60 years of netarhat : Lessons for Inclusive Quality Schooling
Netarhat Residential School is a unique school set up in 1954. As it completes its 60 years, Delhi Netarhat Old Boys Association(NOBA) organized J N Dar Memorial Function on Aug 2 at India International Center in Delhi. This is the presentation made by Shri Vijoy Prakash to introduce the underlying concept of Netarhat Education System.
60 years of netarhat : Lessons for Inclusive Quality Schooling
Vijoy Prakash, IAS
Department of Transport, Bihar
Netarhat School(1967-72), Arun Ashram
60 Years of Netarhat Education
Lessons for Inclusive Quality Schooling
NETARHAT SCHOOL: GENESIS
In 1948 Bihar Legislative Assembly made a recommendation for
setting up of a Boarding School on the pattern of English Public
School on a private motion of Sarjoo Prasad Sinha, MLA
FG Pearce prepared the project
Major role of CM Shrikrishna Singh, Education Minister Badri
Narayan Verma, Chief Secretary LPSingh, and Education
Secretary Jagadish Chandra Mathur
Conceived as an Indian Public School supported by government
fund in contrast to English Public Schools run without any
support from government
Established in November 1954
Netarhat experiment has been able to inspire many schools such
as Indira Gandhi Girls School, Hazaribagh, Simultalla School
(Bihar), Navodaya Vidyalayas, Residential Schools in Andhra
IDENTIFICATION OF MERITORIOUS CHILDREN
Admission only on the basis of merit with reservation
for weaker sections in the age group (10-12 yrs)
Multi layer screening
But the admission test is based on testing verbal and
logical intelligence. So the process captures talented
only in limited area. Talented in the field of Art, Music,
Drama or Sports are not captured.
Teacher centric small classrooms for 20-24
children with attached teacher room
Ashram – each for accommodating 20-24
students and a teacher with family having
traditional courtyard based architecture to
facilitate close interaction
Laboratories – Physics, Chemistry and Biology
each with its own lecture theatre
Workshops- Metal work, Wood work, Art and
Google map of Netarhat School : Spread across the plateau
Smaller classroom with teacher’s room attached to it for keeping TLM
FLEXIBLE AND INCLUSIVE CURRICULA
Grouping of children in classes of 20 students separately for
Hindi, Mathematics and English
For facilitating Learning at one’s own pace of learning
Teacher driven curriculum – freedom to design curriculum
Standard text of college standard vs Classwise texts
Arithmetic by YCChakraborty, Algebra by KPBasu, Geometry by Hall and
Zoology by Jordon and Nigam, Botany by Dutta
Physics by Saha and Prasad, etc
Such texts provide freedom to children to learn more as per one’s own
pace. So talented children have scope for learning more. This technique
has been useful in helping genius like Vashishtha Narayan Singh and
many more to complete degree level courses at school level itself.
Teaching in Hindi at secondary level to facilitate better understanding
of subject matter. English taught as an additional language.
WIDER SPECTRUM OF SUBJECTS
WIDE RANGE OF GAMES/ HOBBIES
Large number of indoor and outdoor games/sports- 8 Sports fields,
Lawn Tennis, Basket Ball. Volley ball field
Army wing, Air wing and Naval wing
Opportunity for nursing and grooming of all types of abilities and
Oath taking ceremony before the start of the Athletics Competition
Pyramid making and Bhartiyam: New dimensions of learning
Camp life outside Ashram is always a welcome treat.
Reservation for SC/ ST through common Admission Test
SC/ST children distributed evenly in all Ashrams to promote inclusive
Ashram life promoted inclusive living
All children to take up serving, cleaning and washing through roster
In many schools children wash their dish or clean the toilet used by
them. But, we can not create impact on the caste system unless children
of all communities, irrespective of caste and creed, wash the dish of all
and clean the common toilet used by all.
Nobody talked about caste or religion of the teachers, students or staff
Inclusive Salutation – Teachers as Shrimanjee, Ladies as Mata jee,
Seniors and professionals addressed with suffix of ‘jee’ such as Vijoy
jee, Malijee, Naijee, etc.
Nowhere ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ is used
Dining hall in an Ashram: Same space is used for Swadhyaya. Dining is preceded by
Mantras and Swadhyaya by 5 minutes’ ‘Mauna’ (An exercise for inner visualisation). –
ADRISHTI- A COMPLETE VISUALISATION
At School of Creative Learning Inner
Visualisation Exercises have been developed
to guide visualisation activities, which has
also been linked to their creative exercises.
These exercises are called ‘Adrishti Yog’.
It has been found that children following
inner visualisation exercises develop their
learning ability manifold more than those who
do not practice.
ADRISHTI : A COMPLETE VISUALISATION
It is followed by creative
exercises like drawing pictures,
composing poems, etc.
These exercises help learners to
develop power of concentration,
memory and imagination. It further
helps them to have better emotional
control, which is now considered to be
so vital for achieving success in life.
Fees to be paid on the basis of income of the
All children given same facilities irrespective of
the Fees being paid by them
Common Dress, books and stationeries
Equal Ashram facilities - utensils, bed and bed
Unhindered access to sports/ library/ hobby/ NCC
facilities all without any fees
Common study tour, picnic etc.
Lesson for RTE
24 HOURS’ LEARNING
Unique Ashram System
Each Ashram having 20-24 students
Three Ashrams in a set with common kitchen
Entire management of Ashram by students (No menial staff in the
Cleaning of toilets and sweeping Ashrama Serving of food, Cleaning of
Morning to evening strict routine
PT and games
Swadhyaya in evening with Mauna
Chanting of Mantra during food
Ashramadhyaksha to dine with children
Role of Ashram Mata
Taking notes of news by Radio listening
Roster of daily chores like sweeping, washing, cleaning, etc.
Radially shown are Roll numbers of inmates of the Ashram
EVERY OCCASION IS A LEARNING OCCASION
Netarhat Education is Unique blend of Formal and Informal
Assembly – a great learning occasion
Fesivals as a learning occasion: Cultural linkage
Holika dahan and Holi, Diwali and Saraswati Puja
Republic day, Independence day and School day
‘Better than the best’ approach
Village visit : camp life
Use of vacation for learning
Forest as a place of learning
Visit of forest to collect leaves, seeds etc.
Snake caught from forest by Vasudevan jee and brought to laboratory
Decoration in an Ashram on the occasion of Deepawali
Holika Dahan: Children bring dry wood from the forest. Message from
four directions are read in four different Indian languages, translated in
Hindi also, and heap of wood is burnt by torches from four directions. It
is followed by Holi songs like Jogira.
Playing with colours during Holi organised on ground number 4 only.
Enthusiasm of children coordinated and regulated.
Parade of all NCC wings on the occasion of
Republic/Independence day and School day
UNIQUE LIBRARY SYSTEM
Large collection of books and magazines
Open access to shelf for children and teachers
Old magazines kept in bound form
Activities to promote book reading
Library during leisure
Facility for issuing books
A useful tool to inculcate the habit of newspaper reading
UNIQUE EVALUATION SYSTEM
Achievement (Saphalata ) and
Special report to parents in words
Teacher driven evaluation
Examples of unique evaluations such as one
problem many solutions
STRONG PEER LEARNING
Warm Welcome of students on the first day of
arrival and Mentoring of children by seniors – no
Close interaction in Ashrams
Group competition (sports, drama, Antakshari
etc.) based on Ashrams/ Sets/batch
Conducting classes during elections
Cross Country Race: The points are given to each runner on the basis of rank
(e.g. 1st 40, 2nd 39 ….. and so on) and the winning group is declared on the basis
of highest points achieved by a group.
HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS
Highly qualified and dedicated teachers and
Principal screened at all India level and even
Pay Scale equal to the college teachers and
Special administrative system under direct
control of government
Now given autonomy and is run by Netarhat
Vidyalaya Samiti headed by a Netarhat Allumni.
ISSUES AND CONCERNS
Netarhat Experiment has been able to
produce large number of school and
university toppers. One can also find large
number of IAS, IPS, Scientists, Engineers,
Doctors or other professionals among its
alumni, but the real challenge remains to
assess the number of change agents
produced by it in the society.
ISSUES AND CONCERNS
Can we change the admission system to capture
talented and meritorious in different types of
intelligence to really nurse and groom the talented
How can we change the pedagogy to introduce
Creativity and Innovation in the learning process?
How can we produce more entrepreneurs?
How can we integrate more technology in the
learning system to make it more effective?
How can we support the talented children in post
How can we make the system more cost efficient?
Thanks for giving company
in this creative journey
of the wonderful
education system of the country.