Kids are like clay; they take up any shape you mould them into. Schools play an important role in the lives of all students. For every kid, school is their first introduction to social interaction. We learn most of our morals and values in school and we cherish for them for the rest of our life.
Many of us reminisce about our school days with nostalgia, but we can all agree that school wasn’t the happiest place to be. There were heavy bags filled with books, hundreds of students wearing uniforms, every hour accounted for, punishments, us. As children, many of us definitely thought that there was no choice but to attend school no matter how much I disliked it. I pondered, then, whether I would feel any different about going to school if mine was in a train carriage or in an open garden?
Perhaps that would have been too much to wish for, but my feeling is that it would have been much more exciting. Let’s take a look at a few unique schools in India that will inspire you to return to school!
- Bihar’s Platform School
Many of us probably read the classic story of Toto Chan. Toto Chan studied in a very unique school where the classrooms were designed like old railway carriages. This school probably comes closest to the school model from that story. Inderjit Khurana started the platform school near Patna to educate poor orphaned kids who sold tea on railway platforms. About 100 kids joined shortly after he opened the school. Soon, however, he realized that merely teaching them lessons wouldn’t help much. Having basic life skills, such as medical aid, was of the utmost importance to these kids because they came from an underprivileged background. Counselling would also need to be provided, and the entire process would have to be fun and engaging for the students. The syllabus gradually began to incorporate these concepts. Trying to give the children a life of dignity is what I am trying to do as a teacher at the school, Ajith Kumar said. Unless they are educated, most of them will turn to criminal activity.”
- SECMOL, Ladakh
Ladakh’s Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement (SECMOL), has gained appreciation from millions across the country. Among its main features are focus on practical instruction, eco-friendly living, and a complete departure from the traditional educational system. Following its success, Sonam Wangchuk, its founder, embarked on a variety of other programs.
- School without books or tests- Ananya
Children who grow up in underprivileged homes and in abusive households face a variety of obstacles to attending school, including a lack of support from their parents. Dr. Shashi Rao found this deeply troubling. After seeing the need, Dr. Rao joined forces with other people who also thought it was important to impart education in a creative and unique way to these children. First, they interacted with the children at Dr. Rao’s home and in public parks, discussing everything from cricket to the weather. After covering everyday topics, they moved on to mathematics and geography. Over the years, Ananya Trust, the trust started by Dr. Rao, developed into a school of a unique kind. It offers education to children from underprivileged backgrounds.
- Karnataka’s Aurinko Academy
As a youngster, Vivek was less intrigued by formal education than by an offbeat trade – carpentry! In search of a school that would not only encourage skills but also polishes them, his parents came across the Aurinko Academy in Bengaluru, which defines itself as a progressive learning environment, and they decided that this was the school for their son. The change in him was evident to his mother almost immediately. Following just a few months at the institute, Vivek found himself intrigued by the subject of carpentry, which was one of the many genres offered in their unique curriculum.