Celebrating 15 Years for Redefining Education

From the First Batch of Muktangan Alumni; Bhuneshwar Gupta & Pooja Chaurasia make us proud by recently completing the Chartered Accountancy (CA) Integrated Professional Competency Course (IPCC) – Grade 1 examination.

On the 21st of March 2018, Muktangan as an initiative, celebrated 15 years of bringing quality education to the underserved communities of G-South Mumbai. The celebrations included a number of dance and drama programmes; thematically related to the experiences of people associated with the programme. Central to the event lay the heartfelt testimonials shared by parents and teachers who related how Muktangan impacted their lives, their families and their children.

” Today our children speak in English and this is because Muktangan exists.” 

–  Mr. Sonkar, Muktangan Parent.

” What I am today is because of Muktangan and my future success will also be attributed to Muktangan.”

– Kiran Pathade, Muktangan Student

“When I joined Muktangan I had just completed my SSC. The Muktangan environment nurtured and motivated me to study further, today I am a graduate and additionally hold a M.A. and D.Ed degree.”

 Asha Parmar, Grade 10, Muktangan Teacher.

” We want every school (in India) to say that it provides an education like Muktangan.”

– Gargi Mazarekar, Muktangan Parent.

“An initiative By the Community, For the Community”.

Muktangan since its inception focused on appropriately preparing its children for the opportunities presented by a rapidly developing global economic environment. It saw the potential laying dormant in local communities and recognized that the community it wanted to serve possessed the ability to effectively implement the education revolution it envisioned. It developed women (economically dependent housewives) into skilled educators some of whom have now become proficient leaders; at school, in their families and most importantly within their communities!

Left: A dramatic representation of a Muktangan – community interaction. Right: Muktangan parent, Pandeyji composed a poem personifying Muktangan’s impact on the life of its students.

During its 15 year journey, Muktangan has aimed to bring about a quality transformation in education. This has led to many synergistic collaborations over the years with local communities, parents, government officials, patrons and partners.

Muktangan’s first Balwadi began by recruiting and empowering seven local women to become child-friendly teachers who would, in turn, transact its developmentally supportive, activity based, constructive classroom curriculum to 90 preschoolers from their own neighborhoods.

As the children flourished, it was their parents that recognized Muktangan’s potential and filed a petition with local authorities; this would later serve as the basis for a strong public-private partnership and spur the growth of the model into seven primary and later secondary schools.

Imparting a comprehensive curriculum, keeping in mind state and national level policies, developed through continuous classroom review, action research and collaboration with experienced academic faculty and supporters; Muktangan documented its established processes and expanded to evolve a comprehensive yet structured teacher education model (pre and in-service) that developed confident, accomplished and effective teachers for all levels of schooling.

To ensure the development of tomorrows global citizens various complimenting programmes such as, Learning Resources allowing for further programmatic inclusivity of special needs, a Socio-Emotional department for student personality and value development and Holistic i.e. Art, Dance, Drama, Sports were integrated to enrich the academic lives of students at Muktangan schools. Further analyzing the developmental needs of senior students Muktangan also partnered with vocational specialists and initiated school transition (Mukt-Minds) and career readiness (WOE) programmes for its soon to be alumni.

To date, 436 students have passed out of Muktangan schools. Almost all of them first generation English speakers with parents working in blue collar jobs. These students are now undergraduates working hard to pursue careers in Engineering, Finance, Chartered Accountancy,  Catering and Computer Sciences and continue to make us proud as they sore to new heights.

The success of the Muktangan model within our seven lab schools has spurred us to take our learnings to the mainstream by first working on its adaptability to varied environments and demographics, through low to high intensity outreach programmes. These programmes are now supporting  the professional development of 2,700 teachers and positively impacting the academic lives of about 45,000 students. Ultimately our aim is to make the programme and its benefits universally accessible through advocacy and joint initiatives with governing bodies e.g. MHRD that are aiming to implement a sustainable transformation in public sector schooling.

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