Takshashila Gurukulam Dadri is a private, affordable English-medium school based in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh (about 1 ½ hours from New Delhi), run by the Society for Educational Training. Open just three years, the school already enrolls nearly 600 children between nursery and Class X, many of whom are first or second generation learners. Tuition fees start at INR 500/month (increasing based on a child’s grade and the additional programs taken), although more than 25% of students attend free of cost or receive some form of scholarship. Our goal is to stretch the tension wire between affordability and quality, to offer a reasonably priced education to families of modest means with high aspirations for their children.
Although we operate on a tight budget, we are working to raise expectations for our community. First, we aim to instill good discipline, hygiene, and values in our students. Second, we aim to keep students in school and performing at grade-level well beyond the current averages and expectations for their peers. Third, we want to equip students for success in India’s changing economy, whatever their path. We believe that schools should be model organizations in their communities, teaching children to think and demonstrating values of respect, honesty, and hard work for all students, teachers, and staff.
Since many of our children come from behind, for a variety of reasons, we provide them with the opportunity to spend more time in a structured learning environment. In addition to earlier starts, shorter breaks, and a longer school week (six, rather than five days) than many local schools, we also offer extended-day, residential, and summer programs. Almost one-third of our students already take advantage of these additional programs. Externally developed standardized tests given to our class IV, VI, and VIII students show that our children score above regional and national averages in math and English, and, even more excitingly, that the positive difference is even greater for those students who have been with us for multiple years.
Despite these achievements, we know that we have set our goals high, and that the path to creating a model affordable school, especially one which will be sustainable in the long-run and replicable by other organizations, is a difficult one. In the current year, we are focusing on increasing our resources to offer a more well-rounded education to our students. In addition to several critical infrastructure projects and a continued focus on teacher training, we hope to open our first library and science lab, expand our computer room, and introduce more formal music, art and physical education classes. We are actively looking for partners to support us in these efforts.