The CPE is a Research Centre started at NIRMAN shortly after 1990. Its name was carefully chosen to reflects its goals which are twofold:
1. To resolve one of the problems of Indian’s under-development that dates from colonial times, that children’s lives in India are relatively poor in reading materials, arts materials and procedures and techniques that would reflect some of the rich world outside their schools. Indian education has been designed from colonial times to be formal, dry, uninspired, and typically fails to arouse children’s imaginations and learning skills. The CPE supports research on these problems, conducts workshops and seminars, and holds training and producing activities.
2. To resolve the other problem in Indian education that also dates from colonial times, that there are class and communal differences among Indian citizens which are taken to be internal or essential. All children are then not treated as equal or expected to be able to learn equally. Problems associated with their learning, as in (1) above, are not approached with determination. The CPE supports research on all kinds of difference, on interpersonal and communal relations, on class, gender, caste and religion, and on aspects of Indian modernization.
Very importantly, the nature of the Centre for Postcolonial education is to support excellent scholarly research, and also to bridge the gap between scholarship and activism, between the ivory tower and the grassroots. So it supports projects that propose solutions, that manufacture teaching materials, that develop curricula, that write books, compose music and initiate theatre for children and youth. It hosts scholars and artists who are working on their own projects, and if they desire, it helps them share their work and teach, and learn from, people on the ground around them.
Concretely the CPE has done and is doing the following:
Collaborative scholarly and arts projects
‘Networks’ of local artists, musicians, craftsmen, journalist, authors
Innovative curricula for children
Music for children and youth
Dance for children and youth
Theatre for children and youth
Art for children and youth
Books for children and youth
Films for children and youth
The CPE has libraries: for children of different ages, for educationists, for students of the arts and social sciences, and of Hindi and English fiction for the community. The CPE also has an archives on the city of Varanasi.
The CPE has big plans. Our community library must grow. Our campus in Betawar village will house an expanded Centre. We will do a hundred-fold more research and produce a thousand-fold more set of products for children.
Join us! Come for an artist residency, a research project, a collaborative community or educational project, or simply to observe, study, interact, present, make, write, dance, and experience.