They said enabling free education for the poor is fundamental. They said poverty can be fought with goodwill and sharing. What we don’t witness is how children from poor families still never make it to the mainstream/break this cycle of poverty. What about the community and its development, which is critical to a child’s mental health and growth? The answers point towards lack of quality education, long-term support both to the child and the family, equal opportunity, the power of choice and gender equity. There is little evidence of such a working model in the country.
Why is the Parikrma model successful?
Firstly, we. attribute this success to our unique education and learning model, we call the Parikrma Way
Our 1800 (4 K-10 schools and 1 Junior College) children coming from 99 slums and four orphanages in Bengaluru don’t just receive free education but high-quality CBSE English medium learning modules. The children are provided with three meals and health check-ups.
Each child is supported right from the age of 5 to 25 years – We also bear the costs of our children’s further education, either a formal college education or vocational training. We hold extensive mentorship programmes and career counselling – covering diverse fields and sessions hosted by individuals from across the country.
Our children have access to the best labs, both national and international programs and workshops, interactive sessions with individuals pursuing diverse careers from across the globe. Every year, a few of our students are selected for the Global Youth Leadership Summits and the list goes on. We organise three annual events – Parikrma Champions (football) league, Festival of Science and the Innovations Conclave – and schools worldwide participate.
Our teachers are exceptional, and we ensure they receive the best national and international training, are part of leadership programs (each year) and are consistently inspired to be able to motivate and challenge our younger ones. Our teachers have been part of the British Council Global School Exchange Program, UK.
Power of choice:
Our children are not limited to the basic ‘accepted’ range of jobs; whoever said they could not be what they choose to be? Today, our alums are Chef in Dublin, lead actress, marathoner, professional footballer, Entertainment MD on an international cruiser, entrepreneurs (event management company, catering business, sports company, fitness centre), dentists, graphic designers, fashion designers, lawyers and more. We also own the Parikrma Boys Football Club (today, an A Division club) and Girls Football Club.
52% of our annual admissions are reserved for girls. The mothers receive special vocational and skill-based training and counselling – resulting in taking a stand against the early marriage of a girl child, encouraging sports for the girl child, and pursuing a career – many of our mothers are entrepreneurs today, with one mother having taken up a position in local government.
In 2003, 165 children from marginalised families started a new chapter in life, huddled together on a small roof-top in a school in Rajendranagar, Bengaluru. Today:
- We have the highest attendance in the country at 96%
- Lowest drop-out rate at less than 1%
- We are a Chapter at Cornell University and IIMB
- Named No.1 Social Impact School in India (2019-2020: EducationWorld)
- Certified Great Place to Work 2020, 2021, 2022
- India’s Top 75 Mid-Size Workplaces for Women® 2022
- India’s Top 10 Most Admired Philanthropic Schools 2022 (EducationWorld)
- One of the Most Impactful Social Innovations in India (2016:CNBC)
Education Transformation Centre:
Through our ETC program, we continue to foster excellence in teaching and learning, impacting over 1000s of teachers from government schools, NGO workers, and social entrepreneurs.
We offer wholesome support to over 1800 families in the slums via training, de-addiction and counselling, livelihood programs, financial planning and free health check-ups.
Our government school adoption program. We have been implementing a Whole School Improvement Policy in four Government Schools that we have adopted, that intends to bring about a qualitative change in the areas of school environment, parent involvement and curriculum delivery over the next five years.
In partnership with the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), Parikrma runs a collaborative program to update skills of government school teachers in Karnataka. Thousands of teachers and students from government schools will benefit from this partnership.
Founder Shukla Bose, in her capacity at various forums, has been part of many State and National education policies – She has been nominated as the chairperson to draft the Karnataka school education policy and works with the Karnataka State Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), IQ Education Excellence Task Force, to check on quality in education. A national CII Education Committee member, Shukla, helps draft the national policy for schools. She is on the board of sexual harassment of women at workplace. We have several papers published on education and best practices.
Vision and Mission
Parikrma’s mission is to unleash the potential of underserved children, enabling them to live their life on equal terms and become valuable contributing members of society.
Reforming education in India has become a numbers game. Bigger, it seems, is better. But is it? The government, as well as most non-profit organizations, are working together to improve education as if it is just a statistic. They are addressing these huge numbers without addressing the quality of education. The statistics have, at best, shown marginal change. Is a child, then, just a number to be improved incrementally?
There is a huge gap that exists between those who get a good education at private schools and those who have access only to the sub-standard government schools and low-cost, poor quality private schools. This gap creates the inequality that results in the privileged few going on to college and getting meaningful jobs, while others simply drop out of the system. This gap needs to be addressed. And that is what Parikrma is attempting to do – bridging the gap by transforming the content of education.
We believe that it is because the poor have no access to high-quality education, they are unable to break out from the cycle of poverty. Hence, generations of the poor are condemned to live in abject poverty and despair. Parikrma, hence, is a catalyst for effecting fundamental change in the way people perceive education of the poor and the marginalized.