Why should students come to IDEC?

As a student we often see our educational experience as the extent of what education can be. IDEC is an opportunity to relentlessly question the bounds of learning and pursue a holistic view of what education can look like and who can participate in these spaces. In Nepal, the educational system is different to many places and similar others. It sits with the colonial legacies of a British standardized educational system, with all the possibilities of being one of the most ethnically diverse nations in the world for its size. This diversity in a space like the Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir brings together ideas and lifeways from around Nepal in a classroom that is only confined by the furthest places a bus can take you. Aurobindo’s integral education expands the concept of “learning” and “teaching” practices all can engage with in any space. All who are students are teachers, and all who are teachers are students. Come to IDEC to question your educational experience and return to school with a broader understanding of what your education can look like and where it can lead you.

Why should teachers come to IDEC?

As a teacher, you likely have deep theories about how education should be. You likely have moments when you’re exactly the teacher you want to be, and are supporting and learning from your students, and you likely have moments where you chaff against the confines of formal education or have felt unprepared with how to manage your hopes with your institution’s realities. IDEC is a space to learn from the schools around the world in different cultural contexts. To learn how they are creating democratic holistic educational opportunities and dreams, and what those dreams actually look like through their administrators, students and teachers’ eyes. Come to share your experience towards this goal of expanding democratic educational opportunities and connect with diverse teachers around the world striving towards this goal from a plurality of different backgrounds, methods and experiences.

Why should parents come to IDEC?

A parent is their child’s first and most important teacher. Children learn first from their parents and if educational systems fail to deliver in ways important to their child’s education, it is parents who fill in the gaps to support their child’s educational journey. Come to meet other parents around the world dedicated to the same educational journeys. Come see what democratic looks like in a variety of setting around the world on farms, in cities, deserts, jungles, and more. A parent is their child’s first teacher, but most society’s do not equip their parents with tools for a democratic education: to stoke their child’s capacity for independent inquiry, collaborative thinking and holistic education. IDEC will be a space for you progress in that personal journey and return home with people you can share you difficulties and triumphs with, people who you can lean on and offer your own advice too and people that will look up to you and to whom you can do the same.

By Benjamin Felser 

Benjamin is a young environmentalist and ecologist from the US who visited Nepal in the year 2018 as a gap year student and is now in Nepal volutneering at Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir.