Learning Curve

There are thousands of people working with our government school system to improve learning conditions and psychological outcomes for students. For these dedicated people, I feel deep appreciation and admiration. I myself teach in a non-formal private school (Centre For Learning), and most of us teachers and students come from city backgrounds. One of the many objectives of the CFL education is to connect with lives and worlds outside our own, to break our bubbles of physical comfort and self-indulgence from time to time.

Busting the stereotype built around the government school, this article does a reality check on the government schools. [1]

In my work with Azim Premji Foundation, I travelled to almost every block where the Foundation was working with government schools, be it Deesa in Banaskantha or Mori in Uttarkashi or Pindwara in Sirohi. So when the editor of Learning Curve asked me to contribute an article to this special issue on public education, I thought that the best way I could fulfil the editor’s mandate was to recall and write what I saw on the ground.

World class universities in India might still be a distant dream, but there is a world very close to us populated by the Oxfords, Cambridges, and Stanfords that strangely pitch for uniqueness not through their singularity but through their multiplicity.

In 2008 we had a review of the Child Friendly School initiative which had started in Surpur, an underdeveloped and underserved area of NEK in 2005, with the objective of quality education to all children in a child friendly atmosphere. We were working in the block consisting 300 plus schools in 5 areas – 1. School environment, 2. Classroom environment, 3. Teaching learning process, 4. Teacher academic development and 5. Community participation.

We come together for various social purposes. As Tagore ruefully remarked on the self-destructive events in Bengal during 1934-40, ‘People here do not combine to build up anything bit by bit, but they flock together to enjoy the unholy glee of pulling down what has already been built’. That it is within the realm of the possible to imagine a countercurrent of collective striving for constructive social objectives is the point that is pursued in this brief note.


Welcome to the 25th issue of the Learning Curve – we have reached that significant milestone and in order to celebrate the achievement, it was agreed that the theme should highlight the focus of the Azim Premji Foundaion, which is Public Education, not only as a right to bemade available to eachand every child in India but also as an instrument to facilitate a democratic and equitable society.

Here is the Editorial for Issue XXIV of the Learning Curve on the theme of 'Productive Work as Pedagogy'


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