Amrita Gurukulam Teacher Training
December 19, 2020
The Amrita Gurukulam teacher training is running online for the third week for 25 teachers from 23 Amrita SeRVe villages in 13 states. Since the Covid lockdown stopped the regular classes with the children, this time period has been used to bring the Gurukulam to many other villages by training the Amrita RITE tuition center teachers.
When the lockdown started, all the activities were suspended due to the imposed government restrictions. To keep in contact with the Amrita staff in the villages, online meetings were started. These meetings kept the connection with the Amrita staff during these uncertain times. Previously, these connections were maintained by travelling and visiting the villages regularly.
The online meetings grew gradually and evolved into a complete teacher training programme for rolling out of the Amrita Gurukulam in many new villages.
The Amrita Gurukulam started as a pilot project in 2019 in the villages of Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Odisha and Kerala states. The main focus is value-based education, Indian culture and tradition.
All activities were designed according to the Pancha Mahayajna to be easily practiced in the villages.
In each village, the village coordinator as the Gurukulam teacher was teaching a small group of students from age 8-14. From Amritapuri headquarters, the weekly lesson plan and studying material was sent to the Gurukulam teachers. The material consisted of stories from the Ramayana, inspirational characters, and explanations of the significance of celebrating various cultural festivals.
Maths was taught in a way that it is useful in daily life; for example, measuring weight and calculating the area of Gurukulam students’ kitchen gardens with a tape measure. Yoga asanas and bhajans were included in each session.
Now, the Amrita Gurukulam curriculum is modified into online format and the teacher training is ongoing.
The teachers are fond of learning mantra chanting. During the pilot program, the teacher was taught from Amritapuri headquarters. Then, audio and video recording of mantra along with lyrics and meaning was sent for self-practice. The follow-up of the learning process helped the teacher absorbing the mantra. After that, the children could be taught by call and response manner. The mantra which was learned is embraced by the children in their daily routine.