‘Education should be complete, reasonable and open’ – this is the thought that Jane Sahi, the charming educator at Sita School, seeks to promote. With a green space, some dogs, a lot of trees and open air ‘classrooms’, we encountered a school that was nourishing, healthy, abundant and in communion with nature.
Sita school was founded by Jane Sahi in 1975 as a learning space for children in and around the village of Silvepura, about 60 kilometres from the Bhoomi College campus.
Since its inception more than four decades ago, the school has been helping the village community (which then lacked a basic primary school) receive a decent education. Through the years, it has also been incorporating the ideals of collaboration, artistry and place-based education in its practice of imparting education.
The first impression of the place that one gets upon crossing the tree-shaded path is that of serenity, followed by the shouts and ramblings of 15-odd children, which makes for a very contented atmosphere.
Then Jane arrives and the round of introduction begins. She came here to start the school in 1972. Since then, she has seen the ups and downs in the school’s journey, the happy times and the sad. In this journey, she has also written a number of books on education, books for children and books for educators.
After talking to her on the various issues of education in depth, she came across as an authority on alternative education as well as on the future of education in the country.
Later, we took a tour of the school and came across a wonderful library, where kids not only read books, but also ‘create’ books.
Sita School presented us with many paths along which education can and should be pursued and imparted. The school shows that learning can be a fun engagement, as opposed to standard classroom teaching patterns in many well-recognised schools.