Grade 4 students of Mahatma Gandhi International School (MGIS) have created a group named Detective Investigation Department (DID). Their initiative and resourcefulness created ripples within the school and outside of it. A student of Grade 9 scripted a film on them titled ‘Disappearance’. Ahmedabad Mirror reported their activities on the front page (click on this link for more info) and two news channels came to cover their story. Ameya Joshi, Spandan Pandya, Manav Shah, Arjun Puri, Yuvraj Patel and Ryan Kapur have created their own own office space on campus using available resources. They also have their rules and regulations and a website.
Hussanara Alvi, their class-teacher asked the students to use their recess time in a constructive manner. While brainstorming for ideas, this group decided to create a detective agency which they called ‘Detective Investigation Department’ or D.I.D. Other groups engaged themselves in teaching English to younger students, creating artistic tattoos with paint and mehndi etc.
About the idea of starting a detective group, Ameya shares, “We used to frequently hear from our friends that they lost some of their belonging. Initially our group used to help our fellow students to trace their belongings, from there we thought why not start our own detective group and solve cases.” The kids of D.I.D spend a lot of time planning their work and thinking about their strategy to solve their cases. They have also put posters on prime locations at school with their names and how to get in touch with them. The group slowly and gradually became popular as they solved every mystery that came up. Till now the six have solved 25 cases on campus. The six have even traced a laptop that belonged to a class tenth student. They read relevant literature such as Sherlock Holmes and have invested their pocket money to buy gadgets to help them work more efficiently.
“I am so happy that the kids’ work is appreciated by the teachers and especially Mr. Pascal Chazot who has given value to their work and made them believe in their potential. MGIS has provided them the space where they can come up with their own ideas. This has helped them come up with innovative ideas” says Ms. Seema Joshi, mother of Ameya Joshi.
MGIS provides a platform where these children can express their own creative ideas. The atmosphere is student centric and is conducive for children to develop their academic pursuits and creative, social and community service interests. The teachers make children believe in themselves and this helps them develop an immense faith and self confidence. The case of D.I.D. reaching out to the school community, creating a city level interest in their efforts through their work and their communication skills and engaging with the print and broadcast media, on their own without the intervention of the school, is not only commendable, it is a also an integral part of the school philosophy. MGIS encourages its students to take initiative and create a space for themselves through constructive action. According to Mr. Chazot-
Although this effort (D.I.D.) can be seen alternatively as a game (fun) or a (serious) enterprise, it can also be seen as a fun enterprise. What is essential is that the students are learning and enjoying, while ‘doing’ and engaging in a specific project or task. The formation and activities of D.I.D reflect this powerful idea.
As these young detectives graduate to grade 5, we wish them luck and success in solving many more cases…
Queency Christ and Lissa Chazot report from MGIS campus with inputs from Ameya Joshi, Seema Joshi and Pascal Chazot.