While schools have been closed, we've been looking for alternative ways to support the school into the future. The Unschooled online magazine began as a seed of an idea, dreamt up by one of our resident yoga teachers with the goal of funding the education of our children whilst sharing our love of learning and discovery of our world, with the world.
If you haven’t guessed already, the subscription-based magazine is named after our founder, the ‘Unschooled’ Sadhguru, who as a young boy would find in every puddle and ditch, a laboratory, and in every tree and bush of the jungle, a library.
Living off-the-grid naturally invokes a process of hands-on learning of ‘basics’, taken for granted in cities and developed countries; at the same time we're surrounded by a riot of birds, insects, reptiles, mammals, forests and landscapes which all clamour to be drunk in. The Unschooled aims to lead you into this magical yet practical interior, while placing it in our local context of culture, geography, folklore and beyond. We hope that children around the world will find it an adventurous learning resource. The Unschooled launches in mid Summer 2021 through www.theunschooled.org (currently under developed).
Home Workbook Learning
How do you keep learning going in a rural area when schools are closed, and parents do not have the financial ability to access the internet for their children, and still maintain social distancing protocol? Middle and upper income families have been able to continue their children's education though meet platforms and chat applications like Whatsapp. For families around Sadhguru School, even a phone call can be a challenge due to lack of phone charging facilities, and the natural priority given to planting and harvesting can further reduce the chances of catching a family 'in reception'.
We started by broadcasting a range of carefully chosen stories morning and afternoon on local radio, but soon realised this was not having enough reach. So we created the home workbook learning programme, while still being able to follow the mandated safety operating procedures. Teachers have been designing multiple booklets covering maths, literacy, geography/science and art which we have been delivering to each home. Through all weathers we have kept up regularly visiting the children to help them with these carefully designed workbooks, and to continue the Montessori learning 'in the field' of reception and year 1.
We are the only rural school in Uganda to have offered such support under the more challenging conditions presented by no internet. The images below are a small testimony to the past few months.
What Words Can't Capture
It is with tremendous gratitude we would like to thank you all for maintaining your support for the school during this extremely difficult period for everyone; we have been deeply touched that during this time not a single recurring monthly donation has been curtailed, much to our surprise and joy. While fundraising has almost come to a standstill, these have been our lifeline. Wishing you all the necessary ease and flexibility to sail through whatever challenges the coming, still uncertain, months may bring.