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Life Education Centre
(historical pages)

 

LEC Report Oct 2012-March 2013

 

LEC Report April-September 2012

 

Health Care and Education Course
July to September 2011

The Life Education Centre (LEC) is an Auroville outreach school, providing an on-going program for vocational training for semi-educated girls between the ages of 14-21 from Indian villages in the context of recognizing and ameliorating the role of women in an oppressive society, through a growing sense of security in oneself, increased self-awareness and empowerment, and an awakened eye for beauty..


Learning Life Skills

Pursuing this aim since its inception in 1991, the school works specifically as a supportive community environment for disadvantaged young village girls. The girls are given an opportunity to learn real, life skills also including tailoring, crochet, typing, computers as well as s imultaneously offering them a safe space where they are free to express and explore thoughts and feelings about themselves, allowing them also to reconnect back into the flow of society from which they have been cut, when they are forced to stop their schooling.

 

A Research Centre

Another interesting facet of life at LEC is that it serves as a research base for researchers from developed countries to further develop methods of building self-awareness, self-esteem and self-confidence among disadvantaged young women in developing countries. This also provides an inter-cultural exposure to the girls who form connections with many visiting guests from around the world.
However, the core-team at LEC consists primarily of 6 regular teachers who offer classes in English, Mathematics, Group Discussions, Sanskrit mantras, Counseling and Core quality Empowerment.

Based in Auroville

LEC is based in Auroville, a growing international township, inspired by two spiritual pioneers, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and is a conglomeration of diverse world cultures, set amidst the existing local Tamil cultural milieu.
Situated in Tamil Nadu in South India, near Pondicherry , Auroville is an experimental laboratory in the evolution of mankind. One of the many aims of Auroville is to promote development in the local bioregion – be it environment, technology, material and social change, leading towards a change in consciousness.
LEC is an independent unit under the Auroville Village Action Group (AVAG), an organization specifically dedicated to working for social change in the immediate neighborhood of Auroville, with different groups of people – women, youth, children and adolescents.

 

A Therapeutic Learning Environment

The opportunity to learn practical and vocational skills and thus potentially earn a livelihood provides a clear reason for the girls to attend the centre; many of whom would not be given permission by their families without this. However, LEC is essentially a therapeutic learning community, where much emphasis is placed on various self-development tools. These include participation in group discussions, diary-writing, and expression through various art forms on a regular basis. The daily group discussions provide the girls with the crucial space needed to think for themselves, to reflect and hear other diverse views, to widen their perspectives, and to share and to analyse .

Individual Care

Education at LEC is individual-based, where the needs of every student is evaluated and addressed; one of the most important interactions at the school is between the students and counselor-coordinator, which naturally takes place on a one-to-one basis. Of course this is time consuming and means that not more than 30 students can be addressed adequately at a time. This ensures a better quality of education, smoother and healthy interaction amongst the group, plus the possibility to visit families of the students from time to time and to establish rapport with the parents when they attend parent-meetings.

To help their families so as to overcome the opportunity cost of an employment, the girls are given a small stipend after the first 3 months. Only after the course begins and the group work starts opening them up to each other and to new horizons, do the girls and finally their parents begin to value the non-material aspects of the training.

“To teach students how to recognize the elements of nature and take care of them in spite of their circumstances, we try to open their mind to relate with the others, transcending the taboo of caste and gender, we try to give skills to enhance their abilities, we try to teach them to be faithful to themselves and to keep developing their own ideas, to provide a centre where happiness and creativity is the main resource so they can discover many possibilities not only in the classes but in the future. The curriculum has to be adaptable to each group since each group has different needs according to each one, their social background, village, age, and personal history. We take into account what they are and try to recover all the possibilities coming from them and we add what we feel may help them.”

A teacher's reflection on the process at LEC


Local Village Context

Energy and attention is also placed in the school in helping to improve the girl's involvement in the various women's youth groups in the villages, and as a result of increase of knowledge and capacity, a better quality of life in socio-economic and political conditions.

LEC is dependent on donations and grants from friends from all over the world

The Centre is spending approximately Rs.1500 (approx 30 Euros) per month for the education of every student. This includes training materials, healthy nutritional snacks and stipends to the students according to their apprenticeship-level, together with the maintenance of staff and facilities. In every batch there are 25 regular students attending. All of this money comes as donations and grants from friends and well wishers from all over the world, as well as international agencies. It has been because of these donations and financial support that today LEC continues to exist, function and grow into a centre of rehabilitation of the status of the girls. It is a place where they may rebuild their self-esteem, boost their self-confidence and self-awareness and to help prepare them for life, knowing that they may be without job opportunities; preparing them to face the culture of mother-in-law, husbands, employers, neighborhood and hopefully to educate their children in a new framework in order that the quality and substance of both their lives and the lives of all those around them may be better enjoyed and understood.

 

If you require any further details about the school, please contact Zerina, Coordinator: zerina@auroville.org.in or Harini, Executive: harini@auroville.org.in

Life Education Centre
Auroville Village Action Trust
C/o Auroville Fund
Auroville – 605 101
Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: 91-413-2622082


Aviva Group

 

See also:

LEC looks back and forward

Compassion Care Karma-Yoga

Go to LEC website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Baby Shalini

 


Twins

 

 


Meena

 


a mime workshop in LEC

 


Vadalu two best friends

 

 

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