Reshaping education for the 21st century

Reshaping education for the 21st century
“I like coming to school. Here, I get to meet my friends and have fun with them,” said Ajay.
Located in remote areas of Ghodi Bachhera, Greater Noida, a primary government school is reshaping its education system to better cater to the needs of the students. With the help of the SRF Foundation and IndiGo Airlines, this CSR initiative to improve the condition of schools all over India is impacting many students.

A year ago, the condition of the school was very sad as the infrastructure was falling to pieces, toilets and drinking water facilities were defunct and the attendance was low.


Kids shifting from private schools to govt schools in UP
By Sakshi Garg

“I like coming to school. Here, I get to meet my friends and have fun with them,” said Ajay, a.

Located in Ghodi Bachera, a small village in Greater Noida, the Upper Primary School (UPS) saw a massive upgrade in its infrastructure and the way of imparting knowledge. The development in the school, earlier known as the Junior High School, led to a few students leaving private schools to join this government-run school.

“Some of our students used to study in private schools, they came to this school as their parents saw the potential in the school as soon as the infrastructure of the school was revitalized,” said one of the three school principals, Kusum Lata. “We never expected a shift like this.”

The school was repaired and repainted along with the construction of necessary amenities such as drinking water facilities, library, and science laboratory. This infrastructure development took place when IndiGo adopted the school as a part of its CSR initiative to let children enjoy the journey of learning.

There are over five students who changed their schools. One of them is Deepanshi, the current head of the Reading Club of the school. She said, “I like this school better than my previous one. Before, I was not able to explore my interests as there were not many activities in the school and we were given a lot of home works.”

A 7th standard boy enjoys his lunch break by hanging out at a broken drinking water tank.

Answering what is the best part of UPS, she said, “Everybody gets the opportunity to be a leader. Today I am leading the Reading Club and learning the art of being a leader, in another month or so, somebody else will get the same opportunity.” She added, “This school gives every child a fair fighting chance.”

Education is among the other areas of focus undertaken at IndiGo; the airline has impacted the lives of more than 30,000 children since 2015. The program is aimed at the integrated progression of adopted government schools across India.

Podcast on the journey through the school
by Muskan Babuta

The new renovated schools have more facilities to cater to the needs of students in the remote areas of Uttar Pradesh. One such facility is the equipment to play.

By Ashish Singh

Academically weak students at UP govt school get ‘Shaala Mitra
By Sakshi Garg

Government schools across the national capital have been seen to have remedial classes for the weak students to bridge the gap in their learning levels. But the same kind of help was not always available in the remote corners of Greater Noida. As a part of developing for the better for the students struggling academically, Upper Primary School (UPS) in Ghodi Bacheri has offered help to the students who need it.

“Under the IndiGo ‘Adopt a School’ Initiative, the school was able to organize remedial classes,” said Promod Kumar, Principal. ‘Shaala Mitra’ is a temporary teaching staff who is hired from the community and is trained by IndiGo Reach to help the students while having fun.


“No student should lag behind their friends. It can lower their self-confidence. Shaala Mitra is designed to beat that in a learning-by-playing program,” said Sangita, IndiGo appointed Shaala Mitra for UPS. “These classes are for the students who are weak in Maths, Hindi, and English.”

There are 20 students in one batch totaling up to 40 students as Sangita teaches 2 batches, one before lunch and one after. Generally, the students are from classes third to seventh. These are the students who are seen to have diverted their attention.

Learning-while-playing is not a very new method. But the students seem to enjoy their classes. The students are unaware of the fact that they are attending remedial classes. They think that they are getting to play on the pretext of learning.

The remedial classes involve clearing the basics of a student who is not able to well academically. Once a student clears a baseline evaluation, he/she is sent back to the regular class. This is seen to be practiced across Delhi but in Ghodi Bacheri it is still a new practice.

By Ashish Singh

Schools use Meena Manch to talk about menstrual hygiene
By Sakshi Garg

Menstrual Hygiene management and sex education has been recently emphasized a lot. From different hashtags like #PeriodPaath, #BreakTheBloodyTaboo and #RightToPeriod trending on Twitter to many non-governmental organizations helping in educating a child about good touch and bad touch. But reaching the smaller sections of remote villages still remains the end goal.

Some recent efforts have been made by Super School India and Smile Foundation towards talking about the issue of menstrual hygiene management to remote villages as well as to schools catering to children from weaker sections.

Similar knowledge of menstrual hygiene and sex education reached the Upper Primary School, Ghodi Bachera, Greater Noida. The teachers have used the concept of ‘Meena Manch’, inspired by the UNICEF animation series called ‘Meena’. Meena Manch is a forum of schoolgirls who promote the values and rights of the girl child.

Bunch of girls share little chat amongst themselves during a free class in the school courtyard..

The school has the Meena Manch for meeting adolescent girls and improving their consciousness about menstrual hygiene management. Many drawings and chart making activities are conducted as a part of this program.

“We start talking about menstruation to the kids when they are in class six,” said Kanika Singh, UPS teacher. She also said that there are no separate classes for girls to talk about menstrual hygiene management and sex education. The dissemination of knowledge is the same for boys and girls.

Deepanshi, student of class seven, said, “We are aware of this issue because of Meena Manch. We have learned about many different societal and political issues in these sessions.”

The forum of Meena Manch has helped a number of students after the special efforts taken by the school teachers in activating and shaping the forum.


Lets dive deep into the lives of the students who study in this school in Uttar Pradesh.

Partial blindness can’t keep this 8-year-old from being the class topper
By Nishita Singh Bundela

Partially blind, Varsha Uapdhyay of class four at the Ghodi Bacheda Government School is not only the class topper but, also the only special child in the whole school.

On being asked what makes her so determined to study, Varsha replied, “I like studying, my parents and teachers help me out a lot. Even I want to help everyone around me so, I study to become a teacher when I grow up.”

Varsha attends the UPS Ghodi Bacheda School, a primary government school which is being developed as a model school under the guidance of SRF Foundation with funding from the Indigo Airlines as a part of its CSR. The SRF foundation is a non-profit organization which extends help to companies CSR activities mainly through providing education to the society.

A first standard girl enjoys her class break by sliding down a slope. She instantly smiles as she.

“Varsha is a very determined child, she always tops the class. We believe she is an extremely talented kid and try to help her in every possible way that we can,” replied Kusum Lata, Principal of the School.

Upon being asked if she has ever been bullied in school, Varsha replied saying, “No, no one has ever made fun of me in fact, I am friends with everyone. I also have a best friend who helps me out a lot, her name is Diksha. We are inseparable.”

The SRF foundation has also played a great role in improving the quality of education not just for Varsha but every student in the school. Through SRF, the school has been equipped with a library, a science Lab, playground equipments, drinking water tanks, work books, green board and wall paintings.

The Foundation has assigned a counselor in the form of ‘Shala-mitras’ in order to help the academically weak students to improve, without being pointed at. “The foundation has given us a work book for such kids called ‘Khel Khel mai Shiksha,’ where we try to teach the kids through innovative activities and games,” said Sangeeta, an SRF assigned Shala-mitra.

The UPS Ghodi Bacheda School is one of the three government schools being developed by the SRF Foundation through Indigo Airlines funding in Greater Noida.

Text by Sakshi Garg and Nishita Singh Bundela
Photos by Nishita Singh Bundela
Videos by Ashish Singh
Podcast by Muskan Babuta
Multimedia Report by Group 4

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