A model for low-cost education reform

Akshar Forum

Akshar Forum is a 100-student model school in Assam, India. It is a testing ground for innovative teaching methods.

Akshar is implementing our model in a government school in Delhi, with plans to expand to 5 more next year, towards the goal of transforming education in public schools.

Partnering with local government to transform government schools

 

Akshar Fellowship

Akshar is training and deploying fellows to reform underperforming government schools, in partnership with local government and The Education Alliance.

Fellows will work with school leaders and teachers to implement innovative methods for two years, leaving behind a transformed school with vastly improved outcomes. 

Innovation towards a low-cost,

child-centered pedagogy 

 

Meta-Teaching

Meta-teaching is a system devised to ensure that all children receive the individual support and encouragement they need to learn effectively.

Akshar teaches older students how to teach and employs them as teaching assistants. Meta-teaching benefits adult teachers, teens, and young students.

Daily one-on-one for every child

Daily private lessons

Many children lack the home support they need to succeed in school. Akshar ensures every young child gets daily private mentoring from an older student, under the guidance of an adult teacher. 

The children are thrilled to spend one-on-one time learning from a teen. Teens can often relate to the children better than adults.

Daily private lessons

Many children lack the home support they need to succeed in school. Akshar ensures every young child gets daily private mentoring from an older student, under the guidance of an adult teacher. 

The children are thrilled to spend one-on-one time learning from a teen. Teens can often relate to the children better than adults.

Older students help adults teach young ones...

...giving adults more time to focus on the teens in their own class...

... and transforming teens into community leaders

Learn more to earn more

There is a great deal of pressure on teens to drop out of school so they can start earning. Akshar pays teens to work part-time in school, learning and earning, and families are happy to send them to school.

Students wages are based on their academic level and their teaching skill. Students are incentivized to learn more so they can earn more.

 

To measure teaching skill, students self-evaluate their levels of critical thinking, effective communication, empathy, metacognition, patience and their ability to motivate. 

Technology with a human touch

 

Limitless learning resources

Akshar has partnered with the Nalanda Project from Motivation for Excellence to give students access to the latest in educational technology.

Students who lack the technology at home gain essential digital literacy, and students are far more engaged by the interactive learning technology than by traditional learning materials.

Technology with a human touch

First, the teens learn...

...then they pass on what they learned

Coaching with technology

A teenager trained to teach and equipped with a tablet becomes a very effective private instructor. 

 

Many young students are not yet able to read or navigate learning software. When guided by an older student, tech-assisted learning becomes more personal and dynamic, allowing adult teachers to target and address individual students' weaknesses with ease.

"The principle is to impart the whole education... through the handicraft that is taught to the children."

- Mahatma Gandhi

 

Pathway to a fulfilling career

Akshar's secondary curriculum balances practical skills with abstract learning. Students will gain skills in school until placed in a college, apprenticeship, or high skill trade.

The curriculum combines carpentry with mathematics, solar technology with physics, embroidery with economics,  teaching with psychology, recycling with ecology, landscaping with biology, etc.

Every school a recycling center

A model for scalable environmental remediation

Every student pays "school fees" with plastic from their homes. Teens are employed to collect plastic from homes in the area surrounding the school, a model that can be replicated in every school to effect large scale change. 

Teens are also employed part-time in the campus Recycling Center, sponsored by ERDF, processing non-recyclable, dry, plastic packaging into Eco-bricks. 20-40 packets that would have been dumped or burned are sequestered into a single plastic bottle, forming a sturdy brick for simple construction projects.

 

Every school an animal shelter

 

Akshar Animal Shelter

Akshar's campus, students and staff have sheltered and found homes for 20 dogs, including injured and abandoned dogs, in the first year of the campus Animal Shelter.

 

They were vaccinated, dewormed, and cleaned up, then homes were found for them, with regular monitoring. Akshar takes care of all their medical needs, sterilization and post-op care.

A model for scalable rescue of street animals

Teens are employed to take care of puppies feeding and medical issues, applying daily medicines, and to care for dogs for 10 days after their sterilization procedures, before they are sent home. Any reports of sick or injured dogs in the area are addressed quickly.

 

If every school implements a similar model, we can end the suffering of street animals, while students learn empathy and basic medical care. 

Every child should have

a beautiful community

 

Akshar Landscaping Enterprise

Teens are being trained in gardening and carpentry, solar tech and, soon, irrigation, electronics and lighting. This training will culminate in the development of the Akshar Landscaping Enterprise.

 

Students will learn how to operate a profitable business, while enhancing the aesthetics of public spaces in the community, as well as private businesses in the area.

Akshar Foundation

(+91) 69009 20763

contact@aksharfoundation.org

18 Basisthapur By-lane 3

Beltola, Guwahati 781028

Assam, India

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Photos by Hrishikesh Medhi and Sarpil Nandan Deka

©2019 by Akshar Foundation. 

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