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The Auroville High School

Update August '02

 

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April 2002

The recently completed, proud new High School

During the 34 years of Auroville's existence, the concept of education has been widely studied and explored, certainly in reference to the vision of Sri Aurobindo which is underlying the township. During the last 10, 12 years the community has particularly been grappling with the formulation of high school level education, which spontaneously has moved into various different streams and approaches: there is a 'Last School', a 'Centre for Further Learning', an 'After School' and 'Super School', each of which caters to a different grouping, research or model of teaching. Auroville youth have also chosen to go for their higher education to nearby Pondicherry (French Lycée) or to the Kodaikanal International School further away in Tamil Nadu. Some kids followed invitations by relatives to go study abroad. The diversity resulting of these various approaches led to an inability of the existing school teams to pool their energies and resources and create the overall infrastructure which is urgently needed for the township's new generations.

Shared infrastructure

Enabled and encouraged by some substantial seed money granted for this very purpose, representatives of Auroville's schools met in January 1999 to discuss the possibility of creating a secondary higher school complex on site. At this meeting it was agreed to start off with a well-equipped library, computer lab and various science labs as these are the central facilities crucial for a further development of secondary education. It was clearly stipulated that the thus created infrastructure will accommodate all the relevant programmes which are presently offered in the context of the various existing schools and study groups to Auroville's students.

Location

The campus is, of course, located in Auroville's Cultural Zone just west of the entrance to the Transformation settlement. The area available is about 3.5 acres, some of which will be reserved for further expansion of the campus. The project is a collaboration between the Auroville based Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Educational Research (SAIIER) and the Auroville School Board.

Aim

  1. Inspired by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the overall vision of the Auroville High School is to develop educational environments in which Aurovilian students reach their own unique potential through a balanced development of body, mind, emotion, and spirit. Underlying this integral approach is the development of faculties that will allow our students to pursue the unfolding of their inner truth in harmony with the material world.
  2. Interwoven with this endeavor toward individual development is Auroville's collective aspiration toward human unity. Toward this, we aim for our students to realise that we are one, and to appreciate and respect the truth behind our diverse cultural, ethnic, and individual heritage.
  3. Our deepest aspiration is to prepare our children and ourselves to live in a higher consciousness to manifest a truer and higher life on earth.

Objectives

  • Provide a student-centered, integral education for Aurovilian youth between the ages of 14 and 20
  • Develop and offer educational programs that emphasize quality, practical skills, group dynamics, and awareness of all the planes of the being (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual)
  • Maintain the international character of Auroville
  • Uphold the ideals of Auroville as set forth in its Charter
  • Encourage students to adopt a value-oriented approach to life in which they have an understanding of personal, community, and global responsibility
  • Teach students how to set and reach challenging goals
  • Encourage students to become self-motivated, self-aware, and self-controlled
  • Create opportunities for the continued growth of students
  • Expose students to new experiences and different approaches to learning and understanding
  • Provide educational programmes that open a wide range of opportunities for students upon graduation
  • Conduct educational research related to values, integral development, and human unity

Programme

  • The high school should offer a wide curriculum to meet individual aims and interests
  • Students should be required to take some introductory course on topics that they may not know
  • A minimum course load is required; full-time students only will be accepted
  • General graduation requirements will be determined as the High School develops
  • The programme should interface with the AV community through assistance with community projects or apprenticeships
  • A mentor programme will be developed
  • An internal community will be established, possibly with shared school management
  • Increase students' responsibilities as they mature and progress
  • Offer the possibility to pass external exams, if students desire
  • Core of required subject areas

    • Mathematics
    • English (language and literature)
    • Languages (French, Tamil and others)
    • Auroville studies
    • Sciences
    • Social sciences
    • Physical education
    • Fine arts
    • Current events
    • Computer studies
    • Senior project
    These required areas will be spread out through the 4-5 years that the student is studying, leaving ample time for electives.

    Student Body
    The Auroville High School will accept students from Aurovilian and Newcomer parents. As Auroville is an international community the High School will maintain an international character, bringing together students from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds in an atmosphere of protected freedom and harmony.

    Contact: saiier@auroville.org.in 

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