The Shiksha Niketan Girls’ school in the Kotri village of the Ajmer district in Rajasthan currently has a total of 63 students, between classes 1 through 8. As has been previously mentioned, it is unique in that it is the first of its kind in the area to cater to students from some of the most vulnerable communities, namely communities such as the Nat, Bagariya, Regar, Khateek and Harijan communities. It is also important to highlight the fact that it caters to young girls who would otherwise have no access to education.
The school’s distinctive curriculum not only focuses on regular subjects and extracurriculars but also specifically focuses on important issues such as girls empowerment and rights and promoting equality across caste, religion and class, all while engaging the students in activities such as storytelling, reciting poems, solving puzzles and reading the news. In other words, the students are encouraged to speak freely and fully express their creativity in a positive environment.
One example of an interesting projects undertaken recently is the project on Malala Yousafzai. The teachers used a projector to demonstrate Malala’s journey as an activist, using her story to educate them on issues of gender violence, child labour, children’s education and violence against children. Furthermore, the teachers prepare charts, stories and tables to teach the students.
Some of the other important subjects that are introduced include information on nutrition and awareness of government facilities, policies and programmes and their relevance in their day to day lives.