High School Program

Gyan Shala noticed that most parents in the slums are extremely reluctant to send teen-aged and adolescent girls to distant schools at high school stage. Further, household demands to contribute to family’s economy makes it difficult for the adolescent boys also to find time for a full day high school. Gyan Shala has, therefore, launched its High School program in 2011-12, under the provision of open Schooling, which enables a flexible duration study program close to the residence of children. The educational goals of high school program, however, have not been diluted and we are targeting that this program too would generate children’s performance on par with India’s leading schools, thus opening the possibilities of professional education and future life trajectory for Gyan Shala children coming from poor families. The program adopts State curriculum goals and is structured similar to middle school program, with three differences. First, the education and quality of teacher support in high school is upgraded. Second, High School program places much larger emphasis on doing well in the formal Board examination, which, at present juncture, places considerable emphasis on memorization and procedural, different from conceptual, understanding which is emphasized upto middle school program in GyanShala. Third, High School program has a special provision for children who are not coming from Gyan Shala middle school program. We have noted that the standard of education in most Government or private schools will be much lower than in Gyan Shala grade 8. So, the children studying in grade 8 in such schools, who are to be admitted in Gyan Shala in grades 9 and 10, are provided tutorial assistance, along with their studies in grade 8 in their old school, so they are better prepared to join grade 9 in Gyan Shala.

In the year 2014-15, the second batch of the students took the Board Exams for Grade 10. Out of 55 students, 41 students passed the test, which shows 74.54 percentage of students passing. In the same year, in the state of Gujarat, for all the students, percentage was only 55. Thus, passing percentage of GyanShala is worthy of appreciation, as the program deals with all  lower socio-economic strata of the population compared to the state. While comparing the same with the first batch’s passing percentage which was 72, there is also some improvement. In the coming years, more efforts are being planned, so as to get the good results.

We expect the program design to stabilize over the next 4-5 years. Being a pilot scale program in its development phase, per child cost of this program is high, but it should stabilize at around Rs. 7500/- per child per year when it reaches the scale of existing middle school program. In 2015-16, this program had 7 classes of grade 8 and 3 classes of grade 9 and 2 classes of grade 10, covering a total of 319 children, as mentioned in the Table 3.

Grades Centers Children Boys Girls
STD 8 7 192 94 98
STD 9 3 75 44 31
STD 10 2 52 22 30
TOTAL 12 319 160 159

Main features:

  • Classrooms nearby homes/ communities, so allowing more  girls of teen age to continue studies
  • Curriculum content made suitable to the student’s natural learning style
  • Pedagogical approaches learnt from the successful examples across India- World and also from pedagogy experts and adapted for the needs of the children
  • Use of human resources available locally and easily at each level
  •  Regular (fortnightly) extensive training of all categories of the staff
  • Subject  specific grade wise teachers
  • Additional personalized – individual coaching to all the students, as not supported by parents