The concept of the night school recognizes the importance of an informal learning system that respects indigenous knowledge and practical skills at the village level. The curriculum has been designed to make the rural children more aware of their village —how the rural institutions like post offices, banks, police stations and land records offices work.
For the night schools everyone is a resource person. From the farmer, midwife, carpenter, weaver to the policeman and leather worker. As parents they are invited to share their wisdom regularly by the teacher of the school.
By improving the learning environment of the night schools like providing drinking water through rain water harvesting, by providing solar lighting instead of kerosene lamps. This gives a sense of security and mothers have started sending their girls to school for the first time.
Since 1975 over 50,000 children have passed through the night schools. They have stayed in their villages and not been pushed to migrate to the city. Most of them have become barefoot teachers, doctors, water and solar engineers, and have also been elected to their village councils.
The concept of the night schools has been replicated in desert and tribal areas of Rajasthan and in other states like Uttrranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Orissa. Today there are more than 150 night schools spread over 500 square miles. Over 3,000 children attend them every night. 70% of these night schools use solar lanterns to provide light.
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VIDEO :: See the light of solar lanterns from barefoot solar engineers enable a unique system of night schools throughout India.
Find out more about the Barefoot College's various projects at: www.barefootcollege.org.