Digantar Vidyalaya

School Type: Private-Free school, Primary school

Age group: 4-12

Number of students: 400

Year Elected: 2015

 

Digantar Vidyalaya is transforming education by changing how its goals are perceived by its most critical stakeholders – the teachers. Seeing the objective of education as the development of rational, autonomous, sensitive, and democratic values, Digantar actively builds these into the identity and belief systems of teachers. This is then powerfully role-modeled in the classrooms and communities, allowing students, teachers and community members to vigorously pursue changemaking in principle and practice.

Digantar’s success takes on a new relevance with the school’s rootedness in the community it is situated in – the peri-urban limits of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The school’s core vision emerged from the significant social inequity in the region, characterized by a skewed gender ratio where female foeticide and child marriage are still practiced. Digantar takes in children from these very communities, teaches them to question the existing norms, and recognize their own potential for action and their capacity to influence each other as well as the community at large. Through this, Digantar aims to transform a very conservative society to becoming an equitable one.

Changemaking Initiatives

  • Sub-groups are created to allow children at different skill levels to interact with and teach each other.
  • Seeing the teacher as the true social change agent, Digantar’s training breaks down the very purpose of education, and orients the teacher towards questioning the whys, and the hows of pedagogy.
  • Dramatic changes within the community, with young girls insisting that they be allowed to continue studying.