An Institute for Educational Research & Innovative Action
MEANINGFUL EDUCATION FOR ALL TOWARDS BUILDING AN EGALITARIAN AND JUST SOCIETY ON THE PATH OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
MEANINGFUL EDUCATION - THAT ISN'T JUST A DRUDGERY TO BE ENDURED, BUT AN EXPERIENCE TO BE CHERISHED; THAT SHOULD BE A BASIC RIGHT OF ALL, NOT THE PRIVILEGE OF A FEW.
For over three decades now, Eklavya has been striving to translate this dream into a reality. Our goal is to effect social change through meaningful education. Towards this, we conduct research and evolve curricular models at the micro-level and use diverse approaches to implement them in the mainstream system, to impact the school education system in India.
You can create islands of excellence in a sea of mediocrity. Or you can attempt to change the entire landscape. And the latter is the goal of Eklavya - to lay the foundation for change, to innovate from existing realities, to create models that can be adapted to suit diverse social and cultural contexts. We encourage teachers and children to be active participants at all levels of formulating ideas and developing methods for a better and more enjoyable education. And we seek to bring about far-reaching changes at the macro level, and make effective interventions at the policy level.
Eklavya looks at innovations holistically. We believe that reforms in classroom practices work only when accompanied by reforms in examination systems, teacher training methods and the way schools are managed. It also means that learning spaces are extended beyond the school into the community.
Eklavya, a young Bhil boy wanted to learn the art of archery. When he approached Dronacharya, guru of the Pandavas, he was turned down because archery was the preserve of upper caste warriors while he was just a ‘lowly tribal’. So, Eklavya decided to learn the art on his own. When Dronacharya discovered what a master archer he had become, superior to even his own star pupils, he decided to reign in this tribal boy and demanded that Eklavya give him his thumb. Eklavya went on to learn the art of archery without his thumb.
This legend inspires us to strive to bring the best in education within the reach of each and every child, and to support each one’s effort to learn and discover, question and create.
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM NEEDS INNOVATIONS THAT RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN AND REDEFINE THE ROLE OF TEACHERS.
At Eklavya, we believe education does not occur in isolation from society and environment. If anything, it can help develop a scientific and historical understanding of the evolution of society and also be the means for motivating people to effect a change in their living conditions. It is our firm conviction that:
- Education should be centred on the needs and thought processes of the child.
- It must equip the child with the necessary skills and methods for analysing the physical and the intellectual world.
- The content and methodology should remain open to continuous change and evolution.
- That such educational innovation should not be limited to select schools and children, they must encompass the entire education system.
- Children have an immense capacity to imagine, to learn and to create - qualities that need to be nurtured and encouraged.
- The child-to-child learning process must be given as much importance as the teacher to child learning process.
- The teacher’s role is central to the process of educational innovation and the teaching community should be given due recognition for their efforts.
- Education should help to develop problem solving skills, the spirit of inquiry and a scientific temper.
- If science and technology are rooted in people’s knowledge and understanding, and addresses to their needs, they can be powerful engines of change and development.
- Development must necessarily be sustainable and in consonance with environmental imperatives. Such development must be based around the participation of local communities.
Who WE ARE:
EKLAVYA IS EMPOWERED BY THE SKILL, EXPERTISE AND COMMITMENT OF ITS PEOPLE, AND AN INVALUABLE COMBINATION OF AUTONOMY AND INTERACTION.
Beginning with a small group of less than a dozen people in 1982, Eklavya has grown to more than 90 fulltime members who are working to transform its beliefs into reality. Our members come from diverse backgrounds.
Eklavya’s strength lies in its people and their desire to critically assess every norm; their power to be innovative; their ability to constantly search for and evolve new solutions; and their commitment to face every new challenge.
How WE FUNCTION
In contrast to the frustrating compartmentalization of departments in universities and professional institutions, Eklavya has sought to encourage close interactions between programme groups, while at the same time ensuring a degree of autonomy to them. This combination of autonomy and interaction has enabled the group to sustain its creativity and attract new people to join us.
Our RESOURCE GROUP:
The major programmes of Eklavya are the result of collaborations between large numbers of individuals concerned about the state of education in the country. As parents, teachers, researchers or citizens, they have found in Eklavya a forum for positive action. Many of them have been associated with Eklavya’s programmes on a voluntary basis, contributing their expertise, resources and time over many years, even decades.
In addition to a large number of people from the community and diverse organizations, the resource group consists of scientists, social scientists and educationalists teaching in leading universities or doing frontier research in major institutions of the country. Several others are associated with sister groups working on environmental, educational and people’s science issues.
The resource persons have helped in the conceptualisation of programmes, development of materials, training of teachers, field level monitoring of the programmes, guiding research, representing our work in professional and academic fora, etc.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO ALL:
Eklavya firmly believes in giving equal opportunity to all. There is strict adherence to a policy of no discrimination on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, age, racial origin, caste, religious affiliation, disability or marital status. Our assessments are based only on a person’s potential, experience and ability to perform given tasks.
What WE DO:
Our current focus is on four distinct areas of work. They are:
- Research and development of curricular materials for primary, middle and high schools;
- Working with teachers to understand their needs and problems, to help them find ways to focus on children’s needs, sound pedagogical practices and innovation in their educational practices;
- Working closely with communities to develop need-related educational programmes and activities;
- Publishing and disseminating quality teaching-learning and educational/literary materials.
Eklavya was set up in 1982 as a non-governmental, registered society. It set up base in Madhya Pradesh and took up the academic responsibilities of the Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme (HSTP), a landmark in education in the country. HSTP was then being jointly run by the Madhya Pradesh government and two voluntary organisations, Kishore Bharati and Friends Rural Centre. Alongside the academic responsibilities of HSTP, it developed and implemented the innovative Social Science Teaching Programme and the Primary Education Programme (PRASHIKA) in government schools of Madhya Pradesh.
Since then, Eklavya has continued to actively devise strategies to seed and develop academic programmes for curricular change in elementary education at the micro level, and to then mainstream them through governmental and non-governmental agencies. More recently, we have worked with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to develop the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) of 2005 as well as the syllabi and textbooks based on the NCF. We are now working with the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh in this context and providing them academic support in developing curricula and textbooks in various subject areas.
The new areas in curricular research and material development that Eklavya has ventured into are language and mathematics education at the primary stages, and science and social sciences in the high school stages. This work of curricular critique, research and material development fuels our above-mentioned work in providing academic support to various groups.
Teacher professional development is another area that Eklavya is engaged with through research, material development and conducting teacher capacity building workshops. Towards this, we have worked in collaboration with the National Council For Teacher Education (NCFTE) and the SCERTs of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan for the development of pre-service and in-service teacher development courses and training of the state resource groups for the implementation of the same through the District Institutes of Educational Training (DIET).
Eklavya also works with village communities in five districts of Madhya Pradesh. In collaboration with members from the community, we run learning centres (called Shiksha Protsahan Kendras) for first generation school-goers. The attempt is to increase the involvement of the community in the educational matters of their children and build linkages with government schools to demand quality and efficiency.
Eklavya’s publishing and dissemination efforts are guided by its school- and community- based programmes. Our overriding concerns are to keep the reading material close to the life and environment of the readers, and to produce them at a price they can afford.
Eklavya publishes three magazines - Srote, a weekly feature service for newspapers on science, technology and science-society interface issues; Sandarbh, a bi-monthly resource magazine for teachers on science and education; and Chakmak, a monthly magazine for children.
Our BOOK TITLES:
Eklavya’s book titles (around 350 titles till date) comprise of children’s literature, activity books, lesson modules, teaching aids, educational classics, resource books for teachers, reports and compilations of studies etc.
We have published books in Hindi, English, Marathi, Gujarati, Bangla and Urdu. In addition, we have also ventured into publishing in non-mainstream languages like Gondi, Korku, Chhattisgarhi, Malawi, Bundeli and Kunkna. Collaborations with both established and upcoming writers and translators, in Hindi and English and other languages have made this possible. Likewise, we have collaborative publishing arrangements with Young Zubaan (Delhi), Arvind Kumar Publishers (Gurgaon), Nirman (Varanasi), QUEST (Maharashtra), Tulika (Chennai) and Scholastic India (Delhi).
Materials developed by Eklavya have found place in the latest set of textbooks being developed by NCERT, idiscoveri, Cambridge University Press, Orient Blackswan and other publishers.
97 books and 3 magazines have been recommended by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in 2012-13 & 2013-14 for all CBSE school libraries. The Early Literacy Programme under the Department of Elementary Education of NCERT issues carefully selected suggested reading lists for children and teachers. 64 books published by Eklavya have found a place in the 6 lists of Hindi and English books issued so far.
PITARA is a one-stop-education-store conceived by Eklavya that makes available a range of carefully selected books and educational materials of selected publishers and organisations from India. It also disseminates the Eklavya materials.
We currently run PITARAs in collaboration with various interested organizations and individuals in 18 cities in India and our goal is to provide quality and meaningful reading materials, books and periodicals to children, parents and teachers.
The TEACHING LEARNING MATERIALS (TLMs):
Teachers use a spectrum of educational materials in the forms of activity charts, posters, toys, puzzles, jigsaws and so on in the classroom to achieve specific learning objectives, to help students improve or reinforce special skills and to make learning fun. These materials are widely used by various organisations for teachers training as well as classroom teaching. They have also made a place for themselves in countless homes, primary schools, balwadis and anganwadis all over the country.
In addition to books and educational publications, PITARA also disseminates TLMs developed by various educational organisations.
Eklavya’s website is being developed to become a pool of educational resources. You will find here PDF copies and flipbooks of some of our books, all issues of Chakmak, Sandarbh and Srote, research papers on education, interesting activity ideas for children, modules and hand-books for teachers, short films on education, and much more.
By registering on the website, you can keep yourself updated about new arrivals, forthcoming titles, book reviews, editorial anecdotes and related articles. Periodically, we also send out a newsletter to our registered members. You can also access a detailed and categorised catalogue of our publications and order forms on our website.
Looking at current trends and increasing preference for e-commerce, Eklavya has designed and launched PitaraKART. Through PitaraKART, in addition to Eklavya materials, you will be able to procure a range of carefully selected books and educational materials of selected publishers and organisations from India, at a click.
Advantages of PitaraKART:
- It’s Convenient, fast, easy and safe.
- Data Management/Managing your purchases: You can select items and put them in your wish list. Once you make a purchase, the information is stored in your Customer Order History, accessible to you at any time.
- Online Window-Shopping: It gives our customers an instant access to our publications and the best offers that are available at the moment.
- Easy Checkout Features - No Waiting in the Queue. We also provide for safe, standard modes of payments such as those via Net banking, bank transfers and Credit Cards,
- Discounting & Coupons: On registering, you are updated about our current offers and discounts.
Our GO-GREEN APPROACH:
Publishing is an energy intensive process. Raw material, processing, transportation and printing - at all stages we draw a lot from the planet, and release toxins back into the environment.
With increasing environment awareness, Eklavya’s publishing initiative is trying out greener options to reduce our carbon footprint. For our book titles, we now use responsible paper that is manufactured out of wood pulp from renewable plantations and some percentage of waste gathered from factories, houses and offices. For packaging, we largely use recycled paper.