About Katha’s Curriculum
Katha means story in most Indian languages. A registered “profit-for-all” social nonprofit working with and for children and adults through story and storytelling, we are a leading edge organization in the literacy to literature continuum in both education and publishing.
We have a unique model that seamlessly connects grassroots work in education, urban resurgence and story. Katha’s core competence is in reducing urban child poverty through an integrated approach. We culture link India’s amazing plurality, celebrate it with our children through our publishing programme. Political, Social and Cultural Empowerment of children and their communities is our mantra. Uncommon Creativities for a Common Good is our motto.
Why we are effective
Children and women in poverty face a million challenges. Many habits, attitudes and fears are in their blood. And to change these that have formed over hundreds of years needs persuasive methods. Katha’s strength lies in our work in and with story.
Story as a tool for transformation:
As we globalize we need strong culturelinking to build awareness about ourselves, our cultural, our national identity. Katha sees the study of story as a tool for the transformation of the self, and through this of the society we live in.
The story in education:
If stories are a tool for transformation of the self, and hence, of society, it must be part of any education process. Many large ideas come to us from stories. The understanding of a human society itself, in India has had this larger understanding of life and living at its base – the wellbeing of the whole planet.
We have a strong curriculum for life.
We believe that children can bring effective change to their communities and families. And that a strong curriculum should be for life and not just for passing exams. Hence our schools are centres for poverty reduction and community resurgence. Katha system of education is unique and based on a MeWe ideology that makes strong individuals who are capable of fostering and actively building a strong, caring society.
We leverage partnerships.
Katha is expert at building partnerships with communities, governments and corporates ― so that we are all together inspired by children ―and their needs. We bring people together to protect the futures of not just India but the countries that have few children of their own to enter the workforce in 2030.
We work in an integrated manner, in the literacy to literature continuum.
We do not think that piecemeal or fragmented approaches can solve the challenges of child poverty. Hence Katha does it all, all together. From teacher training to development of classroom materials, from research to the production of quality storybooks ― we work integrated so that the child is always at the centre of our focus. Language is an important tool for this exploration of our identity, our roots, our values and to understand fully our society and our role in this rich, multi-layered, multi-dimensional society. Hence literary translations become a way of self-discovery.
We leverage our core competences.
From one centre in 2001, we have grown to 50 schools across Delhi, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh. Small and cost effective, they are within a slum and focussed on quality, but we use our resources wisely and well. We realize our country needs a strong ethical system of basic values to build trust, especially in a globalized economy.
Strengths and Opportunities We Believe in
Katha started off thinking story! working in a literacy to literature continuum. This led to uncommon creativities for a common good, the slogan that leads us in our work.
Katha Relevant Education for All Round Development ― a unique child centric model which addresses the issues of relevant education and lifelong learning for first generation learners in urban slums and remote tribal villages in an integrated manner, leading to overall development of the child and economic resurgence of its family and community.
The story pedagogy, centered on story, designed and developed by Geeta Dharmarajan, and honed over the last 22 years, brings in creative and fun ways into teaching for children who come from illiterate families, and induces them into lifelong learning and responsive responsible citizenship.
The Curriculum for Life links our work across the spectrum taking our children on a flight out of poverty. Our delivery mechanisms are tied to quality. And to keep our programmes innovative and fun each of our teachers and editors are action-researchers!
Katha was one of the first nonprofits to start off in the slums and streets of metro India; and one of the few that have ventured into the far reaches of Arunachal Pradesh to work with the tribal people there, the Lisus. This experience and expertise is what gives Katha the edge.
Committed and Empathetic Trained Teachers
One of the main ingredients of success in Katha has been the committed and empathetic family of teachers, most of whom come from the communities from which the children come. Hence they are able to understand the special circumstances and the needs of such children, and communicate better with them. Strengthened with a strong pre- and in-service teacher training and education programme developed specially by Katha for such teachers, they become active agents of change in the community. This training methodology would help in increasing the band of teachers and ramp up to quality quickly.