Aspects of Implementation
The SNS approach to implementation ideally requires that all stakeholders be involved
in the process of implementation including some of the potential students and community
members. They should first be brought together for a meeting to discuss and study
this curriculum and to make recommendations for any additional elements or changes.
After this, they should discuss those themes and issues that are locally most relevant.
As the curriculum is extensive and there are many themes and issues that will be
included for optional study, local stakeholders may choose some aspects/themes above
Such a participatory exercise should also be seen as orientation of the stakeholders,
not only the teachers. As the curriculum is quite different from what is generally
expected, and since it is possible to involve in this program all age groups within
a community, all should ideally be involved from the beginning of the implementation
process. This is so that they can understand why this would be valuable for their
children, youth and adults. They should be explained why they should invest their
time in this kind or any kind of education.
Since much the SNS curriculum can also be studied at a slower pace within the home
with some help from outsiders, making rural and urban populations aware of what
is possible through this curriculum will greatly increase its demand. Such awareness
can best be built when discussions and consultations are carried out before embarking
on the project.
A lot of flexibility has been built-in within the SNS educational program so that
locals can make a significant contribution to its success and teachers can, without
much creative work of their own, modify the curriculum to suit local needs. For
example, if a suggested theme is study of the plants and these plants are not locally
available, these could be easily modified by the teacher or students.
Local implementing agencies may need to provide training in a local language as
well. In this case, the same worksheets as included in the SNS program can be re-done
in the local language. We feel that in this millennium English be taught in all
classrooms as it promises to be increasingly important in the rapidly emerging global
community. With the increased availability of the internet, we want our students
to make most of their opportunities. Computers and internet are getting cheaper
by the day and many donor agencies are also eager to provide the underprivileged
access to these, such as Schools Online and I*Earn organizations among others.
Before adopting the SNS program, each community also needs to first determine whether
their students can, after completing the SNS program, join regular schools beyond
grade 5. Some of the Indian States legislate what should be taught even to the youngest,
others provide enormous flexibility in designing for the kindergarten and primary
levels but control the higher grades. Many NGOs follow already existing curriculums
such as CBSE/NCERT and may therefore be unable to follow a new curriculum in its
Where possible, accreditation and recognition should be sought for the SNS curriculum
from local/regional/state level legislators. Efforts should be made to bring the
curriculum to the knowledge of the government authorities in your area so that properly
recognized certificates can be issued where needed and students are not left at
Our practical experience has shown, however, that recognitions are not important
for this age group for further admission. After completing our DEVI course in non-formal
education (which is not accredited by the government), students are readily able
to get into schools beyond grade 5. These schools tend to examine the ability of
the child rather than rely upon recognized certification to determine admission
at this age.
A video will be made of a training program first perfected with a few groups of
teachers. Such a video will be made available to all implementing agencies and groups
that are interested in training teachers to undertake this curriculum.
Teachers will be prepared and trained in this new curriculum first before they embark
on a teaching program. Eventually, a video will be made of this training program
so that teachers can review their understanding through their local implementation
agency, such as a local NGO or institution.
The objective will be to focus on the training of trainers, such as NGO staff, who
manage non-formal training centers. They will in turn train their own teachers who
work at these centers.
Parent and Community Involvement
Role of the Parent
Parents should not fail to acknowledge any good deed done by the child
Parents should model respect for people of all religions, races, nationalities and cultures.
In the family, the parents should have a compatible relationship so that a peaceful environment is created in order to bring joy and happiness to the child’s life, the absence of which impedes the emotional and spiritual development of the child
All family members should assemble together at least once a day for saying prayers.
Read age-appropriate values-based literature to their child
Provide age-appropriate games and play material to promote curiosity and exploration (no violent or dangerous toys)
Talk to the child about the importance of respect for God, other people, animals and environment
Be affectionate with their child (touching, caressing, massage, etc.)
Pray with the child and teach the child prayers
Provide positive role models for their child
Maintain a loving relationship within their family (parent-parent and parent-child)
Maintain active, loving communication (both verbal and non-verbal) with the child
Gradually expose their child to a diversity of safe and stimulating environments
Role of the Mother as First Educator
- By doing the stated things she is predisposing the child to acquiring good values.
- While the child is in the womb, the mother’s responsibility is to create conditions that will allow for her child to develop optimally
- Means that she should
- have positive thoughts
- pray & meditate
- avoid drugs& alcohol
- eat healthy food
- talk to the child
- listen to peaceful music
- read good literature
- As much as possible, the parents should create a home environment that is clean, hygienic, and stress-free.
- It is important that prospective parents be offered parenthood training classes before the birth of their child so that they are well prepared to receive the child.
- While the child will not possess universal values while in utero, he / she will be born with a predisposition to acquire these values.
Role of the Father as First Educator
The father should be supportive in every way:
"The first essential is that the teacher should go through an inner, spiritual preparation - cultivate certain aptitudes in the moral order. This is the most difficult part of her training, without which all the rest is of no avail. . . Ability to do this can only be attained through a genuine effort at self-perfection." -- Dr. Maria Montessori
Teacher Preparation (a preliminary draft)
Educators are defined as the people who have an influence, direct or indirect, on a person’s learning. Included as principal educators are parents, teachers, siblings, extended families, peers and other significant persons in child’s life. The media also can have strong influence as educators on a child’s learning.
The role of the educator is of paramount importance. The quality of relationships between a student and his/her educator highly influences the outcomes of a learning situation, whether it be at home, school, play-field or excursion.
The educator allows for learning activities to take place by arranging the environment and guiding the student’s interactions within that environment.
An Ideal SNS Teacher personifies eternal moral precepts and values and is a living embodiment of the finest human virtues. Always warm and pleasant, an ideal SNS Teacher is a master of the fine art of teaching without preaching, guiding without leading.
An ideal SNS teacher is a torchbearer of truth, laboring to light the lamp of wisdom in the minds of children enabling them to illumine their souls.
An ideal SNS Teacher is a wellspring of love and compassion, a source of succor and joy to all, and an active agent of social transformation fully aware of their responsibility as a catalyst for social growth and progress.
An Ideal SNS Teacher is a teacher round-the-clock, always acutely aware of the profound and far-reaching impact that her smallest action can create.
The Ideal SNS Teacher is a teacher with a student’s heart, always eager to explore, learn, probe and absorb more and more.
A teacher in the SNS Program of Education is a resource person and a facilitator. As his or her classroom will consist of mixed abilities and possibly also ages, a teacher should be able to work with several groups of students within the same classroom. This will not be possible with a talk and chalk method alone and will require a teacher to move between groups of students who will automatically pair up according to ability levels within a subject/stream. As the program is designed for self-study, students should also be able to approach the teacher outside of the classroom hours (if the teacher lives in the neighborhood or same village). This will assist the learning process and benefits will likely reach a wider group of people. For example, many more housewives and young girls who cannot break away from household chores to attend classes on a regular basis will be able to self- study outside of the classroom hours – with some assistance from the classroom based learning and some from help given outside of the classroom hours.
Importance of Example in Defining Classroom Environment
Teachers need to view excellence in their performance as the builders and promoters of an advancing civilization. To do so effectively, however, our teachers are constantly encouraged to upgrade their professional knowledge and to remain learners for the rest of their lives.
It has now been established by educators that the feelings of a teacher toward her students influences her behavior in the classroom. The children respond to this behavior and the environment created by the attitude of the teacher. They determine student motivation and outcome. Therefore, a teacher who sets a positive tone, who expects her pupils to do well and to cooperate will likely find this happening in her classroom. On the other hand, the teacher who labels children as trouble-makers or poor students will often unintentionally produce these traits in her pupils.
This does not mean that the teacher should pretend that all her students are heavenly angels, for there are always some students in each class with behavior problems. The teacher should, however, attempt to work with these children in such a way that they feel themselves to be a vital part of the entire class, rather than merely some minority the teacher must tolerate far a year. When pupils feel discrimination, real or imagined, they react in a manner they feel will gain attention. Thus, they become discipline problems and do their schoolwork in such a way that the teacher must take action and thereby give attention to them. The teacher’s attention will likely reinforce these actions, resulting in further problems.
Role of the teacher
- Arranging & using good teaching skills
- Creating conducive & objective learning environment
- Counseling, career guidance & organization
- Arranging remedial classes for students with difficulties in learning
- Friendly & approachable relationship between teacher & students
- Group activities to develop cooperative skills such as sharing and helpfulness
- Selection of media input that takes into account the child’s emotional and spiritual development
- Opportunities for experimentation to promote curiosity and understanding of causal relationships
- Visiting holy places to begin the child’s awareness of God and reverence
- Outdoor walks and excursions that instill respect for the natural world
- Interaction with animals.
- Time for reflection
- Providing a loving, secure home environment
- Cooperation between home and pre-school for easy transitions and transference of trust of adults
- Creative experiences with art as a means of self expression