. Guillotine will no more cut head but hatred.

Vijay Kumar M.
2014 Cohort
RTI Montessori Training Centre, Mumbai