CFL is a small school situated in the outskirts of Bangalore. An hour’s drive from the city on Magadi Road, one can find this school, which is spread across 23 acres of land.
A few committed teachers and a small group of students constituted CFL in 1990. A small flat is where the school started operating. After 20 odd years the premises had grown but the class strength remains at five.
CFL is a small school that offers alternative education to children of a few parents who trust the school’s dedicated teachers entirely.
There are many plusses of the school:
a) Each student is known by his/her name and not by the roll number.
b) There are no tests and exams that stress children.
c) Teachers are completely in-charge of the children whom the children address by their first names.
d) An atmosphere of freedom, be it speech or movement is offered to the children.
e) Rigor of academics is consciously combined with non-academic pursuits.
f) No child is found bored or uninterested in what the school offers. They are free from the tension which is normally created by tests and exams. Children do learn by doing project work, drawing, craft, land work etc.Education at CFL nurtures latent capabilities and inculcates love for learning. The aim of establishing such a school is to bring out the versatility of children who are capable of seeing the whole picture.
g) Parents are proud to be a part of the school. They get involved in cooking for the entire school or in teaching. The school is semi-residential as the children get to spend two to three times a week with their parents. Parents are freed from stress because of the excellent care and attention their children get by the school. They are contented with the fact that children are not pushed into meaningless home work, tests and rote learning.
h) Teachers’ commitment levels are very high. They do their best since they know that no one tells them what to do. There is no hierarchy and the flat structure makes each one of them take full responsibility for what they do with educating the children.
i) There seems to be a perfect harmony and everyone exists peacefully in the premises-supporting, helping and conducting themselves in a most dignified manner.
j) Entertaining and helping visitors understand the philosophy and principles is part of the school culture. Teachers do that with immense grace.
k) It is for the children to emulate their teachers-extreme patience, calm demeanour. Total involvement in every job-cooking, cleaning, singing or reading is evident for any visitor to see.
On the whole CFL has been an excellent small school for parents who are looking for holistic education for their children. The mainstream schools are on the contrary hammering the children into marks-scoring machines. Those children who do not score well are doomed and rejected as observed by some cases of suicide or drug addictions. Mainstream schools cater to only few bright and the confident students where as CFL caters to every child and brings out the best in every child.
All for the elusive “perfect” education for their child… Is it possible to have both—academic skills as well as a free and happy childhood? The answer is YES and at CFL.