Agragamee School is located in between Baunsa dangar on the west, and Patrabuda Dangar on the east, beside the Haldisil river. Mukta Gyan Kutira means learning with freedom in an open environment like birds flying happily in the sky. Here students learn with enjoyment and fun. It is one of three schools started by Agragamee in remote tribal areas for education of girls. Twelve years back no child in the villages surrounding the Mukta Gyana Kutira Schools had any education. Children were full of fear in their village schools and eager to run away. The Mukta Gyana Kutira Schools have changed much of that. Not only do children learn in these schools, but they excel in their further studies also. Mukta Gyana Kutir is only upto Class V. But children who have studied here continue to excel, getting 70% and above in the higher secondary exams.
Apart from studies and academic activities students at Mukta Gyan Kutira Agragamee School enthusiastically participate in games, dance, and songs and so on. They read newspapers and books and are eager to increase their general knowledge. Students with keen interest also involve themselves in debates and storytelling activity.The love and affection of teachers attract students to attend classes regularly. Like potters and gardeners, teachers at Mukta Gyan Kutira Agragamee School nurture the talent of the students. Teachers work hard to make students realise that they have tremendous potential.
The teaching methodology in Mukta Gyana Kutira is child centred, allowing the child and the children to lead the teaching in the class rooms. Thus learning of reading and language, begins with proper nouns, wherein students learn to write their names, the names of their family members, etc. This immediately creates interest in the child, as these words are very dear and mean a lot to the child. This is a challenge for the teachers, as they have been schooled in curriculam, and text book centred methods, that pay little attention to the needs of the child. To facilitate this, supportive TLM backed by training is provided. Supportive TLM and workbooks helps teachers take children through colourful and fun picutres and drawing, engaging them in simple exercises like joining dots, copying shapes to make flowers, colouring, etc. Students also learn many things through games, songs, dance, stories, observation, experiments, examination, teaching and learning materials and so on. They also get opportunity for silent reading as it is essential to build the habit of independent reading. Students develop their reading skills through different activities which include pre-reading, while reading and post-reading. Newspaper is also used as a tool to improve the reading skill of learners.
The entire approach for facilitating easy and fun reading in the early grades has been put together in the workbook KauDakeKa. The introduction of this book has helped teachers follow this innovative, language and child centred method which enables thems to reach out and engage children in their lessons effortlessly, without stress. It has helped them understand in theory and practice the pedagogy of constructivist teaching and discard the tedious and forced method of rote memorisation of alphabets.
The children on their part have found the ‘Kau Dake Ka’ extremely attractive. They run to get their respective books as soon as they come to class. The book keeps them engaged in their work, enabling them to get individual attention from the teacher without noise and distraction. The rhymes in the book are loved by the little ones, who come to school singing the songs. This has also made the parents extremely happy with the school and the teaching. Their satisfaction has been expressed several times in village and paretn teacher meetings. For the higher grades, teachers follow Five E model of teaching which includes a) Engage, b) Explore, c) Explain, d) Extend and e) Evaluate.Reading and comprehension are improved through the ‘sense group’ approach, and other exercises like Visual Memory Development, and mental talk. People with experience and expertise have been engaged as resource
Training and skill bulidng for Agragamee School teachers takes place through exposure to innovative programmes, training workshops conducted by subject matter experts and educationists, hand holding and classroom support. A well stocked library provides support for all extra reading and widening their knowledge.
The Agragamee School model has also been expanded to Government Schools in three districts through training and TLM support. This has been a testing ground, in which the model has effectively proved its effectiveness.
Improving Teaching in Government Primary Schools:
Agragamee Schools have also provided vital support to the Government School and Mass Education programme by providing a training platform for Shiksha Sathies appointed as support teachers for language and reading development in Government Primary Schools. Agragamee teachers have also emerged as trainers, providing demonstratins, and classes to develop teaching skills in potential teachers.