Learning Spaces started its journey from a tiny village named Muthathi, about an hour drive from the buzzing city of Mysore. A small village with a population of about 1000 people rejoiced with the opening of Learning centers for their children. They were so thrilled at the idea that they willingly gave us their community center. Our hearts filled with joy starting in premises named after Babasaheb Ambedkar. Untouchability was outlawed almost seven decades ago, still there are masses lagging behind due to unavailability of opportunities. Learning Spaces is an endeavor to bring opportunities to the doorsteps of millions of children left behind. We cannot progress as a nation if we fail to take these children with us.
After Muthathi, we moved to another farming village, Hyakanuru, in the same district. The Headmaster of the government school was ecstatic with the idea and opened the recently refurbished room to welcome us. Under Asha, our crayon Gardener, this center has shown tremendous results.
Our third Learning Space opened in a Government school within Mysore city. The school had some old computers that had stopped working and were lying as junk. This strengthened our belief that if we wanted to bring in change, merely giving resources would not work. We had to manage and run the show at the ground level. As the in-house strength is low in this Learning Space, we are trying models to bring in students from other schools, and also take activities out of the Learning Space to students who are too far to commute to the Learning Space.
Our next stop was an informal school located in Kenchalagudu Village, 18 km from Mysore Railway Station. With farm like environment, own tube well, rain water harvesting, and an in-house dairy, this eco-friendly school is managed by Mr. Ananth Kumar. One meeting with him, and one is bound to be dazzled by his passion to support children. Here we are trying to integrate the questioning based approach to the teaching style.
In Oct 2019, we started our experiment with totally self-paced model when we opened a Learning Space at Karnataka Public School in Mysore. This school is home to 350 children. School had a non-functional computer lab. We made the lab operational, gave some more computers and connected them on to our digital content.