In last couple of years working in education for children from very diverse backgrounds, I and two of my friends, Amrita and Sangeeta, always wondered - What if children can attain/participate in an education which empowers them to transform their lives not in spite of their socio-economic or cultural differences but because of it? What if children can pursue the concepts that are important to them and their communities and take active ownership of their lives and community? What if multiculturalism is an asset, that it truly is, and not a roadblock to a child’s educational experience?
Today, these questions have started finding their own answers in the form of Khoj Community School ख़ोज कम्युनिटी स्कूल! "Khoj", in Hindi and host of other Indian languages, means discovery. Since the school focuses on children being able to explore, discover and construct their own knowledge, hence the name. "Community" in the name emphasizes on us becoming a community of learners by embracing our diversity through multicultural education. We started Khoj in June 2017 to build a school that models the answers to some of these questions and has the potential to become a lab school to support the expanse of concept-based, community-development-focused and multicultural education focused education where every child can thrive to attain her or his fullest potential.
Currently, we are a team of 5, with a rented space in the Lallubhai Compound, Mankhurd, Mumbai (school map) to start our first class of Jr. Kg. Our vision is that by 2029, Khoj will be an inclusive community of 300 learners, their parents, guardians, teachers and any others associated with the school. The school is operating under Apni Shala Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation registered under The Bombay Public Trust. We have partnered with The Akanksha Foundation for K-2 curriculum support and Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) project, an initiative from Wellesley College, USA for multicultural education.
We are hoping to raise the funds and resources we need to therefore realize this vision.
Through this fundraiser, I am aiming to raise INR 1,50,000 to help sponsor three students in Khoj for this academic year. Our per child cost this is comes up to Rs. 57,738. 52% of this cost goes into Curriculum and Instruction, 19% into Community Development programs (parent engagement and education, community relationships, etc), 17% into facilities for education (infrastructure, supplies, etc) and rest 13% in support services (communications, fundraising, legal, etc). Small part of it (INR 3000) is covered from fees paid by parents.
Your support can help our children stay in school and grow as healthy and happy individuals. This Children’s Day, join us in supporting the children of India.