Sunday, April 15, 2012

Multiworld India

The Multiworld Network is an association of people from Asia, Africa and South America, who share a common objective to "restore the diversity of learning that existed from times immemorial." The Multiworld web site is very nice to look at and contains some excellent resources, especially for rural education.

In particular, the site hosts The Natural Farming Institute, a virtual center for the promotion of farming, based on natural principles in Asia and Africa.

They have uploaded a full curriculum that uses farming as a basis for education. When we started Lhomon Education, Rinpoche's very first request was that each school cultivate a vegetable garden, for their health and for their education. So I am very interested in what NFI is proposing, which is "to look closely into every aspect of natural farming, particularly knowledge of the soils and plants," as a means to education. They will maintain an on-line library of materials for organic farmers, directories of websites, and training courses for farmers presently using chemicals who wish to convert to organic methods.

Here is an excerpt explaining the curriculum available for download on their site:
An educational programme for the children of farming communities in India-FEB 2012:
A major focus of the Institute is the children of organic farmers whose future on the land is generally sabotaged by the existing educational system which has been designed exclusively for persons from non-rural, non-agricultural backgrounds.
"Our Land our Life" is the curriculum framework for an educational programme for children with specific emphasis on farming and farm related activities. It’s design provides a hands on approach to learning both academic and farm related topics.
The document was prepared by the Organic Farming Association of India, Taleemnet and the Natural Farming Institute with other collaborators to serve the needs of the rural and the farming communities of India. Although the emphasis is on the above, others too, specially home schooling children and alternative schools will find the document useful. 
The programme is the outcome of a yearlong research based on inputs from pioneer educators, organic farmers and academicians from across the country.
With so many wonderful initiatives and resources available, we must think creatively about ways to link and share information. We are planning to use the new Lhomon Education Web site as a resource hub, and to that end we are imagining tools and design strategies for making information easy to access and easy to share. Ideas are welcome!

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