The school timings are from 9am to 3pm. These timings are kept after discussing with the children. The girls who come to the school often have to finish some household chores before they can go to the school. This time also suits children who go to the madrasa early in the morning to study.
9am to 9:15am - cleaning. We don’t have any cleaning staff in the school. The coordinators, teachers and children all do the cleaning of the entire school themselves. Including bathrooms. There is a duty chart where duties are assigned for each and every member of the Vidyalay. This small ritual breaks a lot of stereotypes associated with gender roles, caste hierarchy and stigma attached to certain jobs.
Being a secular space, the assembly in Digantar Vidyalay has no prayers. What we do have is, an exciting and fun plan for the assembly every single day for every group like play performance by either teachers or children, discussions, games, singing songs, sharing jokes etc.
Monday-Friday all the groups have assemblies in their respective groups. On Saturdays, there is a Samuhik assembly where all the groups gather together for the assembly.
Children are divided into groups not classes accommodating children from pre-primary to secondary level, but are different from a mainstream class as children study at their own pace, and therefore, are at different levels (multilevel teaching)
All groups have a ratio of 60:40 in context to girl:boy. The reason behind this is, parents often send their boys to schools but neglect girls' education.
Carpentry is loved by all the children in the school and is a part of our curriculum. Children make models, build replicas of buildings, take the models home, put them up on display and let their imagination run wild by creating anything they want out of some pieces of wood
Relationship with the community: every teacher visits the home of every child at least once a month. We believe that to understand a child, it's important to also understand his/her home.
In Digantar’s journey, the community has played a very important role in shaping the nature of the school. When Digantar started in this area, due to lack of space, small groups of children were taught under trees. At that time, the community members gave space to run the school in their homes, in their backyards or in some portions of their homes for specific timings.
When Digantar Vidyalay’s first building was constructed, the community members helped by providing free labour, provided the school with tractor, water etc and helped in whatever capacity they could. With time, we have become an integral part of the community and are invited in marriages, celebrations, festivals etc and each teacher has a unique rapport with the community The Vidyalay team also has regular meetings with the mothers of the children in the community itself.
Workshops: Digantar Vidyalay’s academic team has two main workshops in an academic year. The summer workshop and the winter workshop.
Sharing Meetings are held weekly & Mahasabha every two months. These two work sharing platforms help the entire academic team to be on the same page and evolve together.
Sharing, Mahasabha & Workshops
Digantar Vidyalay is one of the chosen organisations working in the field of alternative education where every year students from 4-5 Delhi B.El.Ed colleges come to observe, learn and understand the system.
One constant thing that every batch tells us is: Digantar Vidyalay is the place where they see the theories that they read in classrooms being actually implemented in reality. The students enjoy their 10-14 day stay in the campus and always leave heartfelt testimonials especially for our mess food!
Books are a gateway to imagination and possibilities and creativity. We have more than 20000 books for children in our library which every single child has access to even if the child is a 4 year old.
We also have a rich collection of books for the teachers in our library that helps the teachers to learn, grow and evolve academically.
Batuni is a monthly magazine created by the children for the children. It was a magazine that we used to handout to the children when we had adequate funds but because of funding constraints, we now publish the magazine and give one magazine to each group for the children to read and enjoy.