Source: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I am a teacher by profession. After working for more than 11 years, I got an opportunity to work as a Principal. Today’s situation of a school is very challenging. We as teachers always were of the opinion that the online platforms are meant for the corporate world alone. Many, like me, never thought that we will have to learn to use the online platform and will have to get connected with our students virtually. But today it is a reality. Now it is almost two years that we are working online.

A new concept of schooling emerged in my mind and I was wondering if it can be a reality. Though this is unique, it is the learning centre designed from children’s point of view.

As a teacher and now as a Principal, I always thought that schools are actually meant for students but they hardly get the freedom to do whatever they wish to. Hence, an idea of school where students will have lot of freedom in learning came to my mind. I would like to share details of the same.

Foundation stage

Age 3 year to 6 years

Many times we have observed that children who are born in the month of October or November tend to perform well in the class during the second academic term in school. So it becomes difficult for them to cope up with the learning backlog of the first term. Hence I thought of this solution.

This will work for all the months of a year. Every student is admitted to school on his birthday, from then he is under learning process for ten months. After ten months, he takes a break for two months and joins the next stage on his next birthday.

There is a group of 5 to 6 students in one group who join at the same time. One teacher is responsible for teaching-learning of this group. So the teacher also gets a vacation for those two months. In this manner each one gets a vacation for two months but the school is never completely closed.

The learning is through actual experiences and based on activities. There are different class rooms where activities of music, dance, yoga laboratories for different subjects are set up. The students move from one room to another in this process, instead of a teacher changing the class. The sequence of learning activities is prepared by the teacher. She follows all those activities with her own group and monitors the progress of each child. This learning takes place upto age group 6 years. Each child has an IAP which can be revised weekly depending on the objectives achieved or not.


Level I learning

This is generally a stage where students go to grade I. Here even at this stage, the same system continues. But the group becomes a little more in number. Here students will have freedom to choose the classes they want to attend. They may move from one room to another, learning whatever they like, in sequence. It may also happen that they don’t give enough time in one class in order to learn something concrete but they will at last learn by end of the day that they need to spend enough time in any one activity to learn properly.

With this it happens that one student is at different levels for different subjects. E.g. it may happen that a particular student is in grade III for English and Social Studies but in grade II for Mathematics and Science.

This learning process continues till the students are up to age 10 or 12. That is in formal school at Grade VI or VII.

From this time onwards student are made so independent that they know what they much need in studies and what they can do independently. By this stage the exposure to academics and non academic areas are also to all the students. It is by this time that the students will have identified their areas of interests. Even the parents come to know by this time what are strength and weakness of their own ward.

After the age group of 12 to 13 years, the students have lot of freedom to decide how much time they want to spend in school and for what guidance. So the academic studies happen independently with the help of online resources or library. The students can avail the help from the teachers but that would happen one to one. The process will be individual based as per the needs and abilities of the students. In this process a student books a class before hand and then visits the school. He may avail the guidance from a particular teacher as per his needs. He may leave after that. So here he pays for the time and the subject he has chosen to be with a teacher.

Eg. a student is studying, science and he has an issue in understanding Physics numerical, then he may book a class with a Physics teacher in a school, he visits the school only for that particular class, learns as per his requirements and goes home. He pays only for the class and the time he avails the school help.

This type of school not only caters for academic needs of a student but will also take into account the non-academic subjects like sports, performing arts, and many more options that will help students choose as a career. A career counselling, aptitude test, any kind of help that a student needs by his age of 18 will be provided to each and every student.

There would also be parental guidance workshops in the areas that the parents need help in.

With this teacher may also choose the number of hours they work and are paid only for the time they spend. The students initially have to become a member of this kind of school by paying registration charges. The membership is renewed every year depending on the facilities they want to avail and for actual one to one learning or training session will have to pay additional charges. The membership will allow them to be on campus any time during the school time which can be almost 12 hours a day; they will have access to library, laboratories, IT support, activity rooms, playground to learn or perform activities on their own. But if they need training from a teacher, they will pay for that particular training session.

The present schools have a problem of using their infrastructure since the schools are online. But in this case, children are in small groups so social distancing and all covid precautions will be taken. There will be also facilities of online training from a teacher, of course, with charges. In every case the students will have to be the members of the school. There will be some training program that the school will arrange for students and for parents where it can be attended at additional costs.

The basic idea of this school is to develop the students to be independent as early as possible. They will also be given professional guidance to any non scholastic activity in case they want to choose that as their career. In short all the needs of the students from the age group of 3 years to 18 years will be taken care off. There will be important day celebrations to bring about the awareness of the world around and to develop basic value system. The syllabus of this school will mainly include life skills as a part of mandatory subject for study which will be designed keeping in view the life challenges that an individual may have to face in the real life after passing out from this school.

I dream of this school and I am sure the students passing out from this school will be better equipped to meet challenges of life with positive and strong approach.


.   .   .