Ten schools across the country, have been recognised as ‘Changemaker Schools’ for bringing new approaches to education that would enable students to enhance development in the society. The schools, said to have institutional characteristics were recognised at a two-day conclave ‘Ashoka Changemaker Schools’ held in New Delhi recently. It was aimed at providing a platform for principals, teachers, students and parents from the different schools to interact and engage with social entrepreneurs across the country pioneering new approaches to education.
A survey was conducted on 60 schools across 30 cities in the country, out of these only 10 schools were selected. The initiative has been started by Ashoka Foundation which has Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi associated with it. The changemaker schools have been selected based on their commitment to influence and help others at large in the education sector.
Vishnu Swaminathan, South Asia representative, leadership group member of Ashoka said that, “With the changemaker initiative we are striving to change mind-sets and catalyse changes through schools and across the wider ecosystem so that every child could be provided with environments and experiences that are exclusively designed to foster change making skills.”
The 10 schools which have been recognised are Digantar Vidyalaya (Jaipur) Riverside School (Ahmedabad) R.N. Poddar School (Mumbai), KCT Vidyaniketan (Pune), TVS Academy (Hosur), Vidyodaya School (Gudalur), Headstart Learning Centre, (Chennai), Uday Community School (Sawai Madhopur), Muni International School (Delhi) and The Heritage School (Gurgaon), which to enable all students to become changemakers. Riverside School from Ahmedabad has inbuilt change making into their curriculum through the ‘Feel, Imagine, Do and Share framework’ which enables them to teach academic subjects through empathy. Apart from these, Headstart Learning Centre has started the Elina Resource Centre which integrates children with disability into regular classes by which children are consciously taught to be empathetic problem solvers. Uday Community School at Jaganpura, Sawai Madhopur, sends each teacher to adopt two government schools in the nearby villages to build a mind-set of quality education across the district in Rajasthan.
These schools would become a part of the larger Ashoka network of leading social entrepreneurs, business people, media and academics and will lead the conversation on changing education in the country by regular outreach, innovation labs and creating toolkits of best practices. Schools will work on joint projects – either with each other, Ashoka Fellows, or with Ashoka Foundation – this could be around storytelling, or leading conferences in education, or building a toolkit – towards building and assessing change maker skills. Organisers said that they would also come together for regular peer learning and problem solving sessions.