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There are few professions nobler than that of educating children. It is easy to help them mug up concepts, diagrams and numerical.  But still, there are many who go against the grain, so to speak. There are many whose schooling systems are unlike any other. These schools are unique and here, children go on a completely different journey as far as education is concerned.

So here, to make you feel horrible about your own education, is a list of the unique schools of India.

1. Druk Padma Karpo School

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In case you are wondering what this means, Padma means White and Karpo means Lotus in Bodhi. The school is located in Shey, Ladakh and is one of the coolest schools ever. To say it in few words, this was the school featured towards the end of the film 3 Idiots. The school that is run by Aamir Khan’s character Phunsuk Wangdu.

The concept of the school began when the local people literally asked for it. They wished for their children to be raised with the values instilled by Tibetan Buddhism. Needless to say, this school does that. According to its website, it is a structure that celebrates and enhances local values while at the same time making the most of cutting edge technology and construction methods from the west.

2. Loktak Floating Elementary School

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The Loktak Lake in Manipur serves as a lifeline for many of the local people, a significant part of which are fishermen. It serves as an area for waterfowl to breed and a staging site for birds that have migrated. It’s a source for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. The area is, of course, a major source of livelihood for all the fishermen, who happen to be the major reason this school exists.

Most fishermen survive on a small income that does not provide much for them to send their children to a proper school in the city. Thus, All Loktak lake Fishermen’s Union and the People’s Resources Development Association collaborated to set up, literally, a floating school that currently caters to about 25 children and even illiterate adults.

Now, imagine if your teacher asks you to stand outside the class.

3. The School – KFI

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This particular place of education is located in the Damodar Gardens of the Theosophical Society in Chennai. The form of teaching students in this school is unique. Students are encouraged to engage in their respective talents and nurture them to their fruition. The staff and students are also involved in the cleaning of the classes, dining halls and the entire campus. They are taken to different parts of the country as field trips, where they make their contribution by helping the local people with their work.The curriculum involves the students learning all subjects and learning how all subjects are connected. 

4. The Platform School

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The Platform School was started by Inderjit Khurana. While travelling through trains she noticed many children who would use the platforms to sell tea or beg to make a living. Moved by the plight of these tiny ones, she started the concept of a Platform School. 

Within no time, the tiny little classrooms on the platform had 100 students. Khurana soon realised that there had to be more to the school. Her teaching methods were sound, focusing on song, dance, drama and puppetry as tools rather than academics. But that wasn’t enough. There were children who had almost no standard of living. In order to make something of them, they would require medical aid, counselling and in some cases, even shelter. Slowly, she incorporated these values into her methods of teaching and the enterprise grew. The number of volunteers within the organisation also grew steadily and today, it continues to provide for those who have very little.

5. The Yellow Train School

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This particular school is surrounded by farmlands and open skies, basically a scene from the typical Yash Chopra movie. The farm itself is organic in nature and provides a natural atmosphere for children to grow and learn in. The school also has an open air amphitheatre which acts as a place for children to showcase their talent and also serves as a general place for gathering. The most interesting part is the first floor, from where children can jump out from the corridors onto a large hammock that hangs above the ground floor.

Cool, isn’t it?

It focuses on the philosophy of ‘no answer is wrong.’ It provides an alternative approach that fits more within the Indian context and is slowly gaining popularity. The schools founder describes it as “a space where children will belong, will create a future for themselves and learn to give to the world.”

Our country is replete with those who wish to contribute their bit to the field of education and to that I say, the more the merrier. Children are the future and they deserve everything we can give them.  Let’s hope this article gives you some food for thought as you decide which school to pick for your child.

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