Making A Difference
9 rural schools
Over 2900 children on full scholarships
Computer-aided, English-medium education
Free noon meals fortified with micronutrients
As a part of Isha’s social outreach programs, Isha Vidhya rural schools provide high-quality, English-medium education to rural children who cannot otherwise access or afford it.
Today, 9 Isha Vidhya schools in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are creating a bright future for over 5200 rural children – many of whom are first-generation school-goers. Full scholarships funded by individual and corporate donors cover tuition, notebooks and textbooks, and support about 60% of the children.
The holistic, activity-based approach nurtures children’s development beyond just academics, ensuring that students realize their full potential and learn in a joyful manner. Through Isha Vidhya, rural children are empowered to create a life which goes beyond their current social and economic situations.
Sadhguru relates his vision for Isha Vidhya, in the Isha Vidhya Chronicle, the organization’s annual newsletter.
Sadhguru : When I travel through our villages and see the kids, they are so bright-eyed at the age of four or five. But by the time they are fourteen or fifteen, the spark has gone; their eyes are lifeless.
Rural youth should not be stuck with situations where they cannot do anything more with their lives.
Tamil Nadu has 9.7 million students in government schools. But these are only numbers, because the quality of education is suffering.
Less than 20% of our graduates are employable. So these children neither have their parents’ skills nor can they read or do mathematics. This is one thing we have definitely changed through the Isha educational initiatives. Our teachers have strived hard to raise the quality of education and at the same time, keep it as a joyful experience for the children.
Still, whatever we and a handful of other organizations are doing is only a small drop in the ocean. So we are now adopting government schools and looking at how to improve their infrastructure and teaching methods, to upgrade the quality of education that is being delivered. We are adding four of our teachers per government school, and they will work to change the quality of the school from within.
We are also using our Isha Vidhya schools as a training ground for government school teachers. We have taken this up as a pilot project, and it is producing phenomenal results.
Isha Vidhya will be getting into this on a large scale in the coming years.
However, it is not in the hands of a single organization to do everything. We can inspire and facilitate, but we cannot take up everything because it is too large. The difference in human life cannot be measured only in numbers, but we do need to offer this possibility to as many children as possible. With the good will, respect and ability that Isha has earned, we need to open up channels with the government, corporate sector, and with organizations like UNICEF, etc.
I hope all of you will participate in whatever capacity you can, because this is something that can revolutionize rural India.
Isha Vidhya through the eyes of a visitor from the United States.
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