Gone are the days when parents looked for traditional, mainstream schools for their kids, that follow a tightly regimented curriculum, with little or no space for free thought and expression.
As more and more parents become aware of the benefits of a holistic program of education that involves not just the mental faculties of the child but also his socio-emotional, linguistic, physical and aesthetic faculties, alternative schools or schools that follow unconventional methods and techniques of instruction have become popular choices.
Many of these schools are now ranking as Gurgaon best schools and even among all India rankings. Alternative schools allow the child to learn at his or her own pace without the pressures of the right curriculum and examinations. Teachers are present in classes but only for guidance and encouragement. Students are encouraged to learn through interacting and exploring their surroundings, often in natural settings. Children growing in such nurturing and enabling settings will surely develop into compassionate, creative and emotionally sound individuals. If you too wish to give your ward the advantages of a holistic education in close contact with the natural world, you can select from a range of alternative schools.
We have compiled a list of 10 such schools in India, but there are many more that may have inadvertently been left out.
Prakriya Green Wisdom School, Bangalore
This alternative educational institution in Bangalore is also one of the city’s most reputed and sought after schools. Prakriya Green Wisdom School is an eco-friendly zone. Children learn through experiential education, bonding with nature and mixed age classes. The children are even served food grown on the school’s on-campus farm!
The yellow train school, Tamil Nadu
Based on the Waldorf system of education, this alternative school takes the rigorous curriculum of ICSE and makes it’s fun by using creative and interactive alternative teaching methodologies. The school operates from a farm on the outskirts of Coimbatore and aims to provide its students with an unhurried childhood in the lap of nature and all things good.
Shishyaa Preschool, Mumbai
The Shishyaa Preschool in Mumbai is a preschool with a difference. The school emphasises on the individual talents and inclination of the children and offers a hands-on education. The school believes in learning by doing.
The Student’s Educational and Cultural Movement Of Ladakh(SECMOL) Alternative School is a one of its kind institutions. It is a fully sustainable school that relies on solar power, biogas, compost and organic food grown by the students themselves! The focus, at SECMOL, is on self-learning and children are encouraged to learn life skills more than theoretical knowledge.
Shikshaantar School in Gurgaon is an alternative school affiliated to the ICSE. At Shikshaantar a student’s progress is measured not only in academic terms but also in terms of character building, self-esteem enhancement, nurturing aspiration, creative potential and potential for future development.
The Valley School, Bangalore
Following the philosophy of educational reformer JidduKrishnamoorthy, The Valley School is a reputed institution in Bangalore. The school offers a sprawling green campus where students learn through interaction with nature and the natural world. The school employs several innovative teaching methodologies to engage and teach the kids in a stress-free, collaborative environment.
Pramiti is a popular alternative school in Bangalore headed by noted educationist Savitha Ravi. The school employs many out of the box teaching resources to educate its students. Various life skills like carpentry are also taught at Pramiti.
Rishi Valley School, Chittoor
Tucked away in a remote picturesque valley in Andhra Pradesh, the Rishi Valley School, founded by educationist JidduKrishnamoorthy, is an alternative education school that believes in a holistic education of the mind, body and soul. Conservation and sustainability if nature is ingrained in the core values of the school’s education system. The school’s efforts have been recognized by national and international green organizations and the area around the school has been declared a green zone as a result.
Arivu School, Mysore
Arivu School in Mysore is an alternative school that believes that education is not limited to classroom and knowledge is not limited to books. The school adopts an experience-based learning approach and peer-group based learning through collaboration and interaction. Creative resources are used to help children learn and grow.
BeMe in Bangalore is one of its kind school. It is an open school that encourages self-learning in its students. It follows a democratic setup where children are elected to councils and experience, first hand, the challenges and benefits of a democracy. The school has an activity corner, curiosity corner, electives, skills training, expression circle and much more.
Alternative schools are steadily entering the mainstream education system in India as more parents are getting disillusioned with the unidimensional, factory setting system of the present educational institutions and are looking for more for their kids.
This list is but a sample of the vast variety of alternative schools available in India. If you know of any good schools that may have been missed out from this list, please share with us and our readers.