Language becomes a huge barrier to education in schools where the medium in which the children are taught is different from the child’s native language. One school which is trying hard to eliminate this barrier is the Pukali ashram school. Located in the Pukali village in Koraput in Odisha, this residential school is a primary and elementary school serving to around 250 children. A key speciality of this school is its multi-lingual multi-grade form of education. 3 teachers for 7 grades and 250 students calls these teachers to take extreme measures to ensure proper education of all of these students. The classes that are clubbed together are 1 and 2; classes 3, 4 and 5; and classes 6 and 7. The teachers have been trained to carry out the multi-lingual multi-grade education feature effectively.
This school has great innovative and unique approaches to teaching which help in reducing the drop-out rate of the children and successful transition of these children to high school. The children are taught language, maths and science along with games, art and other creative forms of learning. The WRIP (Writing and Reading Improvement Programme) is used as an effective tool in ensuring proper education of the children wherein alphabet cards, word cards and stories, in the childrens’ native language, are used to enhance the reading and writing skills of children. The school also has a well-equipped science lab and provides mid-day meal to all the children. It is noteworthy to see the discipline, eagerness to learn, class participation and high learning levels of the children in the Pukali ashram school – each of them doing their best to have a chance at a life of equal opportunities and proper education.