Published: 07th October 2017
Empathy is a tool for this unconventional school that brings out an alternative education for its students
Kaliyuva Mane aims to impart its students with education that is taught to them in fun, creative ways and is imparted with sensitvity and understanding.
Sixteen-year-old Ramesh loves playing cricket and swimming and has an intense dislike for rote studies. As a young boy living with his disabled grandmother in Mellahalli, on Bannur road in Mysore taluk, dropped out of school after class II with nobody to guide him. When he turned 12 he joined Kaliyuva Mane, a school that believes in alternative education. Kaliyuva Mane, established in 2005, offers free education and is guided by the philosophy “School for Children, Not Children for School”. They don’t follow a grading system and have proudly bent many rules to create a child-friendly environment.
Children from socially and economically deprived backgrounds including school dropouts, child labourers or children who are struggling with a learning disability are welcomed here. Annually, approximately a 100 children study here and half of them are resident scholars. Forty seven, out of 49, children who attempted the class 10 board exams cleared it in English medium. Three of six dyslexic children were among them.
I could not even identify Kannada alphabets in newspapers then, but after four years of individual attention… I am now comfortable with English, Maths, Kannada and Social Science
Pranesh Mourya, a student from a rural, underprivileged family had secured a seat in a reputed CBSE school, under the RTE quota but he was soon struggling with his reading in Kannada and English and was routinely scoring below 20 marks. However, after joining Kaliyuva Mane, he took a psychological assessment with the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing and his IQ was placed at a high 100, even while he was struggling with academics of class I. He was given extra coaching and now he easily manages reading and writing in Kannada and English.
Kaliyuva Mane depends on contributions, donations and acts of goodwill from individuals, institutions and corporates
How it works: Kaliyuva Mane attempts to introduce innovative learning and currently has two systems through which it imparts in its students a sense of financial as well as everyday basics. Their kids bank uses dummy currency to teach children the value of money and the importance of banking. They are given a cheque each month to deposit in the bank, and by using a challan from the bank can buy articles such as soaps and pens from a grocery shop. A kids court tries to inculcate in them a respect for law. Disputes among children are settled with gentle punishments that could encourage better behaviour.
Now Age: The school offers individual attention to students with copingdifficulties
In this Kannada/English medium school, children are taught through activities. Ananth Kumar is the founder, managing trustee and life-term volunteer of Divya Deepa Charitable Trust, which runs this school. He says, “Children respond better and learn faster through activities, therefore most of the syllabus is covered through activities. There are science labs, a kids’ bank, a kids’ court… every bit of the school has been utilised to teach kids life skills”.
Volunteer teachers- Many youngsters pursuing various careers visit Kaliyuva Mane to teach the students. Regular informal tests are conducted rather than annual exams and marks scored are not revealed to emotionally sensitive children, instead their performance is used to try and decipher new methods of teaching. Once the child has learned the necessary skills and knowledge to comprehend the 10th standard syllabus, he/she is enrolled for the board examination conducted by Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Coard as a private candidate. Lessons are readied according to a child’s interests.
Once the child starts showing an interest in studies, an informal assessment is conducted to identify areas where he or she needs extra attention… then a curriculum is drawn out for him or her. We don’t go by standards one, two or three, instead flexible milestones are fixed according to a child’s emotional acceptability. Textbooks from state and central syllabi, reference materials and teaching aids are used in conjunction with the child’s requirement. Children are also provided nutritious food, accommodation and healthcare. Love, care and empathy to ensure a happy childhood is provided, which are essential for faster learning
Deepak Reddy, Manager
What alumni say-
My parents are not educated and they enrolled me in a rural school. I lost interest in studies and my teachers started neglecting and abusing me. I started bunking classes and finally dropped out. One day my mother was working at Kaliyuva Mane, washing vessels, and I was happily playing on a swing. I liked the atmosphere and I joined the school at the age of ten. In 2012, I passed my 10th standard board examination in English medium and I'm presently working in Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, Mysore, as a front office trainee. Sometimes I ask myself if I had not been to that school, where I would have been now
-Shweta, Hospitality Management Trainee
My father is a daily wager and I was struggling with my studies at the age of 10, I could not even do a three digit by single digit division. In Kaliyuva Mane I coped better with individual attention from teachers. I cleared standard ten with first class in 2010. After completing my bachelor degree in business management in first class, I started working in Kaliyuva Mane in their accounts section. My dream is to work in the banking secto
- Mahesh, Accounting Executive