AHMEDABAD: A group of 20 students from class VII is participating in a course at a city-based school. The instructor says she has toffees and gives 19 to the group. The group realizes the shortage only when all members try to pick one from the bowl. The group decides to share the contents so that no one is left out.
It’s one of the lessons of ‘Learning Non-Violence’ programme initiated by the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) in collaboration with the Sabarmati Ashram that aims to develop pedagogy for concepts such as conflict resolution and reduction of violent behaviour in society. It was launched in 2016 in four city-based schools on a pilot basis.
“From this academic year, the course will be taught at 10 city schools,” said Kartikeya Sarabhai, the director of CEE and a trustee of the Sabarmati Ashram. “It is the centenary year of the Sabarmati Ashram and 2019 will mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Thus, it is time to talk about Mahatma’s fundamental idea — non-violence — with children. The response has been encouraging.”
Course designers said that some qualities they want to instil in students include fearlessness, compassion and care, honesty and truthfulness, capacity for negotiation and dialogue, and appreciation of equality and justice. The course entails activities and assignments that tacitly communicate these aspects.