Model School Programme

The Model School Programme is being implemented in 117 primary and middle government schools in Uttarakhand.

Its primary aim is to strengthen primary government schools with a focus on quality education. The approach is sustainable as we are working with government schools which will continue to be funded by the government after Plan withdraws. By improving the quality of the schools (public institutions) we invariably touch the lives of the most marginalised and poor children, especially girls, for whom it is the only school available and affordable. Simultaneously though, the project works at building community ownership of the government school through facilitating organisation and capacity building of school management committees; 75% of whose members are parents and through them the development of school development plans. Children's participation in school governance is strengthened through children's clubs which also have an important role in identifying out of school children and in bringing their friends back to school.

Another key objective of the project is to provide the Government of Uttarakhand and India a model that is scalable and is in sync with the Right to Education Act 'Model Rules and Norms' which makes 8 years of quality elementary education a fundamental right in India.

There are two specific aspects of the project that lends it the innovations cutting edge. The first is the development in Hindi of the Multi-Grade Multi-Level (MGML) Teaching Module for classes 1 to 5. It was earlier available in Telegu.

The other advantages of the MGML are:

  • It effectively checks the traditional learning as it engages children in activity based processes within the curriculum framework. This helps in generating interest and curiosity.
  • Students missing school for long periods are not required to repeat the year but can continue from the point of leaving by using the learning ladders. This is a major advantage given prevalent migration and sibling care related drop outs observed in rural communities.
  • The programme is economical as it enables a single trained teacher to handle a range of students from class 1 to 5.
  • The design is in regional languages and provides spaces for instructors to introduce local culture into the classroom.
  • The study materials are imbued with humanistic values, respecting local culture and nature.

The second aspect around innovations is the Positive Discipline Manual developed under this project has been widely accepted by the government and civil society alike. The positive discipline manual answers the key question of actively engaging children without resorting to corporal punishment.