The Rural Centre
   Krishnamurti Foundation India,Rajghat Fort Varanasi, India

   Achyut Patwardhan School       

"These schools fundamentally exist to help both the students and the teacher to flower in goodness"
                                                                            - J.Krishnamurti


The Rural Centre has set up a school named after Shri Achyut Patwardhan, to try out, understand (in its entirety) and realize (in spirit) Krishnamurti's vision of holistic education, which he recalls "the education of the whole process of life". It envisages creating an environment of self-learning, growing out of a culture of freedom, open enquiry, interaction, initiative and individual human dignity.                                                                                                                                                            << More

The Rural Centre is situated bordering Sarai Mohana and Kotwan villages. These villages are not developed ones despite being on the periphery of the ancient holy city - Varanasi. The children from Sarai Mohana, Kotwan, Kapildhara and Rajapur villages walk down to the school. Rajapur village is situated about 3.5 km from the Centre. Most of the children belong to fishermen and weavers communities. These communities have been driven to appalling poverty due to the dwindling stock of fish in holy river -Ganga (Ganges) and adverse consequences of economic policies. The children from these communities have meagre resources and they can't afford a good education. APS is making concerted efforts in providing them a qualitative education.

Holistic Education

Presently the school has been following the UP state syllabus as its curriculum. Now, as a policy, the school has chosen to adopt the National open schooling system from the academic year 2009-10. The rationale behind this shifting is to have freedom to design our own curriculum which is closer to right (holistic) education in the light of Krishnamurti teachings.

Presently, the school is preparing a curriculum for all the classes starting from kindergarten to 10th standard within the framework of NCERT guidelines. As a part of this exercise, the school has constituted a committee for designing the curriculum. The committee consists of members from academic and philosophical background. The committee is working to encompass spiritual, environmental, and social dimensions to the curriculum to making it a holistic education.

In the current academic year 2008-09, 236 students are studying. It is a co-education school. Both the girls and boys are equal in number. Very recently tenth standard was introduced from the academic year 2006-07. The students appeared for examinations under National Institute of Open Schooling system.

The school administration has begun the process for getting the status of an accredited agency by National Institute of Open Schooling.

Spiritual Facet

One of the main objectives of the Foundation is to make the students develop compassion and sensitivity to the all living beings and nature. In this direction, the school organizes talks on great thinkers and philosophers on regular basis, who are concerned about total well-being of all the living forms on this planet.

Dialogues on fundamental questions such as human existence, purpose of life, etc, would be held with groups of interested students on a regular basis. This constant interaction with the sensitive students facilitates them to broaden their view of life.

From time to time workshops are conducted for teachers. Resource persons from within the Foundation and external agencies are invited to conduct these workshops.

Values Enrichment

With a view to broaden perspective of the rural children the school invites resource persons from time to time from various fields and organizes workshops and special classes to teach them special skills.

So far the school has invited several resource persons from the field of different art forms such as dance, painting, theatre, and folksongs. The children are also introduced to new skills and areas of learning. The children were given guidance and taught painting, folk dances, folk music, spoken English.

Introduction of Allied Subjects

In addition to the regular academic subjects, computer education and disaster management have been introduced as new subjects to the curriculum of the school.

In the year 2006, Inner Wheel Club of Varanasi South gifted two computers, solely for the use of students and teachers. Later, in Feb-2009, 5 more computers were added to the computer lab. This time, Mr. Sudhir Seth and Ms.Dolly Seth of Mumbai have donated these systems. Mr. Maini, of Mumbai has donated Rs.15,000 towards purchase of tables for these computer systems. With this addition, the school intends to start a computer centre and teach the senior students basics of computer education from the year 2009-10.

Capacity Building of Educators

Strengthening the capacities of the educators plays a crucial role in providing new dimension to learning by the students and teachers themselves. On a regular basis workshops are conducted for teachers and also they will be sent for trainings. Resource persons from within the Foundation and external agencies are invited to conduct these kinds of workshops.

A workshop for teachers on "Krishnamurti teachings" was organized on 1st and 2nd Sept 2008.

In another workshop on "Induction-cum-Designers on Multi Grade and Multi Level" Mr.Yogesh Tiwari, Asst.Director (Education) and Mr.Shakti Kumar, Guest Prinicipal participated. The workshop was conducted during Jan-2009 by Rishi Valley Institute of Education Resources - a part of another KFI school, Rishi Valley Trust, Madanapalli.

Dr. Mousumi Bhattacharya, one of the teachers in the school, has published the following two papers during the year 2008.

1. "Impact of internet & wireless communication on economy and traditional values of Indian culture and abuse of Human Right", Proceedings of national seminar on " Change, Progress and Globalization" Department of Sociology, Benares Hindu University, 7-8 March 2008

2. "A study on medicinal dedication behaviours of Varanasi urban diabetes mellitus patients", Indian Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine (IJPSM), Institute of Medical Science, Benares Hindu University, ,Varanasi, December 2008

Mid-Day Snacks

Most of the children attend school on empty stomach. The school provides snacks and milk during the break to the children. Sometimes during lean period, the milk will not be given to the children. The midday snack is served as a support to these disadvantaged children to pursue education. Philanthropists support this programme on a regular basis since 2004.

Educational Resources

Improving the quality of education is an on going endeavour of the school. The school has collected a variety of educational materials, books for the school library, teaching aids and audiovisual materials such as CD-ROMs, etc. These materials are being used by the teachers to prepare lesson plans and equip themselves to impart a qualitative education to the students. Films and documentaries on various aspects of education are being shown on a regular basis to create interest and inspire the children. The screening of documentaries has become a part of extra-curricular activities in the school from the academic year 2008-09.

Contribution from World Literacy of Canada

World Literacy of Canada (WLC), a Canadian organization, supports the organisations who are working for disadvantaged communities in field of education and women empowerment. WLC has donated 240 books on various subjects such as biographies, mythological stories, poetry, drama, science, sports, etc. to the school. Along with the books steel book shelves were given preserving these books in the Library.

Most of the funds for running the school come as donations from philanthropists and rest is met out of the resources allocated from within. The school needs quite a lot of infrastructural facilities, class rooms education materials, equipments, etc. With a view to provide a wider perspective to learning and life, resource persons are being invited often to conduct workshops on education, arts and crafts, skills development etc.