Gyan Shala is an educational NGO that made it possible for the slum kids and school dropouts to get a mainstream education from regular government and public schools.
Founded in 2002 by faculty members from the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad and Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Gyan Shala has been conducting interactive sessions and detailed assessment tests with the assistance of determined teachers.
The NGO begin its journey by conducting primary classes in ten slum locations of Ahmedabad. Gyan Shala has now spread its area of operations and is working in nine cities of four states that are, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat. They conduct sessions in rented rooms for the convenience of residents and save them the pain of traveling.
One of the founding members, Pankaj Jain talks about the motive and said that the idea was to do this at a very large scale therefore not having infrastructure helps as it doesn’t bind them with property expenses, maintenance, etc.
They aim at providing an affordable form of education for three years that enables them to get admission into mainstream schools. Their model of education is based on recurrent teacher training that divided the process into three parts, namely, Daily interaction with students, Curriculum design and Supervision and support.
Regular exams are conducted by independent organizations to check the progress of students
Gyan Shala charges Rs. 50-100 for the elementary program while middle school level fee is Rs. 100-200. Children from very poor backgrounds who can’t afford the fees are not charged any fee.
Gyan Shala has been associated with more than 100,000 children. More than 1,500 teachers work together to provide education to these slum children along with 225 people who look after the resources, teacher training and curriculum designing.
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Registered as a charitable trust, Gyan Shala is registered as a charitable trust that gets funds from partner organizations such as Michael Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), Department for International Development (DFID) and other such organizations.
Gyan Shala now stands a proud organization with many of its students enrolled in engineering colleges. The success of such students is what Gyan Shala gets motivation from and they keep moving forward, continuing the good work.