Shikshamitra - An open learning center
All children are not alike. Their learning needs and learning methods are very different. For this reason, a single curriculum for all students, as has been the trend in India means that many children are left out and eventually fall out of the education system. With the belief that education must be in tune with a larger vision of society, emphasizing creativity and equal respect for both humans and the natural environment, Shikshamitra set out on a journey in 2005 to address such concerns.
Who we are
Shikshamitra is a not for profit organization working for an equity pedagogy and sustainable learning. Based in Kolkata, it began in April 2005, as an alternative school and also an open learning educational resource center. Post closure of the school in 2011, we work as an education resource organization. From the start, our focus has been on languages (Bengali and English), art and mathematics too. Our areas of work are - teacher trainings, material development, publication, library, developing short courses and consultation.
- As an answer to thousands of children struggling in schools and finally dropping out.
- As an experimental space to try out a different curriculum. Advocating different syllabi for different learners, using different methods, instead of one syllabus and the same method for all.
- Focus on children in the elementary school.
- As an open learning space for all kinds of learners – adult and children.
Shikshamitra is a process for learning to live better. It is a space where one learns to keep well and to help others keep well too.
Shikshamitra has an address. However, it goes beyond this – permeating into the lives of many, influencing one’s choices in life and ways of life. To be associated with Shikshamitra is to assume the responsibility of trying to live better. It is a continuous attempt to search for activities that inspire life and build trust, or, it is an attempt to keep away from anything to the contrary.
Shikshamitra is a means toward becoming aware of how much one can be and knowing what one’s limitations are.
Conceptualized by Sudeshna and Sujit Sinha in 2004, Shikshamitra continues to be an open learning and resource centre since 2005. The team consists of people committed to education. Their expertises are in teaching, teacher education, material development (Bengali, English and mathematics) at the elementary level. Shikshamitra holds diversity through the team members. With full time, part time and resource persons the organization moves forward.
This space is especially devoted to Shikshamitra supporters who in their own way have helped Shikshamitra to begin, develop, move on and maintain its spirit. We are very grateful to all of them.
Wipro Applying Thought in School (WATIS)
Wipro Applying Thought in School (WATIS) has been supporting us since 2007. Besides being wonderful people, their initiative for sustainable education has helped us consolidate our work and new plans.
Special Mention – Flexibility and cooperation, rich annual meet for the partners.
Asha for Education
Asha for Education supported us from 2010 to 2014, for all our programs.
Special Mention – Flexibility, conference calls and support for our training program.
Association for India’s Development (AID)
Association for India’s Development (AID) supported Shikshamitra School and the Resource Centre from 2005 to 2011.
Special Mention – Flexibility and enthusiastic volunteer visits.
Indienhilfe, Herrsching Germany
It was Indienhilfe, Herrsching Germany, who urged the Shikshamitra founders to begin its conceptualization. From the pre-project stage up to 2011 Indienhilfe supported the school and its associated works.
Special Mention – Friends from Germany visiting us, exposure visit to German schools, allowing us to participate in self-fundraising programs in Germany, initiating a partnership with Bieberkor School, Germany.
Kolkata Seeds, Japan
Kolkata Seeds, Japan – Has been supportive of Shikshamitra since 2008.
Special Mention – Always motivated the older student to take their talent and dream forward.