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Marathi School


Marathi Shala
Marathi Bhashik Mandal, Toronto. Inc. Canada
History And Highlights

1976 - 1984
Marathi classes started in Toronto just over thirty years back. Sharad Kawale, put forward the idea of Marathi teaching. Shriram Mulgund, Asha Pawagi, Sharad Kawale, Mandatai Tilak got together and formalized the in house classrooms as per students' age group and with convenience of demographic region. Shriram Mulgund took the lead to organize the satellite informal classes. Each Sunday many volunteer parents held the role as teachers for five to six classes in North York, Scarborough, Brampton and Mississauga. Multi level age group children attended these classes. The classes continued in the homes of teachers or parents with genuine interest, strong commitments and passion for Marathi Language learning.
Volunteer teaching services were provided by Sharad Kaka Kawale, Shriram Mulgund, Anand Manohar, Mandatai Tilak, Asha Pawagi, Pusha Wagale, Lalita Godse, Mangal Junnarkar, Meena Ghanekar, Pravina Kale and Sunanda Tumne during these years.
Marathi Learning activity is always supported and held under the umbrella of Marathi Bhashik Mandal, Inc Toronto. MBM provided the community room place, the guidance and the funding for books and other teaching materials.



Sir John A McDonald Secondary School, Scarborough, ON.
As the enrolment started to increase; Sunanda Tumne instigated the idea of having all Marathi classes under one umbrella. With greater interest from parents and students; Marathi Bhashik Mandal requested Scarborough Board of Education to provide two classrooms facility for the “home grown “ satellite classes to regular classroom classes at Sir John A. McDonald Secondary School in Scarborough. Sunanda Tumne and Keshav Godse served as teachers.

1986 – 1992
The Woodbine / Vanier Secondary School, North York Board of Education. ON 

This activity was so successful that Sunanda Tumne spearheaded the “Marathi Shala” project that Marathi classes should start under Canada’s Heritage Language Program. Dr. Madhav Khandekar took keen interest in this step. In the fall of 1986, two Marathi classes started for age group 4-12. Third class started for age group 14 –18 children since Heritage Language Program was restricted up to regular day school grade 8 students. Two more classes started In Mississauga, at T.L Kennedy School under the International Language Program with Peel Board Of Education.


Dr. Madhav Khandekar worked as a MBM Marathi Shala co-coordinator. The classroom program was structured in to three Level – Basic, Intermediate and Advance Levels.
Shalan Khandekar, Sudhana Ranade, Sunanda Tumne, Keshav Godse, Lalita Godse, Mangala Junnarkar, Vinita Ratnaparakhe, Meena Gandhi and Sumitra Thakur served as teachers who took tremendous efforts and energy to carry out these teaching program activities. All students, their parents, teachers and Marathi Bhashik Mandal of Toronto supported the program with whole heart and dedication. The main focus was on four R’s of Marathi Language – reading writing, speaking and understanding. Along with Marathi Language learning; children enjoyed cooking lessons from Leelatai Tembe, music lessons and gym classes. Students learned Marathi games such as Kho Kho, Hututu, Ram Ravan, Talyat-Malyat and Lagori, Surya Namaskars and Yoga. Total of 87 children registered and had taken advantages of Marathi school during year 1986-1992. Half an hour of Gym time helped the students to learn Marathi through Marathi games and build a very strong youth friendship by participations.


Asha Pawagi suggested a novel idea of Marathi Children’s Outdoors camp that became a grand success. Total of 50 children attended the three days summer camp. Fifteen parents volunteered as councillors. Shashi Karandikar taught Yoga classes. Children enjoyed Yoga, games of Hu Tu Tu, Viti Dandu and Lagori. A bon fire was lit and children presented humorous Marathi skits.
Now Marathi Bhashik Mandal, Inc has under taken this responsibility of Youth activity as a regular summer camp and MBM manages this camp very well.

Twenty-five teenage children rehearsed and performed full-length Marathi drama “Premachya Gava Jave” at Diwali program. Shalan Khandekar, Sudhana Ranade and Leena Ghanekar produced, directed and coordinated the play. This play was unique because of the character casting. Set of students who performed characters in the first act was replaced by another group of students in the second act. That way more students could participate and fewer lines to memorize. Younger group of students performed a short One-act play called, “Shakti Peksha Yukti Shreshth”. Mrs. Watave wrote the short play. Rajashree Manohar coordinated the play. Both plays received an overwhelming response and applause from the audience.


Grade 10 OAC (Ontario Credit Course) credit course was developed and taught by Sunanda Tumne. This course was credited towards regular Ontario daytime high school credit course system. Twelve students took advantage of this course. Five mature non-Marathi adult students enrolled in the Marathi class. Grade 11 OAC course was also developed together by Sunanda Tumne and Shalan Khandekar but cancelled due to lack of enrolment. Eventually junior and senior Marathi Class program discontinued in 1991. As students matured, joined the universities then student enrolment dropped and classes discontinued for few years. 


1991 - 1995
Sunanda Tumne taught Marathi to Ms. Marianne Warren (Ph.D. student, University of Toronto) as a Marathi Language course curriculum requirement for her thesis work on Shirdi Sai Baba. Later Ms. Warren published a book called  "Unravelling the Enigma:Shirdi Sai Baba in the Light of Sufism". Ms. Warren acknowledged sincere gratitude to Sunanda Tumne in her book for teaching her Marathi Language and help with Marathi – English translations.


1996 - 1997 

Again in 1996, Sunanda Tumne started Marathi classes in the basement of her home in Mississauga. Also she served as a MBM Marathi Shala coordinator for Marathi teaching program. Meena Gandhi served as a teacher in 1996-1997. Children played "Rang Panchami" water play in the backyard.



1997 -- 2000
The Valleys Secondary Public School, Mississauga, ON 

Sunanda Tumne approached Peel Board of Education to start Marathi Language Classes under International Language Program. Now Marathi class started again at The Valleys Public Secondary School in Mississauga every Sunday morning. Sunanda Tumne served as a teacher with current enrolment of 28 students in Mississauga. Student enrolment was 37 by year 2000. Veena Bopardikar served as a supply teacher. Sunanda Tumne prepared a structured Marathi Shala program in Basic, Intermediate and Advance level. She prepared lesson plans, teacher’s guidance, short term and long-term outline of the course. Half an hour of Gym time enhanced Marathi learning through games and play activities. Sunanda Tumne acted as a MBM Marathi Shala coordinator for East and West end of the greater Toronto area.



Oriole Community Centre, North York, ON                                                            

Shree Nana Datar continued to serve as a teacher in North York and current enrolment was 11 students in North York. Shree Nana Datar continued to teach in east end Marathi school; Nita Tilak and Surekha Nimkar served as teachers for two other classes. The classes continued at the Oriole Community centre with support of Marathi Bhashik Mandal, Toronto Inc.



Sept. 1999 

Twenty-two children rehearsed and performed in a one act Marathi comedy play called "Are Pan Ka?" written by Sunanda Tumne. The theme of the play was a satire on "Threading Ceremony". It was jointly produced and directed by Leena Deodhare. Veena Bopardikar, Prakash Kale, Anagha Wad and Kishore Bapat managed the stage props, sound and lights. The play was a grand success with unbelievable standing ovation at the MBM Ganapati program.



 2001 - 2002
 The Valleys Secondary Public School, Peel Board of Education, Mississauga, ON Veena Bopardikar served as a Marathi Teacher. The student enrolment was 32. The Marathi school continued to be grand success with strong commitments by parents and students.
Oriole Community Centre, North York, ON                                                            

 Shree Nana Datar and Nita Tilak continued serving as Marathi teachers in East end school at Oriole community centre with enrolment of 11 students.


2003 - 2005
The Valleys Secondary Public School, Mississauga, ON                                 

 Meenal Joshi and Vijaya Markandey served as two Marathi teachers with strong enrolment of 36 students. Sunanda Tumne serves as a MBM Marathi Shala coordinator, mentor to the teachers and lesson planner. The second school continued to operate under the International Language Program in Mississauga. This year, Toronto East Marathi Shala classes discontinued due to the lack of enrolment in 2004-2005. Shree Ganesh Yaag Association made venue available at the Kalibari temple for the Mississauga school's year-end gathering in


June 2005
Oriole Community Centre, North York, ON                                                            

Shree Nana Datar and Nita Tilak continued serving as Marathi teachers in East end school at Oriole community centre with enrolment of 15 students. Neena Randive helped as classroom volunteer. 


2005 - 2009
Don Valley Junior High School, Toronto District School Board of Education, ON 

Sunanda Tumne made persistent efforts in Sept. 2005; to organize and to hold Marathi classes under the structured program with grand success. Again this year, Marathi classes in East Toronto were organized under the Toronto District School Board of Education. Twenty-eight students registered in Sept.2005 for the East Toronto area. The Saturday morning classes are held at Don Valley Jr. High School. Sunanda Tumne served as a teacher for 4 months. Ashwini Deodhar served as teacher from Dec.2005-2009. Jyoti Mulye served as a supply teacher.



The Valleys Secondary Public School, Peel Board of Education, Mississauga, ON Toronto West classes continued at the Valleys School in Mississauga every Sunday morning with strong enrolment of 40 students. Meenal Joshi and Vijaya Markandey served as a MBM Marathi Shala coordinator. Deoyani Ballal served worked with tremendous dedication as a classroom volunteer for 4 years.


2006 -- 2008
T.L. Kennedy Secondary School, Peel Board of Education, Mississauga, ON     

Vijaya Markandey and Sunanda Tumne served as teachers. A strong enrolment of 46 students continued with two classes. Vrinda Atre and Suneeta Joshi served as supply teachers.
Don Valley J. H. School, Toronto District School Board of Education, ON       

Ashwini Deodhar served as east end teacher with enrolment of 30 students.

Madhuri Bapat (Thacher, AZ) provided the self-designed "Rangoli" T-shirts (Qty. 52) for both Marathi Shala students and teachers as a generous gift in June 2007.


November 2008

Bruhan Maharashtra Mandal (BMM) project initiative         

 Leena Deodhare perceived and initiated this project for BMM as a Marathi Shala. BMM accepted and invited all Mandals to participate at BMM 2020 in Philadelphia. The Marathi Shala curriculum is developed and produced by Sunanda Tumne with the contribution from Vijaya Bapat (North Carolina) along with help from the team of teachers from Toronto, Mississauga and North Carolina. The elementary, intermediate and advance curriculum is developed within eight months of hard work.


December 2008 

 Marathi Shala, One-Day Summer Camp
Ashwini Deodhar initiated and organized meticulously the winter camp for both East and West end Marathi Shala students. Ashwini and Amit Deodhar managed exceptionally well the registration, food, games and prizes. All students enjoyed it thoroughly. As usual MBM supported the activity with venue. Vijaya Markandey, Sunanda Tumne, Jyoti Mulye, Sanheeta Khasnis and volunteer parents helped make the day camp successful.

Every year end, all students continually showed their Marathi leaning and speaking talent with performances of the skits, project presentation, reciting poems, story telling and reading lessons etc. at the "Snehsammelan" gathering. MBM awarded the prizes, certificates to students and appreciation gifts to teachers.



2009 -- 2010 


Sept. 2009 -- June 2010
The Woodbine Junior High School, North York, ON
Jyoti Mulye served as a teacher. Pradnya Soman helped as classroom volunteer. Total of 32 students registered in the East Toronto Marathi class.


T.L. Kennedy Secondary School, Mississauga, ON
A third Marathi class started in Mississauga. Vijaya Markendey and Sunanda Tumne served as teachers. Vrinda Atre, Suneeta Joshi served as substitute teacher. Uma Ambike, Sanheeta Khasnis, Nandini Bapat helped as classroom volunteers. Total 59 students registered in three classes.


June 2009

BMM Marathi Shala Curriculum
A final version of BMM Marathi Shala curriculum is printed. Initially BMM introduced this pilot project to six Mandals then extended to 16 locations. Sunanda Tumne coordinated and trained all 16 Marathi Shala locations in the North America that are part of extended BMM BV Marathi Shala project. All Shala locations received the BMM Marathi Shala curriculum binders. Student enrolment response was great with total around 500 students.


Sept. 2009

 MBM Ganapati program
Jyoti Mulye directed a short play "Daduche Ghar Unhat" written by Sunanda Tumne at the MBM Ganapati program. Eighteen students participated in the play. The play had flavour of comedy, children's adventure and musical conclusion. The audience received this play with joy and laughter. The audience was amazed to hear well-versed Marathi from the kids. Participation and help of all parents made this play so successful.


2010 -- 2012

Jan. 2010
Bruhan Maharashtra Mandal had signed MOU with Bharati Vidhyapith in Pune, India to have affiliation, to produce Marathi Bhasha exams and to award certificates for Marathi learning. Sunanda Tumne worked with Bharati Vidhyapith team to formalise and create the exams based on BMM Marathi Shala curriculum and guidelines in Pune. Also the team worked on to produce two practice books. BV printed the books. 


Sept. 2010 -- June 2011
Woodbine Junior High School, North York. ON
Jyoti Mulye served as a teacher and Geeta Sawant as a classroom volunteer. Total of 33 students registered in East end classes.


T.L. Kennedy Secondary School, Mississauga, ON
Vijaya Markendey, Sunanda Tumne and Uma Ambike served as teachers to three classes with enrolment of 73 students. Deoyani Ballal and Nandini Bapat served as supply teachers. Chitale Ajoba and six grade 9 high school students served as classroom volunteers through out the year. 


May 2011 

Marathi Shala Banner
This is first year where total of 106 students were learning Marathi Language under Ontario's International Language Program. Shashank Chitale designed, created and presented Marathi Shala banner for free of charge.


May and June 2011
West end classes had "Snehasammelan" where students presented poems, Marathi readings, Vegetables, fruits and Marathi cultural symbols. Older group presented skit about eco friendly earth and pollution in Marathi.
East end classes had an outdoor picnic and water fight play in the park. Many parents sponsored the food and gifts to make these programs successful
Ajay Pawar filmed a short documentary of Marathi Shala activities to show at the BMM convention in Chicago.


June 25, 2011 

Marathi Shala Summer Day Camp 
 Uma Ambike organized and planned a perfect one full day activity along with help from other teachers and parents. Total of 52 students attended and enjoyed the Surya Namaskar, Shivaji presentation, games, competitions, how to draw and paint Warali prints, make "Palakhi" craft and learn "Baitha Kho Kho". Prasad Gokhale and Jayant Mulye did the presentation on Shivaji Raja.


May 2011

Marathi Bhasha Exams -- BMM and BV 
Sunanda Tumne worked along with BV team Sindhutai Kulkarni on setting up the sample exam papers, logistics and other required details. Total of 26 students from East and West end Marathi classes appeared for the level 1 and level 2 exam. Each exam level contained 40% marks written exam and 60% marks oral exam. All Toronto students passed with grades A and B. Total of 141 students appeared for these exams in USA and Canada from 11 locations. The certificates are given at the BMM 2011 Chicago convention. Bharati Khopakar (Richmond, VA) designed the bilingual Marathi Bhasha certificate.


July 2011
MBM president Pravina Kale and team nominated Sunanda Tumne for outstanding community work. BMM has recognized her work. Ratnakar Matakari presented her the award at the BMM 2011 convention in Chicago.


Sept 2011
Marathi Shala Mississauga presented children's musical short play "Aappal Potyaa Raakshas" at MBM Ganapati program. Shri. Narale translated the theme from "Selfish Giant" into Marathi. Rasika Jog directed and produced the play with 21 students. Deepak Sant composed and produced the music. Ballal family created the props of castle, trees and fences. Rasika Jog acted out as a BIG GIANT superbly. The play was great success with help of Uma Ambike, Deoyani Ballal, Nandini Bapat and all parents.


Sept 2011 -- June 2012
T.L. Kennedy Secondary School, Mississauga, ON
Woodbine Junior High School, North York. ON
Uma Ambike, Vijaya Markandey, Deoyani Ballal and Jyoti Mulye served as teachers. Sunanda Tumne, Nandini Bapat, Vrinda Atre and Geeta Samant served as substitute teachers.  The total student enrolment is 93 students in 4 Marathi classes.