Education Centres

KEI has an integrated strategy of establishing Education Centres (ECs) for underprivileged children, designed to equip them to enter or re-enter the formal education system. Establishing and running ECs is also seen as an interim strategy to provide education in difficult circumstances, where there is absence of or denial of access to government services. Once they are equipped through the ECs to go back to school, they are supported for their entire school education and at times college education through scholarships (tuition fees, transportation and food) till such time that they are able to access entitlements (from the government) that they are eligible for.

KEI has a commitment to quality education that develops children’s cognitive abilities in a way that is enjoyable and exciting. The ECs strive to be models of inclusive education with a focus on development of cognitive skills in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect between teacher and student. Through building the trust of parents and children we will give them a reason to believe in education and to invest their time and energies in it. Excellent provision of teaching-learning materials will ensure that lessons are not only educationally valuable but also enjoyable and stimulating, so that children are motivated to attend school and work hard towards their examinations.

These ECs follow the mainstream curriculum; but unlike the normal schools they are characterized by a joyful learning pedagogy. The following are some of the highlights of the ECs:

  • Every EC has 20-25 children, with a teacher who is known as the ‘Bal Dost’
  • A database of all the children with their profiles is maintained by the teacher of each EC.
  • The Bal Dosts not only teach the children in the ECs, but regularly visit their families.
  • In the initial stages when the children are deeply affected by the displacement and poverty, the Bal Dosts counsel the children and the parents to help them out of deep trauma.
  • ECs provide child-friendly and supportive learning environments in which children learn without fear. Any form of punishment is not acceptable in the ECs.
  • The ECs follow a joyful learning pedagogy, using Teaching-Learning Material based on stories, songs, skits, games and many other educational methods. Educational material and activities are designed by the teachers with local material relevant to the local cultural milieu, with the help of educationists.
  • The ECs strive to instill values of respect for diversity; children of all castes and religions study together with no discrimination or segregation. Special attention and respect is given to the children of Valmikis (manual scavenging community) and the children of women who are forced into sex work, because of their vulnerability to ill-treatment and discrimination by the community.
  • Food with supplementary nutrition value is provided to the children in the ECs, and the quality is supervised by the mothers’ committee in the community.
  • The ECs equip the children to enter mainstream schools; children can continue in the ECs till they are confident and equipped to enter the mainstream schools at the appropriate level.