Preschool set up by resolute parents ready for first admissions

Citizens Gurukul will be run by parents of kids enrolled there

Preschool set up by resolute parents ready for first admissions

Almost a year ago, parents in Whitefield were fed up with school managements hiking fee without explanation and decided to start a school of their own.

After months of juggling meetings with their full-time jobs and deliberations with legal and academic experts, the Citizens Gurukul is ready to take in admissions for preschool in the coming academic year.

The nonprofit school is an initiative of Citizens Gurukul Trust, formed by 14 parents who are driven by the philosophy that schools should be run democratically, should be transparent about finances and accountable to parents. “After all, when parents entrust schools with their children and their life savings, the least they can expect is some accountability,” said Ashok Kinha, one of the trustees.

Suprabhat Mohapatra, another trustee and parent, explained how the school would function. “Parents whose children are enrolled at the school will run it, taking decisions about which teachers and how many to hire, what facilities to have and the fee. The trust will not interfere and will only ensure that they remain true to the core philosophy.” The curriculum to be followed in the preschool will also be decided by parents after consultations with education experts, he said.

A house in Dodsworth Layout, Whitefield, has been finalised for the school and about 30 parents have already shown interest in having their children enrolled this year. Trustees say they are in the process of getting the necessary approvals from the Department of Public Instruction and the school is set to open mid-June. On Saturday, the trust held a symposium to spread the word about the initiative.

“We want to start more preschools on this model. We want to run them successfully and set an example. If any parent group in other parts of the city or country want to start something similar, we would like to help them with the process,” Kinha said. He said that eventually they intended to extend classes up to high school.

One of the experts the trust has consulted is Sumedha Rao, a member of the group Whitefield Ready, which volunteers as teachers in government schools. “It is a very courageous move but for the school to succeed, I would advise they keep the student-teacher relationship at the centre. Parents should not get carried away by the administrative aspect,” she said.

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