Educo Muskaan school
Leaders: Chris Way & Krishna Pujari
Location: Muskaan, Kumbharwada, Dharavi, Central Mumbai
Started: June 2009
Pupils: 90 [Junior & Senior Kindergarten] Partner: Reality Gives
Educo runs a Kindergarten school jointly with the NGO Reality Gives in Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia and one of the most deprived areas of Mumbai. The school is run out of a building provided by the local community, who recognise the need for a quality Kindergarten in their area.
We use the Muktangan method of teaching in this school, which encourages children to think for themselves – teachers facilitate rather than teach. Central to the Muktangan method is the low teacher- pupil ratio: typically there is 1 teacher for every 15 pupils, thus encouraging an excellent level of tuition. The teachers all come from the local community, we facilitate their training with the Muktangan centre and are committed to maintaining the high standards of teaching within the school. As well as this quality teaching, we provide the children with a nutritious meal every day.
When the children graduate from the Muskaan school, we plan for them to join our school run out of the Kala Kila school, which is located on the nearby Mahim Sion Link Road, Dharavi. Educo and Reality Gives plan to recreate the model of the Saibaba Path school in nearby Lalbaug, which has proven so successful. This involves engagement with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (formerly the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC) to allow us to use classrooms in their underutilised Kala Kila school. We already have a good relationship with the management of the school where our teachers from Muskaan assist the BMC teachers with their English classes. We plan to have our first class of Standard 1 ready to start in Kala Kila by June 2012.
Educo Muskaan goals
1. To continue to engage with the BMC authority at the Kala Kila school to ensure the use of classrooms to start our own English-medium school, starting at Standard 1.
2. To expand the Kala Kila school by one class every year, up to Standard 10, always providing education in English and using the proven Muktangan teaching method.