Anita Shekhu, the 37 year-old headmistress of government primary school in Seuwa village in Rajasthan’s Churu district, is beaming. She has just managed to convince six dropouts to join her school. “When I met them, they complained that their Guruji (class teacher) beats them,” Shekhu recalls. “I asked them to come and see my school. It is different.” So how is Shekhu’s school different from India’s 7,00,000 plus rural schools? She is one of the 100 primary school principals to have enrolled for a Principal Leadership Development Programme run by Kaivalya Education Foundation. In this three-year programme, Shekhu will sit through four modules to be covered in 20 classroom sessions every year. She will also participate in eight one-day workshops every month.
Kaivalya Education Foundation’s goal: train and equip principals to run schools better. Aditya Natraj, founder of the foundation, wants to fix India’s primary education system—one principal at a time.