Our goal is to nurture our learners to become creative, introspecting, confident individuals with a tolerant viewtowards diversity, pride towards their heritage, equipped to be leaders with academic and practical skillsto be able to make a positive sustainable choice.
We want to create future leaders empowered to steer and advance development of their own communities.
To develop a solution for quaility digital education for the last mile anywhere in the world beyond barriers of energy access, connectivity and availability of qualified teachers in remoteunder privileged communities.
Targeting Sustainability Goals
40 Years of Impact
educated since the model’s inception
creating role models at the grassroots
into the formal education system
grassroots educators trained
into jobs that require literacy
stopped migration to settle in own village
Our Intervention Spaces
Located in Tilonia, Rajasthan, Shikshaniketan annually teaches over 400 children, more than half of which are girls. Our mission is to be the centre for research and development for education tools and techniques for the rural context. Through educational programs, we put emphasis on the local environment, sustainability, science and digital literacy.
Digital Night Schools
Our digital night schools have been successfully operating and expanding for over 40 years. Their purpose is to make education more accessible for rural, remote and underprivileged children with daytime obligations, which often prevent them from attending school during regular class hours. Through non-formal curriculums with the use of digital technology, night schools are narrowing the digital divide.
Our Co-Designed Curriculum
Gender & Inclussion
Positive gender equity ideology should begin during the critical stages of children’s development. We promote critical thinking involving questioning stereotypes and advocate awareness on topics such as child abuse, domestic violence and child labour.
We are creating considerate citizens who are sensitive towards the issues of their local realm as well that of the planet, and can contribute through positive sustainable choices. We develop in both students and community teachers an understanding of the implications of actions with respect to their environment.
Our night schools aim to serve entire communities through the facilitation of health awareness interventions which focus on basic health and hygiene, preventing common ailments, bodily processes, menstrual health-related myths and social norms, and reducing malnutrition.
This portable hands-on learning approach intends to build on children’s creativity and problem-solving competency. Our digital curriculum includes aspects of gender equality and diversity tolerance, environmental sustainability, health and nutrition, leadership and communication skills and awareness of rights.
Social values including leadership, critical thinking, and exploitation opposition are at the forefront of our Rights syllabus. We enable children from the underprivileged periphery of the development narrative to participate in mainstream dialogue on social issues through articles, blogs, vlogs, forums, and social media.
It is imperative to us that children have access to high-quality learning resources that foster and encourage a strengthening of mental abilities. We combine the use of library material, puppetry, WorldReader digital material, and oral communication including local history and folklore to achieve these goals.
The digital night school technology solutions are usable in off-grid, offline spaces and are ground tested for easy user interface. A phased digital integration plan allows our digitally novice users sufficient time to get comfortable with the devices, demystifying the technology so they may be keen on utilizing them regularly rather than being intimidated by them.
The Barefoot in-house assembled Solar Powered Projector (aka Edu-Box) is an easy-to-use one-switch solution to transform a community space into a digital classroom. Wirelessly paired with tablets it allows teachers the freedom of movement, engagement and seamless interaction.
Raising Voices & Taking Action
Students actively participate in a democratic process inculcating values like leadership, critical thinking, and standing up for rights and against exploitation. Ministers are elected by the students who assess problems in education, health, sports, environment, gender and attempt to find solutions and demand action. The Children’s Parliament takes the conversations on gender and sustainability to the realm of the underprivileged and thereby build bottoms up opinion which gradually translates into social action, at times, through student led campaigns.
Learning culminates in a Rural Science Fair where students showcase projects and promote scientific thinking. Integrating smart digital devices in classrooms, a growing extensive library to encourage reading and aspects of sports and arts in education, push creativity, introspection and critical thinking. The Science Fair initiative began in 2018, hosted by the Shikshaniketan faculty, and brings together students from remote villages in the area to partake in the learning.
The Malala Project
Our digital learning centres have the added impact of offering gateways for adult literacy, information dissemination and information access for entire communities. Supported by the Malala fund, we used our night school network this year to reach out to 18,000 children on issues of chid trafficking, violence and abuse, identifying affected cases and encouraging them to return to education, propagating the importance of women empowerment and girl child education through film screenings on the solar powered projectors.
Beyond educating children, our digital night schools are bringing communities together and empowering them.
Awards and Recognitions
MIT Solve 2018
The model qualified as the Top 15 finalists in the global challenge for high-potential solutions for teachers and educators.
3M-CII Young Innovators Challenge Awards 2018
The Barefoot portable science lab – part of the rural STEAM component was awarded as a tech-innovation.
Ms. Sanjana Yadav awarded for her volunteering work on gender education.
Interested in joining the Barefoot College Education team? See if there is an opportunity to work with us shoulder-to-shoulder on campus.
Barefoot Rise Fellowship
Join an immersive 24-month experience that helps in achieving educational equity in rural India by providing an opportunity to India’s brightest individuals to serve as full-time teachers in Shikshaniketan, with a unique hands-on approach to learning.