I chose to do a course on holistic education at Bhoomi because I wanted a transition to the field of education from the corporate sector, where I worked for close to a decade as an HR professional. The trigger for the change in career was having a child and spending time with him in his learning pursuits. I realised I enjoyed learning and facilitating children learn. I had read about alternate schools and since my education was primarily mainstream, l was interested in working in alternate schools. Also, I hoped to understand myself better through this.
The whole idea of schooling as modelled on factories and children being groomed to become good industrial workers is a sad commentary on education today. I reflected on my own schooling and wanted to do my bit to see that the same thing should not be repeated for the coming generations. Holistic nutrition was an unexpected thing I came across at Bhoomi College.
We also learnt much more about the importance of the processes of learning. About theatre, which can enhance learning, multiple ways of presenting content to children and many more aspects of experiential and holistic learning. It was a bonus that I discovered. Aspects about myself, which I was not aware of, while others got reconfirmed. But the things I learnt, are so relevant, especially for children in the days of chemical ridden processed foods that children eat. Being a hardcore non-vegetarian all my life, it was an eye opener for me to know how the human digestive canal is not suited for eating meat since it is much longer like a herbivore’s and not like those of a carnivore.
The concept of our blood being alkaline, and hence, we should eat sufficient alkaline food, i.e, fruits and vegetables was also new; also the importance of eating millets not only from the perspective of our health but also thinking about the water crises, since millets need less water and also about public health since they are extremely nutritious.
I am more tolerant of the diversity around me. I learnt to focus on strengths and not be bothered by the areas of ‘weaknesses’. I learnt about what my filters are and how I happen to judge people through them.
Instead of breaking up learning into different subjects one should lay emphasis on the connectedness and relatedness of everything and value ‘wholeness’. This can be called the basis of holistic enquiry.
Lastly, “A teacher is a guide on the side, not a sage on a stage.”
The resource persons I met through this course have kindled a fire somewhere, which I carry with me as I come to the end of this programme. It has made a difference in the way I think and live. Hopefully, I will be able to make a difference to someone else’s life.
I am reminded of an Urdu quote: “Main akela hi chala tha, janib-e-manzil magar, log saath aate gaye aur kaarwaan banta gaya.” (I started walking alone towards the destination but people kept coming with me and it has become a group now.)