Architects Anuradha and Krishna moved to Sittilingi Valley in 2003. They found that unlike many other rural regions, almost all children below 14 were enrolled in schools! The parents were quite keen on schooling and so children were religiously sent to schools even when there were no regular teachers in the schools and no teaching or learning was happening. They also found that most children dropped out of formal schooling at class 8 or 10, often after failing exams. These teenagers consequently had very low self esteem, lacked basic academic skills, were frustrated and usually migrated to nearby towns to work as menial labor. But schooling had succeeded in convincing them that farming or any kind of work with the hands was inferior and something to be ashamed of.
They started off with a Learning Initiative call Thulir (to know more click here)
The main programmes of Thulir till 2015 were,
✴ An after-school programme for the government school
✴ A full time ‘hands-on’ basic technology course for
adolescents who had opted out of school.
✴ On-site training of building artisans to specialise in
From the very beginning the village community has been requesting Thulir to start a school. After a decade of its functioning and a fairly good track record the requests became more persistent. Finally in 2014, the decision was taken to start a school. Prospective parents, teachers and other members of the village community discussed and debated the culture and values of this new school.
The school was envisaged to be
*A space where importance would be given to tribal
culture & values, agriculture and the environment.
* A place where education would not be an abstract or cerebral
activity but one that integrates our Head, Heart and Hands.
* A sanctuary, where children and
adults could learn and explore in an atmosphere of freedom,
equality, inclusion, co-operation, dignity and joy.