The Museum School - Parvarish

The Museum School is an urban education model for economically and academically deprived children in urban slums without any extra infrastructure or investment. Using existing museums as schools, the museums’ exhibits as teaching aids, and Bachelor of Education students as teachers, underprivileged children get a high-quality education at no cost.

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Student supportOrganisation for Awareness of Integrated Social Security (OASiS)Learning through PlayPrimaryLower secondary

Location Data

Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, MaharastraBhopal, Bangalore, Mumbai, DelhiUrban

The Museum School is an innovative concept aimed at bringing quality education to urban slum children without much investment. Many big cities with a large population of non-school-attending slum children also have many museums, which are subject-focused and house knowledge for those of all ages. The model identifies museums in the city and collaborates with them to make them the school for the children, matches the museum's exhibits and working models with curricula in different classes, and collaborates with colleges conducting Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) courses for B.Ed students to practice teaching.

The children of The Museum School come to the museums (their schools) every day by school bus, just like privileged children do, and are taught by the B.Ed students through the exhibits of the museums according to the curriculum. Thus, the model provides poor children with the best infrastructure already set up by the government (the museums), the best teaching aids (exhibits and working models in the museums), and the best teachers (B.Ed students practicing teaching) and removes the disparity in quality of education without any further investment. Knowledge comes from a conceptual understanding of the exhibits. 

Educated girls from the same slums are hired as literacy teachers and are trained on innovative, fast-learning approaches that use naturally available resources. The model follows a curriculum designed to provide holistic education ranging from behavioral changes to literacy, to academics, physical education, and adolescence education, to vocational skills and entrepreneurship development. Besides B.Ed students and literacy teachers, citizens and volunteers with different skill sets come to share their skills with the children. While the children are mainstreamed into regular schools or National Open School as per their choice, the objective is to make the employable or self-employable, confident, socially responsible, and independent in society. 

It is innovative in using available infrastructure and resources in the cities’ existing museums and in creating a different learning environment for children instead of only depending on books. It also creates an opportunity for B.Ed students to teach. Because the program is funding-based, the key challenge is to get a long-term funding partner, to sustain the Bhopal implementation, and to scale up to all cities of India.

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