Klorofeel School is designed for an exciting journey in joyous learning. Learning mathematics need not be boring and repetitive, nor scary. History must not be an effort at memorizing dates nor an endless list of warrior kings – it needs to be a breathtaking narrative of events and processes that shaped our past, provoking us to think “what if” and “why” – and what lessons we can draw for the present. Not just History, all subjects need to come alive in the minds of students, kindling their imagination, often in directions not imagined by us. Science, Geography, Civics and Literature must relate to our environment and the regular issues that challenge us.

Our children explore a wide range of interests and that includes sports and games, debates and quizzes, art and craft, music and drama, and much else we cannot envision today. As they explore, they will find what interests them more – and together with parents, we will encourage them to engage deeper in their chosen pursuit – so they excel while they enjoy. Education must not become constrained by syllabus, or be reduced to finding the “correct” answer in the shortest possible time. Nor should it be the teacher or the parent’s job to provide the “answers” to the child. The student must find the answers herself, and the teacher’s or parent’s responsibility is to nudge the child into this exploration.

True, there are Board examinations and one must fetch high marks out there to be recognized by society and to progress in one’s career. These are laudable objectives and we shall achieve these, while we build curiosity, friendships, diverse interests, high aspiration, a sense of responsibility, and values that help us navigate through life. In fact, a relentless focus on marks and staying constrained to syllabus is a barrier to academic excellence and subsequent success in life. Some children do brave such barriers and do well, but it is far more likely that curious, happy, aspiring children excel in examinations and in life – even as they find meaning and passionately pursue the purpose they chose, not what was thrust upon them.

We believe children in bigger cities like Bangalore or Mumbai enjoy an advantage because of the wider exposure they receive. We are dedicated to create rich exposure for our children. In the course of the year (2021), our children have interacted with Wing Commander S K Patel, listened to Prof. Kaushik Basu (former Chief Economist at World Bank), moved on a guided virtual tour of National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) at Jaipur House, and got encouragement for science education from Shri Samar Bagchi, reputed for teaching science in an experimental and inspiring manner. Besides, they learn civic responsibility from India’s best recognized public problem solving teachers, Reap Benefit, have fun with Robotics with their New York resident coach Dr Duri Sastry, regular science lessons from science focused activities and science quizzing from one of India’s best known promoters of science education in schools, Brahmanand Swain. Quizzing to learn is now synonymous with Klorofeel School. Our teachers get proficient at delivering learning through Quizzing, and our students also benefit from the national quizzing experience that Qshala offers them. Similarly, learning mathematics and English through Puzzles have become a norm at Klorofeel School. At Klorofeel School, we are committed to create real world experiences with some of the most inspiring humans we can find.

The “Near to Far” learning philosophy leads to a strong grounding in local heritage and culture. This year’s calendar features 12 festivals of Odisha, a visual treat chosen from our students’ drawings. Klorofeel students learn theatre from our drama teacher, Binod Mahakur, formally trained in the art at Sambalpur University and Utkal University of Culture. Viswa Bharati (Shanti Niketan) graduate Subhadip Bhattacharya teaches Art. While they are having it good during the pandemic, it would be even richer once the environment opens up, with the many learning excursions we miss now, apart from the campus that lies unused.

I proudly state all drawings in this message are by students in Klorofeel School.

At Klorofeel School, education means doing what is good for the child, rather than constrain the child into doing only what is good for the school. We need to ensure the interests of the child drive the interests of the school and not the other way round. We also believe parents are the first teachers of the child, and education at Klorofeel will be in collaboration with the parent, and not an outsourced experience. Klorofeel School with its teachers and students will also be connected with the community around us, and the highs and lows of the society we are in. We shall not be an island of excellence, and together we will grow. Parents, teachers, and members of the society around us – come join us in this interesting journey and feel younger, while engaging with our children in the spirit and joy of nation building.

Kalyan Banerjee