The number of parents considering alternative schools have increased in the past years. Indian parents are aware and are partial to Montessori, Waldorf, Steiner philosophies and are realising that it is better than rote learning. Times have changed and the big metros have alternate schooling options which are definitely popular. While the serpentine queues for admissions might not die out, alternate schools have also made space in the Indian education system. Parents have started looking beyond the school’s academic track record and are now open to other factors too.
If you are a parent on the lookout for an unconventional school for your little one, here’s a list you must consider!
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The very recent addition to the list of alternate schooling options in the city, Papagoya boasts off a Norwegian model, a first of its kind in the country. Tucked away in a pretty, olden-style house, the school is a home away from home. With socialising and gender equity as their USP, the founders of the school, Darshana and Helen are sure to give the alternative schooling system a whole new meaning.
Contact: +91-9886160270, +91-9886000052
Shibumi is a learning centre for the adults and the young, started in 2008 and is run by the teachers and students from J. Krishnamurti’s schools. The non-formal approach to learning is the uniqueness of the school. The admission process is very different from other schools. Parents are expected to attend about 12-15 dialogue sessions, where their intent towards the school is explored in depth. At this stage, parents are also encouraged to talk to other Shibumi parents and get a better picture of the school. The above procedure is done to ensure that parents are aligned with the intent of the school. If the parents are clear about this, the child’s name is taken on the admission list. The school offers only limited seats and hence has a stringent screening process.
Email: [email protected]
3. Prakriya Green Wisdom School
Located in Sarjapur, Prakriya is an alternative school in Bangalore, which has attracted many parents. The campus unlike other schools has a canopy spread across the wide area. Students are encouraged to address the teacher as ‘aunties’ and not ma’am. As for the teaching, the school follows a strict philosophy of teaching the kid only when he or she is ready. That said, children are also exposed to other activities like drawing, painting, and worksheets, which improvise their hand coordination. Promoting healthy eating habits, field trips, nature walks and street plays are also part of Pakriya’s curriculum. The admission procedure is also pretty simple, with no major interviews or tests.
Contact: [email protected]
Facebook: Prakriya Green Wisdom School
What began as home-schooling with three children in 1993, turned out to be one of the city’s most popular alternative schools. Poorna, like most other alternative schools, has a non-formal approach towards teaching and learning. Field trips, excursions, exhibitions and other activities are used as a key to teaching lessons to the children. Apart from this, children are also given the freedom to name their classes, instead of just assigning I,II,III and so on. This led to the children coming up with some interesting class names with themes ranging from galaxies to words like peace etc. The Poorna community comprises of around hundred and fifty students and their parents, thirty teaching and support staff, trustees and alumni.
Facebook: Poorna Learning Centre
5. La Wisdom
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Tucked inside a silent, picturesque lane in the busy area of Koramangala, La Wisdom is a one-of-a-kind school for children between 3 and 13 years of age. A group of parents and educationists came together to redefine the idea of a school for kids and La Wisdom was born. In order to allow better student-teacher relationship, identify talents and offer a personalised experience, the school accommodates only a small number of students. La Wisdom houses an indoor and outdoor play area, kitchen, nap zone, children’s library, multi-media room and an art room.
Website: La Wisdom
Contact: +91 9844290460
Facebook: La Wisdom
Just as the name suggests, this little alternate school in Bangalore, allows kids to ‘Be Me’! The no syllabus method of teaching has attracted not just the little masterminds but also kids who are 10-16 years of age. The school has clearly planned out activities catering to each age group. For instance, the older kids are offered elective courses like gardening, yoga, baking, carpentry, self-defence etc once in a quarter. Outstations trips, expert talk about their profession or hobby are the other learning spaces children are exposed to. That said, kids get to mingle with other children, not just of their own age, which acts as a big catalyst in the learning process.
E-mail: [email protected]
7. The Valley School
The Valley School that functions on the principles and teachings of J. Krishnamurti, attempts to discover a way of living that is whole, sane and looks beyond academic excellence. Located amidst a canopy that covers almost the entire campus, The Valley believes in mixed age group learning program, where children are not segregated based on their age, but encouraged to mingle with different age groups, breaking barriers. Apart from academics, the school actively encourages children to participate in workshops and art programs as well.
Website: The Valley School
E-mail: [email protected]