To bridge the gap in the quality of education between children belonging to well-to-do families and those from the lower economic strata in urban areas, Bal Utsav, an initiative of Child Empowerment Foundation India (CEFI), is launching a Museum School on April 21.
Nina P. Nayak, Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, will inaugurate the school, said to be first of its kind in a metro, at the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (VITM) on Kasturba Road here.
Ramesh Balasundaram, Director of CEFI, told presspersons here on Friday that the government has been trying to check the school dropout rate by providing free textbooks, uniforms, bicycles and so on to students. However, due to minimal infrastructure and multi-grade teaching by single teachers, the student-teacher ratio had affected the quality of teaching, resulting in an increase in the number of dropouts.
“A museum provides knowledge and a fun-filled learning environment. But it had not been used as a centre for regular learning. Their exhibits enable practical and conceptual learning, even for illiterate children. The Museum School collaborates with museums, making them the regular school, matches curriculum with exhibits, and facilitates a practice teaching platform for B.Ed. colleges. Using the government infrastructure as a school, the Museum School will be able to fill the gap in quality education,” he said.
Mr. Balasundaram said that the school will cover 100 non-school going children from slums across Bangalore and will operate five days a week and four hours daily. The services of five B.Ed. teachers, besides about five literate persons from slums would be utilised for the school. The children will be also be provided with free pickup and drop facility and nutritious snacks.
The school will have a curriculum that covers values, life skills, literacy, academics, arts, sports, adolescent and vocational education.
The important feature of the school is that it is being run by women — teaching, non-teaching and coordination.
Details can be obtained from Child Empowerment Foundation India, 785, 2nd Cross, Ayyappa Layout, Munnekolalu, Marathahalli, Bangalore 560037 or log on to >www.balutsav.org