Satsang Rural School (SRS), located in the hilly hinterlands of Ma Konda behind Satsang Nagar, was revived and reopened by the Satsang Foundation, in association with the Ramanarpanam Trust (DRRT) in 2012. 38 children from the surrounding villages of Mekalavaripalli, Siriguntalapalli, Diguvapalli and Kattragaddalapalli became the first batch of the revived school which lay equal emphasis to English as well as the local languages.
Accordingly the children are nurtured in a multilingual environment, where Telugu and Hindi are also taught along with English. As of today there are 60 children enrolled in the school, in different graded levels of learning, and the network of villages has spread to Ponnutipalem, Mittamarivandlapalli, Patchetlapenta, Madhigakanam, Pichollapalli and Panasmakulapalli – 10 villages in all. The children at SRS are in the age groups of 5 to 10 years.
Satsang Rural School has an unique and innovative approach to education. All lessons are planned based on a community-rights based curriculum that evolves dynamically, founded on the philosophy of making education empowering for the poor and the oppressed, establishing the self-worth of highly alienated children from marginalized and caste-divided villages, and promoting a sustainable model of leadership development. The curriculum is rooted in the inherent strengths of the local rural communities.
Integrating parents’ concerns, views, and inviting total involvement in not only their own child’s development , but guiding them to look at at the Satsang Rural School with a sense of ownership and responsibility is another important aspect of ensuring participatory growth and change. The Ramanarpanam team keeps the community motivated and involved through regular village meetings.
The staff of DRIK Patashala, a similar institution established a decade ago in Chittoor, constantly train, review, and handhold the SRS facilitators on evolving the community driven thematic curriculum. A committee of Satsang Foundation members have also been supporting the vision of the Satsang Rural School.
Satsang Rural School and the Ramanarpanam teams continue to be inspired and motivated in creating an environment of self-development and promoting a sustainable model of leadership development at the Satsang Rural School.