A joyous, unafraid childhood. And the school that allows it.

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“Our 2nd graders reading is seven times better than the national average.” Said the principal.

“Seven percent, you mean?” I corrected gently.

“No seven times.” He said, reeling out some data*.

But how can a Hindi medium village school where the teachers don’t even raise their voice pull this off?

The Chirag school started as a unique experiment. Could kids from a village learn in a fear-free environment? If rote learning was replaced by experiential learning, wouldn’t the villagers resist it? Could the principles of J Krishnamurti – which work so well in schools like Rishi Valley – also work in a no-frills rural school?

Today, ten years on, the experiment has been an unbelievable success. Chirag’s kids are an incurably curious and fearless lot. Their parents love the school and it’s method of instruction. The school outdoes state and national measures on all academic metrics (*see data points below).

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