Chennai Nook for self-determined Learning in India
Project DEFY (Design Education for Yourself) is underway in India, along with other places, and works to create spaces in which people can pursue their own further education. The “Initiative Neue Bildung e.V.” association from Germany works with Project DEFY. The core idea of the project is the construction of so-called “nooks”, which act both as alternative schools as well as cost-efficient centers for independent learning that local (village) communities help create and organize themselves. The aim of the nooks is to ensure that, in areas where children and young people cannot make it to the classroom, the educational environment comes to them. At the same time, nooks are intended to be safe spaces in which people and social groups affected by poverty, social exclusion or an unstable environment can find a place of learning. Supported by a mentor and equipped with laptops, internet, technology, electronics and tools, as well as a wide variety of often recycled materials and resources, learners in the nooks can create their own learning projects. Nooks are also open to people of all ages for lifelong learning.
With three years of start-up funding, the Hans Hermann Voss Foundation has been supporting the construction of a new nook in the village of Katchipedu near Chennai, southern India, since the end of 2021.