Which language does Orchid International School intend to speak?
The second issue of our school brochure is under publication as we look forward to the sixth academic year to commence in June 2011. The founding Principal, who continues his association with the school as its board member, urges me to write for it! What do I write? Words don’t seem to come out even after I willed for more than an hour! I pause to understand afresh what a school is and what relationship it has to its brochure.
A deep and genuine simplicity and reverential outlook is called from each of us towards all others, around us, for us to be international and global.
Is a school its buildings? Is a school its curriculum? Is a school its teachers? Is a school its educational philosophy? Is a school a composite of the innumerable components it is made up of? Is a school a sum of all these and much more? What is a school?
It is not as yet very clear to me what a school is. Hence, let me try to get to it from some other angle. A school is surely a place where children and grownups come together to learn. A school is surely a place where the staff and students spend most of the wakeful hours being with each other. A school is surely a place where children spend the most precious fifteen years of human existence in! It is surely a place which influences and determines how richly life will be lived and enjoyed by the children as they grow up. It is surely a place where the little human beings are living and tasting the beauty of existence. If enabled properly they might be able to unravel and realize the secrets of this world, its nature and the underlying principles bit by bit!
What is required to enable life to be lived by the children? Is life being lived in the normal course? How completely or incompletely is one’s existence being experienced by human beings? Should one learn the art of experiencing the joy of existence? How do we learn? Is a school also charged with such subtler intent or is this not required to be attempted by a school? Is a school just to enhance literacy and skills of children? Is the school just to process children to make a living? What is the difference between all-round development and holistic development? Does all-round development lead to holistic development or does a school need different wherewithal to bring about holistic development?
To my mind all schools struggle with these basic questions as they are conceived, delivered, toddle, grow up and age. What the questions will do to the being of the school will surely vary from school to school and from time to time depending on the emphasis given to the essentials and first principles by the educators of the school. The subtlety and seriousness with which the struggle is enjoyed by a school may determine what kind of school will emerge and what kind of a course it will take. Being aware of this process, we would like to engage in asking the above, and related questions, in our hearts so that the educational processes which emerge will have the fragrance of what will be “good” for children in all aspects of their childhood, growth and existence - so that they might realize their uniqueness in this infinite universe and perceive their oneness with it.
This brochure makes an attempt to present a simple and inadequate picture of our experiments and attempts in school education. Surely with the support of like minded people and serious parents we should be able to dig deeper into the joyful and responsible endeavor of education! Suddenly and spontaneously a thin yet clear relationship appears to have been noticed between what our school essentially is and what its brochure intends to convey!