Azim Premji Schools are integral to our work of improving K-12 education in India. First established in 2012, the purpose of our schools is to provide safe, meaningful, and enriching experiences for children. Earlier we prioritised access to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, but in recent years we have focused on more diversity to include children from different socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.
Our school culture sustains an environment free of fear for all children, teachers, and staff. We believe that quality learning occurs when there is open communication, free expression, acknowledgement of shared resources, and sensitivity towards our environment and fellow beings. We encourage both teachers and children to ask questions, challenge stereotypes, and grow aware of their own biases. We encourage pedagogic methods that can support each child’s individual needs, interests and learning styles to ensure children develop an understanding of the world around them.
We try to instill a sense of ownership and accountability among all children and teachers by working together in committees for different school practices: maintaining the kitchen garden, conducting assemblies, planning events and celebrations, ensuring hygiene and cleanliness, managing the library and sports facilities, and assisting in the mid-day meal process.
We view the parents of children as integral participants in the education of every child. We encourage parents to look into the socioemotional support the child is given, and to keep track of the child’s academic performance in the classroom, as well as extracurriculars.
Students participating in various learning activities at Azim Premji Schools
A key aspect of our work is the health and nutrition of all children, which has a major impact on their learning. We offer a supplementary breakfast and lunch to children, and conduct health checkups regularly. We organise special events for parents to enhance awareness of children’s health, diet, and nutrition.
Our schools are affiliated to state education boards and follow the state curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate other resources. We have recently transitioned to English medium in our schools in a phased manner, to extend our efforts of representing all sections of society, including those who desire an English medium education for their children to broaden their academic and extracurricular activities.
Teaching is Learning – in the words of an Azim Premji schoolteacher
Our schools give us an opportunity to practice what we advocate and assist in our work with government schoolteachers. We focus a great deal on ensuring children acquire foundational literacy and numeracy skills in early primary grades so that they do not struggle later, and we have a strong emphasis on visual arts, performance arts and physical education. We track every child’s learning levels.
We conduct teacher professional development through a mechanism for regular sharing at our District Institutes and have a School Enabling Group which facilitates the alignment of school processes to our larger vision.