Pehlay Akshar- Vision

We planted our seeds under the RPG group umbrella. RPG is a large conglomerate with fifteen companies and a turnover of Rs. 16,000 crore. The RPG Akshar Program was initiated as a pilot in Worli, Mumbai in 2010. Keeping in mind the RPG Group’s key impact areas of Education, Employability and Environment, the Akshar Program was conceptualized and initiated under the Education vertical.

Our journey began in Adharsh Municipal School, Mumbai, Maharashtra which is a private English medium school. We began primarily with a voluntary model, where we selected international texts of good quality – created our own curriculum and got volunteers from the Corporate houses to teach. Our program was launched as a summer program. It was very well received by the Principal, the parents of the students and ofcourse our Pehlay Akshar kids loved it! Hence we were asked to teach in the regular school days. We then moved from the voluntary model to recruiting and training our own Pehlay Akshar teachers to provide stability to the program.

We then approached the neighboring Government schools in Worli. They critiqued our work from several angles to understand the nature of the program and our levels of commitment. Based on their evaluation of the program and the benefits it would bring to the students we were given in-school teacher slots. We are unique, we are the only program that has been provided with time within the school hours.

Another unique feature of our program is that we are an entirely vertically integrated program. We recruit and manage all our teachers, as opposed to asking current school teachers to adopt our ideology. We create our own in-house curriculum which is hugely beneficial as it makes the program highly adaptable to ensure we provide 100% literacy.

The curriculum employs Pehlay Akshar ways of teaching, it uses international reputed publications as well as stories from Indian publishers to create a highly tailor made program that delivers results.

Our initial success and positive feedback from stakeholders encouraged us to spread the program in other geographical locations like Navi Mumbai, Vasai, Bhandup, Nasik, Nagpur, Jabalpur, Halol and Jaipur. During this process we encountered several difficulties like shortlisting of schools, commuting to these schools, finding facilitators with good spoken and reading English skills etc. But we viewed every problem as a challenge to overcame them, learning and bettering ourselves along the way.

Further, based on the positive feedback given by children and school teachers we expanded our program to teach State / Local curriculum. We were supported by the Government and School authorities as they provided us with an extra hour to conduct Pehlay Akshar sessions in schools.

We have further expanded into teachers training for existing government school teachers to create a multiplier effect. We have also started with our mentorship program called “The Paper Boat Project”.

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