Primary Schools

We are an education revolution bringing literacy to 3 million rural children every year.

Education is Ekal’s flagship program. Since 1989, the organization has brought literacy and economic opportunity to over 10 million students in 80,000 villages and tribal areas in India.

While it takes 42 years to graduate a family out of poverty, first learners change this to 12 years. This is especially significant for girls, since educated girls tend to marry later, have fewer children and are strong proponents for educating their own children.

Our innovative model of a single-teacher primary school has led to long-term, unprecedented impact. Ekal is a revolution that’s changing the paradigm of education.

School density in states


Our innovative model of a single-teacher primary school has led to long-term, unprecedented impact.

  • 2.54 million

    Current Students

  • 1.28 million


  • 1.27 million


  • 70 %

    Teachers are Women

  • 10 million

    Children have gained literacy since 1986

  • 88,896

    Ekal Schools in all States in India

Data as of August 2023

The Indigenous Solution
The Students

4-10 years old

Class size
30 students

School day duration
2 hours / 6 days a week

Cost to Student

The Curriculum

The curriculum across all Ekal’s schools follows a standard core of language, arithmetic, and science. Students also participate in physical education, value education, and creative arts.

Low Operating Costs

Schools are located in informal, accessible places that are central to the village They are managed by a school oversight committee comprising of parents and community members.

The Teachers

Ekal’s teachers are selected by the school oversight committee and have a minimum of a 10th grade education. They undergo intense training to serve the pedagogy of the schools. 80% of Ekal’s teachers are women who are role models, encouraging families to educate girls. This is crucial for gender equality. 50% of Ekal students are girls pursuing higher education, some joining as Ekal teachers, thereby giving back to the communities they grew up in.

School Tuition

Ekal schools are completely free, with learning materials including digital tools provided at no cost.

Program Expense

For every dollar invested, the following program costs have been consistent since 1986.
$365 to educate a child for a school year or a $1 per day, breakup below:

$0.60 cents

Teachers Salary

$0.30 cents

Teacher Training

$0.07 cents

Program M&E

$0.03 cents

Learning Tools

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.