Dr. Madeswaran Mohanasundaram of Tamil Nadu is in his tenth year of voluntarily bringing a uniquely gentle and effective educational system to some to some of the poorest villages in India. His goal is to reduce pressured educational methods in very young children’s education, completely without regard to caste or social/financial status.
To do this, Dr. Mohanasundaram has helped develop a gentle, pattern-based educational system called "Uni5", which skillfully fuses Montessori methods with traditional Vedic educational styles. His system is proving itself ideal in enlivening very young minds while at the same time preserving basic cultural values.
His “Namma Veedu” ("Our Home") school has been instituted in 5 extremely poor villages in Tamil Nadu, for children aged 8 months to 5 years. In spite of initial local protests, his schools mix children of higher caste with lower caste, wealthy with poor and physically and mentally challenged with other children.
Some remarkable Quotes:.
It is wonderful to find that you have the power to transform women to Mothers...an arrogant Mother into a loving mom...making a baby teacher...making of baby school owners...I think the real social transformation begins by transforming women and you are empowering women...with your work...no more global warming only global peace. - Arul Balaji, President, ABN Pharmaceuticals, Chennai.
100's of such testimonials will speak for Madeswaran's work. Please click to read some of them.
click below the youtube video
He says child would be allowed to blossom first at the emotional level and then at the intellectual level. Every parent and teacher should respect this birth freedom of every child.
Madeswaran has broken the caste, religion, economical barriers to get children the highest quality education in these past 7 years. His unique training of teachers to handle children with motherly love and imparting academics and behavioral education without violent punishments is a big eye opener for teachers and parents. It look more than 7 years for teachers of other schools to see a phenomenal difference in the children coming from his school, who are self-responsible, self-motivated, independent and equally caring for the environment. This is virally motivating many parents and school teachers to take his unique training.
Detailed video is in this link
In 2001, Madeswaran was working as the Elementary Montessori language Director in Abacus Montessori School, one of schools for aristocratic children. One day, in 2003, while travelling to school, he noticed beggar children in a street, using garbage items to learn language and mathematics. Dr Maria Montessori’s mission of starting her education for street children in Rome, flashed in his mind, that deeply stabbed his heart, feeling that her noble education is been catering only to wealthy children.
Madeswaran is a very compassionate person, not only towards children but also families abandoned old-women. He has no savings for his future and declined health insurance and gives that money to children cause and neglected old-woman, almost every other day he meets in streets. He has made no family for himself, but to uplift the children and women in society. Even in his limited free time he gives telephone counseling to parents of children with dyslexia, autism and other physically and mentally challenged children. He writes and also offers cultural classes to both children and senior citizens as well.
How can you help?
Due to laws and financial limitations he is still not been able to give Montessori education to beggar children and a home for abandoned women. Your help will surely help him to fulfill his dream. His heart felt wish is also to pay his economically poor teachers and staff well.
About Uni5 Education
At first, the Hindu elements of the villages objected to letting their children be exposed to Montessori, thinking that it was a Christian system, or that it was a plot to destroy their traditions. And the local Catholic priest said that the parents who would put their children into this school, would not be allowed in church. Soon all of this changed.
Within 3 years, when the children went from these Uni5 schools to first grade in the regular private and public schools, they did extremely well compared to other children. At first, the teachers from these typical schools thought this excellence was just co-incidence. But in the second and third years after the establishment of Dr. Mohanasundaram's schools, they realized that something special must be happening. So then they visited the schools.
The specific postitive results which were found, include:
- Natural passion to learn
- Increased respect for their teachers, their classmates and even towards their parents at home.
- An increased sense of self-responsibility for their both their belongings and their social behavior.
- The children were found to grasp concepts quicker, their handwriting and general dexterity were found to be better than others.
The various local school systems (public, private, Christian and Hindu) ended up making it mandatory that all of their students receive prior experience in the Uni5 pre-school system.
The cost of the Uni5 education is 5 to ten times less than other available government or privately-sponsored young education centers. Some of those centers give free meals to the young students, but even so, the students and their parents are choosing the Uni5 centers...
Most of the children, as soon as they get up in the morning, tell their parents "I want to go home"--meaning "Our Home", the translated title of their school. At first the parents were a little annoyed, but later became overjoyed as they saw the transformations in their children.
The parents compared the older children (who had not attended) to the Uni5 students, saw a large difference in educational receptivity and actual test scores.
An autistic child, was even allowed to skip a grade....
At this point, we can rely only on these reports from the local parents and teachers; no rigorous or standardized testing has taken place (money is needed for this )... But on the Uni5 website, you can see hundreds of testimonials from these poor (and some not-so-poor) villagers.
Video on Uni5 Education Concept