Broadening The Horizons Of Learning Beyond Classroom
“Reporting time is at 7-30 a.m. and the train will start at 9 a.m. sharp. Everything has a schedule. I will be going with the girls up to a certain point, after which they will be accompanied by their teachers,” said Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh, before boarding the “Gyanodaya Express” along with 1`,000 excited girls from Delhi University at Safdargunj railway station here on Sunday.
Every thing did go on schedule and the girls, all NSS and NCC cadets, will be travelling to about five cities in 12 days. According to Prof. Singh, they are scheduled to experience first-hand their classroom lessons on the history of the nation, the geology of its landscape, the customs of its people and the changing geology of every landscape because a train journey in India is an education in itself.
So, the lessons will start from day one.
“Mapping and improvement in the train coaches (exterior and interior), comfort level of seats and sleeper beds (anthropogenic sustainability) and design and scope for betterment of toilets, lightings and seating facilities,” are some of the project suggestions for the science students, whereas “portrait of a train station” and “how this train journey changed me” are some of the choices for humanities students that can be taken up during the course of the train ride.
The places they are scheduled to visit will also be subjects of study with science students expected to work on projects like observation of flora and fauna during the journey, colour and texture of soil for different types of agriculture, fruits, trees and study of weather, temperature, humidity and wind direction elevation.
Fun topics like “The best ways to shop in a strange city”, “Being in a crowd in a city you visited”, “A philosophy for living together for two weeks”, “A local leader and her charisma” and “The biography of an unknown woman” are suggested project titles for the humanities students.
The train will also have a library of sorts with books in English, Hindi and even Kannada being on offer with cities like Ahmedabad, Wardha, Mumbai, Goa and Bangalore on the itinerary. While navy ships and dockyards await them in Mumbai and Goa, concepts of non-violence and the Sabarmati Ashram await them in Ahmedabad and finally, ISRO in Bangalore is also set to “broaden the horizons of their learning beyond the classroom”.