Gyanankur School, Kesnand village
- 760 children from 7 surrounding villages, including 40 from a Maha children’s Home
- Classes from Nursery to 10th Std.
- 50 staff in total including bus drivers.
- Sixteen local Indian teachers, exposed to traditional and progressive pedagogy styles
- Five school buses that transport the children to and from the village school each day.
- Government-determined syllabus and text-books, enriched by international education experts
- A rented recently-constructed three-storey school building with 26 rooms including 3 offices, a library and a kitchen.
- A social worker to reach out to the most impoverished families and support them in educating their children.
We seek to develop the Gyanankur goals and vision in the following ways:
|Students||Local village children, orphans, children who live on the streets, learning side by side with children of the more privileged||Graduating students who are free to pursue their dreams and equally avail of the highest opportunities|
|Classes||A Nursery to 10th Std. English medium school, with small class sizes of no more than 35 students each||A high-quality, sustainable school model that can be replicated in other areas|
|Staff||Commitment of dedicated teachers, specially trained in innovative, learning-centered, interactive teaching methods||Teacher training materials geared towards transforming traditional pedagogy, which can be used to start a teacher-training college|
|Pedagogy||A pedagogy oriented towards Biblical values of humility, servant leadership, sacrificial love, social justice, faith, and prayer. Involvement of parents in their children’s education.||A generation of future leaders who act for the welfare of their country, who refuse corruption, who pursue peace and justice, and who affirm the dignity of labour and the value of every human life.|
|Curriculum||SSC state curriculum enriched by our values, high learning standards, and international educational perspectives||An enriched version of the government curriculum that can be shared with other low resource schools|
|Community||Community development initiatives, including ESL, adult literacy, health and nutrition education, and microfinance income generating projects||Transformation of the local and larger community, allowing people to break out of the cycle of poverty|
- Community Development: Gyanankur has held two medical clinics to assess the health of the children, which brought to light clear nutritional deficiencies. Projects for this year include training mothers on nutritional issues, offering mid-day meals at the school, providing dental assistance and hearing and sight checkups for the children. We held a big parents meeting in August to discuss the vision of the school and the communities’ involvement in it. It was attended by around 100 community members, more than have ever participated in any school function before, and many of them were eager to form a Parents Teacher Association group for the first time! A group of local leaders have been sent for training on innovative and organic farming techniques, and this year we have also started English classes for parents. We also hope to set up small income-generating projects for community members which will also contribute to the school, such as making low cost quality educational toys, low cost quality school furniture, and a stitching class to help make uniforms for the school.
- Child sponsorship program: We are building relationships with community leaders to identify families who are in need of full child sponsorships.
- Teacher Development: Gyanankur is helping its teachers grow in their professional development through exposure trips to innovative schools, various teacher training seminars, visits by progressive educators who model good practices, and encouraging a culture of reading, reflection and sharing of good practices among teachers.
- Curriculum Enrichment project: A Curriculum Development Team has been set up, consisting of international education specialists from Columbia University working to enrich the existing national textbooks. This handbook will help existing teachers to better promote active learning, creativity, critical pedagogy, environmental concern, and other values.
- Teacher Training: Good quality teacher training programs has been identified as a great need in India. The ‘Transformative Teachers Training’ (T3) project is currently being organised involving short-term teacher training programs aiming to bring transformation among teachers by targeting their worldviews. Plans are underway to establish both short-term and long-term certified teacher training programs.
- Educational Research: Gyanankur has initiated a two-year research study on the ways in which Indian teachers’ underlying worldviews affect their classroom practices, and on what are the worldview elements that need to be addressed in reform efforts to bring a shift from rote-learning classrooms to more constructivist teaching styles.