The World’s Most Innovative Schools: Baljyothi

April 20, 2011 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

by Alec Patton

Sharat Babu Vasireddy (http://bit.ly/bacrYt)

Sharat Babu Vasireddy started his career as a campaigner against child labour. He began to realise that many children were working in part because schools were not meeting their needs. So, he set up Baljyothi schools in Hyderabad, southern India.

Education in India is, for the most part, highly centralised. By contrast, Baljyothi is highly decentralised: each school is run by local “management committees” made up of parents and teachers. This way, the people who use the school are in control of it: it meets their needs because they call the shots, not because somebody from outside has made an educated guess about what would be most useful to them. The schools’ reliance on local community support also makes these schools extremely cost-effective.

The wider social impact of the schools is dramatic, especially since children in Hyderabad’s slums are usually treated as wage-earners rather than students. The impact on girls has been especially pronounced, particularly because “mothers’ committees” in some schools are put in charge of recruiting staff, and often focus specifically on young women who may have trouble finding other professional work.

Read More

Article in Changemakers.net

Sharat Babu Vasireddy’s Ashoka Fellows profile

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Entry filed under: Education & Children's Services.

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