“They put us in jail at Tipu Fort and asked us how we felt being prisoners” – this is perhaps the most vivid memory students of class 8 from Government Urdu Model Primary School (GUMPS), Farooqiya Nagar would have after they were taught history with a major twist. Exploring the heritage of Bengaluru, students of this school and RM Education Society learned all about Emporer Tipu Sultan through a unique exposure visit planned for them by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
One of the world’s largest heritage organizations, INTACH works on building knowledge and excitement around local history through their thoroughly planned heritage walks. Partner schools of Mantra4Change hosted this program for the first time through which students and teachers explored Bangalore’s rich history through a 6 week course, culminating in a heritage walk.
“They came with different material to our class – most of them, really old photographs along with videos and maps so detailed that we felt like we were a part of that time,” said students of GUMPS, Farooqiya Nagar.
The field visit was the most exciting component of the program. Students were taken to Tipu Fort where INTACH’s facilitators explained every part of the life led at the time. Going into the nooks and corners of vast expanse, students were also shown how prisoners were fed, how Tipu strategized his conquests, and how every part of the architecture held relevance to the way of Tipu’s life.
“I had visited Tipu fort earlier, but through this visit, I got to know a lot more through the explanation of the facilitators. I found that kids were so eager to know more and more. I found them literally learning things with their mind and heart that day”, Ms. Ayesha, a teacher from the school who went along with the students shared.
“Now, if you go to the class in Farooqiya Nagar and ask them about Bangalore, they will be able to tell you things you wouldn’t have heard anywhere else. They have a much better understanding of the city that they live in. We realized this towards the end of their classes itself. Initially, we were doubtful of being able to finish the lesson plans we made, but the kids were so excited and keen to learn things, which made the entire module a lot of fun to share with them,” facilitators of INTACH said.
After the successful completion of the pilot at Farooqiya Nagar, INTACH has started the session at another one of our schools run by RM Education Society. This time with students of class 7. Mantra4Change and INTACH are eagerly looking to scale this program and ensure many more students are getting the opportunity to understand their own local history, which in some ways will help students develop a greater interest in the subject itself.
Written by Muhammad Rafi, Associate Program Manager, Mantra4Change