Education is Ekal's trademark program. Since 1989, we've brought literacy and opportunity to over 10 million students in 102,000 rural villages. When children learn, they uplift themselves and their families, transforming lives and futures.
Our innovative, single-teacher model has led to long-term, generational impact. Village by village, student by student, Ekal is empowering rural India.
Children have gained literacy since 1989
Funds a school for an entire year
Data as of March 2023
Class size averages 30 students. Students range from 6 to 14 years old.
Classes take place in accessible outdoor areas central to the village. As children are often needed by their families during the day for income-earning activities, the three-hour school day begins in the afternoon.
Selected by a village committee, our teachers are local youth with at least a 10th-grade education. They are specially trained in pedagogy to meet the needs of rural children. Teachers participate in regular trainings to maintain educational quality.
The curriculum across all Ekal schools follows a standard core of language, arithmetic, and science. Students also participate in physical education, health education, and creative arts.
A Localized, Community-Centered Model
Our students and teachers represent diverse ethnic and religious communities. We tailor our curriculum to respect local contexts, use local languages, and integrate local traditions. Schools are governed by community oversight. Accommodating students' individual needs is important to us. We do everything we can to help every single student lay the groundwork for further education and future success.
All for $365 Per Year
That's right: it costs only $365 to fund an Ekal school for an entire year. 60% funds the teacher's salary; 27% funds teacher training; 9% funds monitoring and support; and 4% funds teaching materials. Our scalable, cost-effective model invests in people over infrastructure, leading to widespread success and long-term sustainability.
Ekal's Role in India's Educational Landscape
Educational opportunities in India are shaped by many factors, from socioeconomic status to geographic location. The purpose of Ekal's single-teacher schools is to provide basic education to young children until they are old enough to walk to the closest government school.
Our aim is to give low-income, under-resourced children the foundation they need to thrive in further education. Our curriculum builds fundamental literacy and numeracy skills in an informal setting to accommodate children's particular needs and set them up to succeed.
Advancing Gender Equality
Our teachers, 80% of whom are women, have been successful in encouraging many communities to embrace educating girls. This has been crucial to the advancement of gender equality in rural India. To date, millions of girls have studied at our schools. The majority have gone on to pursue further schooling. Many become Ekal teachers themselves.
Meet Kumari Kalpana MahtoEkal graduate studying for her Bachelor's degree in Technology at AMIE University
"Without Ekal, I would never have known about education. Today, I might have been taking care of the cattle at home instead of getting my degree. Ekal has transformed my life."
Meet Pinky KarmakarEkal Graduate; was chosen to carry the torch for India's Olympic Team in the London 2012 Olympics
After attending an Ekal school in Assam Barbaruah Tea Garden, Pinky went on to graduate from high school. She led adult literacy classes and conducted an alcohol abuse prevention program, later working with the United Nations Children's Fund to implement a sports program in her village.
Support our work to bring free education to under-resourced students today
It only costs $1/day to fund an entire school. Your financial support helps us sustain our schools, support more students, and innovate how we teach.DONATE Request a Call Back
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