Raghuvansh Academy in Kanpur bridging rural-urban education gap
Raghuvansh Academy in Kanpur is not just another school in the city. This school located in a far-flung serene locality of the city opened under a mission with a vision—‘bridging rural and urban education gap.’ Devendra Pratap Singh, Director, Raghuvansh Academy/Indo-American Montessori Pre-School, narrates how they have come up carrying their mission forward to meet their vision, in an exclusive conversation with Jyaneswar Laishram.
Dating back to a couple of decades or so, Devendra Pratap Singh, who was then a student of Class XII in a government school in Kanpur, realised the gap existing in quality of education between government and private schools in the city. He was wondering why good schools are present only in the heart of city, giving kids in outskirt areas little or no chance to access. Such a downside in education system in the city pushed him into the mission to open schools in cut-off localities. This is how Raghuvansh Academy, a co-educational public school, in Jarauli area of Kanpur, was established under the chairmanship of BP Singh to provide world-class education.
“Many parents still believe that schools located only in the heart of the city provide quality education. We wish to bring this traditional notion to an end. And it’s quite a challenging task for us—a challenge to bring viable education to neglected locality,” says Devendra, adding that they constantly review curriculums and teaching methodologies in accordance to changes in time and society. As per his opinion, government schools must also have timely updates in curriculum and classroom activities.
Into latest trends
Raghuvansh Academy constantly takes up latest trends related to classroom technologies or teaching models. “Today I feel proud to tell that we, right from the day one of our establishment, had chalked out plan to adopt advanced teaching techniques and latest smart classroom solutions, which are common among reputed public schools across the country,” says Devendra, who has adopted smart classes of DS Digital, a division of S.Chand Group, which contain modern-day learning requirements and educational technology solutions, such as digital classroom, tablet solution, hands-on lab, teacher training and more, empowering both students and teachers alike.
Latest development at Raghuvansh Academy is the adoption of Mylestone curriculum—yet another school solution from S Chand Group—fully mapped to create a learning environment in school, helping both teachers and students ready to face the challenges of the 21st century through critical thinking, collaborative work, leadership and emotional intelligence.
“Our collaboration with Mylestone is indeed a big opportunity. In fact, this education service provider’s curriculum is helping us not only in what to teach, but also how to teach as per the needs of students,” mentions Devendra.
Finding right teachers is a big task these days. But for Raghuvansh Academy, once the teachers are selected, they are trained in-house in order to fit into their environment. “We make sure that every teacher at Raghuvansh Academy must have a brighter teaching career in future,” says Devendra Pratap. He adds, “Our teachers are regularly reviewed with respect to their skills and teaching methodologies. Periodically, we give them appraisals and compensations as per the industry standards.” Teaching staff of Raghuvansh Academy nurtures kids as young as ones in pre-school as the school has recently tied up with Indo-American Montessori Pre-School (IAMPS), which is a pre-school with American education structure and Indian socio-cultural value. IAMPS follows the cardinal ‘Maria Montessori Philosophy’ which believes that every child is unique and talented—they need a proper well-equipped environment.
“To improve the quality of our teachers, we organise at least one workshop every month by inviting eminent educationists, social workers, academic scholars and psychologists,” says Devendra, adding that the school’s principal also plays a key role in providing the teaching staff suitable tools and techniques for improved teaching experience. Concerning the problems arising out of the lack of suitable teachers, he suggests the government and corporate players to come up with standard teacher training academies. In India, as per his observation, many students don’t prefer teaching as first choice profession. “So, we must motivate them (students) to take up this noble profession; in this, only a good training academy can do justice,” says Devendra.
Suitable teachers, according to Devendra, are the ones who never make forceful feeding—they teach amicably, inspiringly with logic and relate concept to real life examples. “Students are of different IQ levels and attributes; so we must customise our teaching process as much as we can as per the needs of every single kid,” he says, adding that certain rules by government educational bodies/departments/ministry are not fit enough to take students equally to another level.
Role of parents
It’s not only teaching community, but also parents, who play vital role in the overall development of students. The same holds true when it comes to the roles parents play in proper functioning of school. “Parents and teachers have inseparable tie when it comes to development of school and wards. It is the community of parents that can give school the direct feedbacks on facilities, teachers and overall system,” says Devendra. He adds that parents should also get involved in school management, under the direction of trustees.
As a leader managing one of the unconventional elite schools in Kanpur, Devendra delivers a message for everyone and all—“We need to make India a fully literate nation. We are the change agent for the future generation. Padhega India tabhi to badhega India!”