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Jnana Prabodhini (Harali)

  • Established in 1995, following a disastrous, major earthquake in a very rural area; initial support came from Jnana Prabodhini, a major, social service organization based in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • The student population of approximately 250 is approximately 60% residential to serve children who would otherwise not get an education because their parents are itinerant farm workers, who travel around India, as the seasons change. Other economically disadvantage students are tribal and rescued, street children. The balances are day-students from local villages.
  • The teaching philosophy emphasizes training in self-learning skills, thinking and practical skills, leadership, understanding democracy, communication with oneself and the universe, physical activities, local cultures and creative expression. Also included is a science education program for students coming from a neighboring government school and an out-reach, science program to other nearby schools.
  • Students are enrolled at the school without any consideration of caste, religion, gender or economic status. The majority of students are from a rural, agrarian background. Admission is based on the merit of the student, as well as his or her need. Children coming from marginalized communities are given preference for fee reductions or elimination.
  • Annual fees for residential students are over $500, however, only about 40% are able to pay the full fee. The balance pays less and 25% pay nothing. For local-day students the school does not charge any fees.
  • The land for the school was provided for free by the local community. Local residents and student families support the school in various ways. This includes crops for food, plus materials and labor for maintenance, repairs and school activities.