All that is odd about Gurukul
Gurukul Public School is a private CBSE school imparting low cost-quality education to underprivileged kids from rural Uttar Pradesh. Situated in a nondescript village by the name of Purasi in the Rae Bareli district, this school is an oddity!
In the rural hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh where rote passes off as learning and high schoolchildren are unable to spell their name correctly in English, Gurukul students attend skype calls on topics ranging from investment strategies for small savings to coding logic to career counselling from senior IIM and Harvard alumni from across the world. In a school system where, even teachers struggle to frame sentences in English, classroom conversation in English is a norm @ Gurukul.
While government and private schools lack even basic infrastructure such as toilets, Gurukul boasts of modern amenities like well-appointed separate toilets for boys and girls, smart classes,multimedia lab, a fully functional library, fully equipped laboratories, wifi-enabled campus andnet enabled computer labs equipped with desktops as well as laptops.
In an area where girls hardly get to attend school, girl students form nearly 50% of the student strength with dropout rates less than 5% leading to the girls outperforming boys both in academics as well as sports with the girls Taekwondo team of Gurukul being the district champions and the academic topper also being a girl.
In an area where parents prefer to use girls for domestic work and boys as farm hands, it is indeed an oddity when Gurukul attendance rate is much higher than other schools in the area. Gurukul students do look odd with their focus on hygiene and a smart turnout including polished shoes, when compared to the norm of dirty uniforms and torn shoes.
While electricity visits but rarely, the fans and lights in the area, @ Gurukul, children enjoy breezy classrooms replete with whirring fans and ample lighting, all thanks to the 100% solar powered campus and the sun god who shines nice and bright for Gurukul children, throughout the year. The solar powered campus also runs its computer labs, multimedia labs etc. all on solar power. People in the area are still figuring out, “How come Gurukul always keeps shining?”
It is indeed odd that Gurukul emphasizes on continuous teacher training in spoken English, class culture, lesson planning and pedagogy when teacher training in private schools is unheard off and government teacher trainings are annual, ineffectual routines.