|A visitor’s report:
a Neohumanist School
By Dada Vimaleshananda
It was eight years since I left Haiti. The school at that time had two tiny classrooms with a tin roof, two teachers and fifty students. The people at that time were mostly engaged in works not related with Ananda Marga. Today the situation has radically changed. The school has more than 300 children and the same people are now employed in responsible positions as the backbone of a model neohumanistic school. Dada Karmavratananda’s continuous effort along these years has made it possible.
One of the aspects of the school is that it has a key role in the local community. It is not only a large size kindergarten and primary school. There are multiple services offered that utilize the same building:
a computer room able to accommodate 20 students with individual computers
a computer cafe with fast internet connection
an analysis laboratory
a medical clinic that need some more work to make it operative.
All these services are basically independent from the school with separate entrances and at the same time they use the same structure.
Several groups and other non-profit organization utilize our facility for meetings and activities. There is also a regular karate class held on the premises. And last but not least our water reservoir sees a continuous stream of people coming to get potable water for their homes free of charge. A power generator guarantees the continuity of electricity for the different activities. In fact, regarding the supply of water and electricity, Haiti hasn’t change over the years. But due to these external difficulties the role of the school has become more and more prominent.
The school has around twenty staff people working together according to a functional structure:
a pedagogic director supervises all the curriculums and exams in order to comply with the neohumanistic directives and government constraints
a kindergarten director coordinates the six teachers employed in the three kinder years
a primary school director coordinate the six teachers
a secretary is in charge of most of the paper work involved in the administration of the school including the World Fund Program that supplies the food given to the students at lunch time
an accountant takes care of the rest of the administrative process
3 cooks and 3 cleaners provide the necessary logistics for the whole school.
Specialized teachers complete the staff of those subjects that give the neohumanistic bent to the school. It is a unique aspect of our school and most valuable:
an agriculture teacher and an attached roof garden for vegetables
a computer director who is also in charge of the internet cafe’
a discipline in charge who is responsible for all disciplinary corrections. It should be reminded that in Haiti teachers used to administer corporal punishment and in our school those practices have been banished.
a karate teacher
art and music teachers are in the plan but are not hired at present
The level of education offered is comparable to the high cost private schools. It is our pride to offer this high standard to students coming from the poor areas nearby. Due to that the tuition fees are limited to $10 per month and only 60% of the student families can afford to pay for their kids’ education.
This is the reality of Haiti that we confront every day. Poverty and criminality offer a constant challenge. Our neohumanistic system of education is the way to solve the problem in a permanent way. We witness how the community responds to it and how the Ananda Marga Community has a key role in this process. In my eyes this not a miracle – this is Ananda Marga.