Rural elementary programs in Gujarat

In the wake of severe damage to school infrastructure by the Gujarat Earthquake in 2001, GS started its grades 1-3 classes in two taluka/blocks of Surendranagar district, Dhragandhra and Patdi, bordering the little Runn of Kutchh. The program had around 2000 children in 60 classes in 20 villages.

Most government school building got repaired, and these started functioning in all villages by the end of 2003, but the local villagers found the quality of GS schools much better, and wanted these to continue, so the program continued for four years. The program had to close due to funding and regulatory constraints.

The rural program performed as well as the urban program in terms of children’s learning. The only area of difference was among teachers, who were mostly women in urban areas, but almost all male in rural areas. We could not get educated girls in the villages who were willing to teach poor children. In terms of unit cost too, the two program components came on par.

In 2002-03, Yuva Shakti (Jan-Vikas) approached Gyan Shala to support their education initiatives in Halol taluka of Panchmahal district to build communal harmony, after riots of 2002. For four years, 52 classes were supported academically by Gyan Shala by but managed Yuva Shakti.