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Small schools with vertical age and ability grouping do well the world over, inform studies
The small schools which require limited space and often have three groups of children with each group having 10-15 children in vertical age and ability grouping have shown promise throughout the world. Even in India, small schools in NGO sector and under special project mode in the government sector have been successful as a UNESCO sponsored study in India proved in late 1990s.

The success of small schools had been due to learning material based and process based learning in multi-level and micro-learning situation with freedom for pace of learning and peer-group learning through specially designed cards or worksheet.

Moreover, making the place ready for the next day is done in the last session together by the teachers and students without any external support as is the case in Japan even in mainstream mono-grade schools.

Even small special schools up to a strength of 50 odd children with the support of caregivers and their recurrent training with education being seen as a therapy and hands-on sensory experiences have shown better results than when such schools had big infra-structure and market driven facilities. It requires larger staff and much of the time and energy are spent in managing and maintaining the resources rather than the development of children with diverse special needs.

In small school set-up, the parents, what so ever their education level or background, they and community members wish to learn how to help the school and their children.  At many places, trainings of parents have led to better support to child at home.

These days, most general and special schools do not let parents enter the school. They just leave the child at the gate or wait outside the school gate to collect the child. While real purpose of the school is to allow the community flow into the school and vice versa.

The crux of the matter is that the big schools with row-wise classes, formal routines, textbook based lesson-wise curriculum, teacher-paced instruction running in isolation from the community are insensitive places since they do not adjust themselves to accommodate the individual learning needs of children and diverse learning styles.

Only small schools can become the community of learner with the lager community including teachers and parents as a support system of children’s learning.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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