Though Chiguru does not exactly follow the official syllabus, the goal of the schools is to reintegrate the children into government schools. The children attend the 5th, 7th and 10th standard government examinations and have fared very well in them. Many students have been able to rejoin regular schools and have done exceedingly well. The school, inspired by several external sources, developed it’s own methodology in teaching. There are worksheets for each class and subject available and the teachers are experienced in teaching according to the principles of alternative education.
Skill training is given a lot of importance because not only do the children enjoy them but are also able to explore their potential and improve their creativity. Children acquire skills in tailoring, embroidery, bag making, drawing, clay work, gardening, music, folk dance. A practical benefit is that for some children the skills they learn at school could become sources of their livelihood in future. There is also a potential for earning while learning, which has already started on a small scale.
Children in our schools spend a lot of time singing, dancing and playing. They also perform at various occasions whatever they have learnt. They perform in school programmes, village festivals and peoples’ gatherings. A lot of emphasis is placed on the traditional folk songs and dances of the local area. The children enjoy these activities and learn to value their local cultural heritage.
In the day schools, a good healthy lunch is provided to the children and a small snack in the afternoon before they go home. In Timbaktu School, children get breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the afternoon, they usually have a small snack. Special emphasis is placed on the consumption of fruits and vegetables and an overall balanced diet. In many families of the children, parents either don’t care much about what their children eat or are not able to buy enough food for economic reasons. However only children with sufficient nutrition are able to develop naturally, to learn and grow.