Disha India Community School is an initiative of Disha India Education Trust in collaboration with the village community. The vision is to set up an Experiential Learning Community school in the village Padha in Karnal district of Haryana. It will be a collective initiative of the community and the Trust where all the important decisions will be taken together. The community school will be run and managed based on the following principles:
- Experiential, contextual and personalized education. It will be an Experiential Learning school where we will use real-life experiences from the local context of the child as a pedagogic medium. The idea is to design the teaching-learning program that is guided and informed by the collective aspirations, possibilities and challenges of the community.
- Collective ownership. There will be a Village Education Leadership Team (VEL Team) that will work in collaboration with the school management. The VEL team will be a microcosm of the village community i.e. it will be a representation from the whole community of the village.
- School will be open to all children of the village. No child will be refused a place in the school irrespective of financial, social and gender differences.
- No withdrawal of profits. The Trust will not withdraw any profits from the school.
- Complete Transparency. There will be complete transparency in managing the funds and resources of the school and the annual budget and balance sheet will be shared with the VEL Team and the parent community.
- Self-sustaining. The School will be financially self-sustaining in the long run.
- Strengthening the village government school. Disha India will support the village government school in improving the quality of education, so that all children of the village get quality education. This will be done through teachers’ capacity building, sharing of learning resources, strengthening sports, arts and crafts, culture, etc.
The vision is to create a model of school education where community takes the shared ownership for providing quality, equal, contextual and personalized education for all its children at an affordable price. The idea is to demonstrate how a community can design its own learning programs based on its aspirations, context, challenges and possibilities, so that education is rooted in the local context and prepare children for the future that the community aspires for.
Core principles that will guide our teaching and learning:
1.Contextual and Personalized education
The education will be integrated in the local ecosystem of the place. We will use local problems and possibilities as a pedagogic context and medium for teaching the required curriculum. The idea is to connect the teaching and learning to the local context of the child and start the learning process from the immediate surroundings of the child. We will go from near to far, concrete to abstract. In twelve years of education, children should develop a deep systemic understanding of their local ecosystem and this understanding should be developed not just through cognitive pedagogies but through real-life experiences and doing. The idea is to engage and immerse the whole being of the child in the learning process.
We will use productive work (from the local context) as a pedagogic medium for teaching and learning the required knowledge, skills and values. The idea is not to prepare children for vocations but use it as a pedagogic medium. It will not only lead to a better understanding of the local context but will also develop a creative and abundance mindset and will also lead to the balance of head, hands and heart in the learning process. We believe that mind learns through hands and the complete body and the idea is to build an intelligent body and not just mind. Doing quality work and creating quality end products will help children experience and understand the value of craftsmanship, excellence and self-reliance
3.Integrated and free child
The big idea is to focus and develop the whole being of the child - physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual. The education process should liberate the child from limiting beliefs and structures. During his/her school education, the child should develop a good understanding of Self and also of the process of self-awareness and self-development - the idea is to experience what it takes to be an attentive, reflective and discriminative being. There will be a design to take a child from self-awareness to self-development and self-empowerment leading to being a free and integral soul.