The purpose of the Ekal Vidyalaya Movement is all-round development in rural areas, primarily in the remote and tribal parts of India and the developing neighboring countries. The main focus is on education. It is the largest non-government organization engaged in the education of the poorest of the poor in the world. Along with education, primary health (Arogya) and economic development (Gramothan) are receiving considerable attention.
Tribal school class lesson.
Beautiful tomatoes yield using organic manure only.
Ekal education center under construction.
Ekal Vidyalaya (One Teacher Schools)
Ekal Vidyalaya is a one teacher school primarily in the remote tribal villages where often there are not even the basic necessities of life such as roads, hospitals, schools, clean water etc. “which we take it for granted”. A school consists of 25 to 40 children and there are no formal school buildings. Classes are held under a tree, in a verandah, or wherever else is available. A blackboard, teacher and students form the class room. Ekal schools are allotted to donors and a distinctive number is given to each donor by EVFI. To recognize the donors, a name plate is attached to the blackboard of the school showing the name of the donor.
The curriculum consists of Languages, Mathematics, General Education – Science, Storytelling, Basic Healthcare, Handicrafts, and Physical Education.
The cost to adopt one school is CDN $500.00 per year. Donations, often collected during fundraising activities are used to cover this cost.
Teachers salary (honorarium) 60%; Teacher training 25%; Teaching material 6%; Regional operating expense 4%; Administrative expenses 5%
Teachers are invariably from the same village to ensure effect, preserve stability and maintain effectiveness. There are periodic programmes of training for teachers and other volunteers forming management network at all levels: junior, middle and senior.
It is a history of achievement in the field of education in rural India, and developing neighboring countries by a non-government organization. The idea of one teacher schools was conceived by late Dr. Rakesh Popli, a nuclear scientist and his wife Rama Popli, a specialist in Primary education in early 1980’s.
In 1986, Mr. Madan Lal Aggarwal, the then CEO of Coal India supported the idea and donated for 60 schools. In 1989 ShyamJi Gupta picked up this initiative and employed it into the service of remote villages, and by 1996 there were 1200 schools.
By the year 2000, other organizations like Friends of Tribal Society joined the movement. In 2000 EVFI came into being and the number of schools rose to 5000. The same year, with Shyamji’s dedication, EVFI took a leap and was established in U.S.A. and some other countries.
Now the number of schools is about 51,000 with enrollment of about 1.5 million children.