A parent’s perspective on Project Day

Manish Kamdar is no stranger to the school blog. His daughter  Kavya is in Standard IV and Manish  is an engineer, entrepreneur, blogger and foodie. His other hobbies include stamp collecting, coin collecting, public speaking and blogging. This piece, first appeared on Manish’s blog, here.
Kavya’s school, Shishuvan, held their Project Day 2014 on July 25th and 26th. As has been the norm, every child participates in the event (will not wax eloquent on that lest I stray from my thoughts) The theme for Kavya and her class IV was India and her neighbours. Kavya sang a Bangladeshi song (she said it was written by Rabindranath Tagore), a Pakistani song (which was more like a nice prayer),and a song in different languages which had French and German words considering my little knowledge of all the languages. She was to introduce the Chinese song so as a Toastmaster in the making, it was my duty to coach her which I did and she carried it off with aplomb during the rehearsals at home.

As Friday was a working day, I could not attend the Project Demonstration, but on Saturday we were there by 0850 which was her reporting time. There was so much knowledge to imbibe from the children. I went to her class first and was greeted by a huge map of India showing mountains, plains etc. and children asked the parents questions. It can be embarrassing believe me to tell a 10 year old that you don’t know something. They would then explain it to me. Kavya and her friend were talking about National Symbol.

There were a lot of other things including a word search in Hindi which was very tough for me. Then they had capitals of states and I was corrected when I said that the capital of Assam is Guwahati: it is Dispur for those who don’t know. The children even wore the traditional attire for states and had the delicacies of that state on the table. The vada paavs and other items were tempting and I joked with the kids if they were meant for me.

The musical event then started and so I witnessed that as will be seen from the video links below. Kavya spoke well and seems to be a potential member in the making for Bombay Toastmasters.

After that I strayed into the Class V rooms just to see what was in store for Kavya next year. It was impressive to see children at that age discussing solar photovoltaic and solar water heating systems. They even had a complete chart on the Solar Park in Gujarat which was worth reading. Sometimes you skim through news paper or magazine articles but these posters are short and the copy is crisp so you can gain the gyaan you want. Try it if you haven’t.

Came back to Kavya’s class ie Standard IV and saw the Indian monuments made by them. Well, don’t expect models to be replicas of what you actually see but these were the children’s way of portraying them. Kavya had chewed my head over some words on Howrah Bridge which I gave to her courtesy Google & Wikipedia. Lo and behold, I see those words there along with their model of Howrah Bridge. Children maintain that veil of secrecy honestly. She wouldn’t divulge what to expect and it sure came as a surprise to see so many models made by the children.

The revelation for me was that they had actually contacted a school in Bangladesh and exchanged Powerpoint presentations with each other showing them their school, the country etc. And they received similar presentations from there as well. Wow. That was impressive indeed. I always wondered that pen friendship was all but over with the advent of Social media, e-mail etc. but no it is there in some other form. How I wish Kavya takes to pen friendship like my Dad (her Grandfather) and me. We have both enjoyed and continue to enjoy writing to friends over the years and they are now more than family to us.

I then heard a rhythmic loud drumming which was quite impressive so I went up to the 4th floor and saw these two boys from VII standard playing drums (sorry but for a layman anything would be a drum even if it were a tabla or mridangam). They showed great dexterity and the crowds were equally enthusiastic in cheering them. Worth a dekko any day.

Enthusiastic parents and grandparents thronged the school but honestly it was the enthusiasm of the students and teachers which could be sensed in the air and that made the whole event a memorable learning experience. Keep it up Shishuvan and keep it up Kavya and all students. Proud of you all.

Photographs available here

The beginning of the musical event with the children saying Hello available here

The Bangladeshi Song is here

The Pakistani Song is here

Kavya’s video introducing the Chinese song available here. Coincidentally I ran out of memory just when she finished speaking so couldn’t get the Chinese song.