India: In 2001, Prerana (transl. "sublime inspiration") opened its doors in south eastern India in Hyderabad, the country's fourth largest metropolis. Since then, Prerana Waldorf School has grown along with its children from a kindergarten and nursery into a dynamic school community, serving over 300 children up to Grade 10.
Over the last decades, Hyderabad has developed to become the second most important information technology hub of India and therefore is also known as Hitech City or Cyberabad. Global heavyweights such as Microsoft, Facebook, Google or Apple operate from the city. Keeping in mind the changing professional scenario, Prerana Waldorf School decided to construct its own building in a place that is at the heart of the IT land in Hyderabad.
Interestingly, it is precisely in such a fast paced, technical environment that a lot of young parents express grave concerns about contemporary educational methods and the values they promote. They want their children to be successful in the modern world, but they also want their children to enjoy the profound blessings of childhood. For a growing number of families in Hyderabad, Waldorf education is something of a sanctuary in today's demanding world. For it provides a safe and loving space for the children to develop their imagination and sense of wonder as well as their intellect.
The school community is comprised of a wide cross section of society. Therefore, Prerana Waldorf School particularly wants to help bridge the differences between cultural and religious groups by bringing a stronger emphasis to Indian history and culture into their teaching. Here students of many faiths (Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or Christian) not only study together but also build a community that joyfully embraces and celebrates the different festivals such as Eid Ramadan, Diwali, and Christmas together.
Most of the families are working middle class, many of whom are well educated and have an IT background. The school, however, also sponsors up to 15 families for whom school attendance is financially unobtainable by providing free education for their children.
Like the rest of the country the school community is also facing monumental challenges such as the crushing burden of over population, the competitive climate in society and the financial struggles of modern living that are typical for the India of today. But in this context Waldorf Education is a like a whiff of fresh air and thus the school has plans to complete its expansion by adding grades 11 and 12 and extending its facilities to meet the growing interest. In addition, Prerana regularly hosts workshops and conferences to support teachers, parents, doctors, and artists working towards broader social and cultural renewal.