Are Isha Vidhya and the Isha Home School the same?
No, Isha Vidhya and the Isha Home School are separate entities. The Isha Home School is located on the Isha Yoga Center premises and is a residential, ICSE school. The curriculum is exploration- and project-based. For more information visit http://www.ishahomeschool.org/.
Isha Vidhya schools are located in villages throughout Tamil Nadu. The schools are matriculation schools and students are day scholars. Most students come from economically disadvantaged families and pay minimal tuition fees or are supported on academic scholarships. Both schools are English-medium and employ alternative learning techniques which enhance the learning process.
Why are computer-based and other alternative learning materials used in the classrooms?
Use of bilingual audio-visual material, storybooks and flashcards helps create an environment of spoken English in the classroom and allows students to build their English comprehension and vocabulary even before mastering the letters of the alphabet. This approach has proven highly effective for teaching students a second language that is not spoken in their homes or surrounding environment. In addition to material specifically focused on learning English, many of the audiovisual tools promote English acquisition while educating on other subjects such as mathematics, science and social studies. Utilizing the voices and imagery of well known people and characters, the programs are creatively designed to teach while capturing children’s attention through interactive participation. Thus, students have fun while learning and look forward to coming to school.
How are scholarship donations utilized?
Scholarship donations cover the expenses for tuition, health supplements, books and notebooks for the scholarship student, as well as supporting expenses in the following areas: educational aids, curriculum development, teacher training, computer lab facilities and administrative expenses within the schools.
How does Isha Vidhya raise its funds?
Individual donors are currently supporting the majority of funding requirements for Isha Vidhya. The costs of running the schools are covered in part by small tuition fees collected from students, and the remaining shortfall in funding is met by Isha Foundation. Isha Vidhya solicits donations for specific needs such as student scholarships (each scholarship costs Rs.10,000 or $240 per year per child) and infrastructure investment, as well general donations which are distributed as necessary. If you wish to participate please click here Make a Donation. Plans are also underway to attain corporate and institutional grants.
Does Isha Vidhya receive funding from the government?
No. As English-medium schools, we are not eligible for government funding.
What can I donate to Isha Vidhya?
In addition to financial donations, we accept textbooks, notebooks, school supplies, educational toys, computers, computer and video material, furniture, sports accessories and school vehicles. We also encourage volunteer involvement. To learn more, please click here Donate In Kind.
What difference has Isha Vidhya made to the rural children?
The first school opened its doors on June 19, 2006. Since then Isha Vidhya has made a big impact in the lives of our students and their families. We first focused on educating the children on hygiene and bathroom habits – with that achieved, we could focus on education. The Isha Vidhya methodology has been quite effective, and our students are now able to understand English and converse in simple sentences. With time, we are certain we will achieve our educational goals.
What is the impact of the nutritional dietary supplement?
We provide nutritional supplements in the form of snack balls which the children greatly enjoy. The recipes are carefully selected to include the nutrients and minerals necessary to insure the proper development of the skeletal system. These health snacks suppliment the diets of our students, which are often limited to simple carbohydrates. In just the first six months of receiving the health supplements, we observed considerably more growth in our students than in the other children in the locality.
What is the entry requirement for each student?
Any child from the area local to the school is welcome to join Isha Vidhya. We request that children join us during either Lower Kindergarten or Upper Kindergarten; students from Tamil-medium schools will have difficulty joining after this level as their English comprehension will be significantly behind our students. Admission to the higher classes depends on space availability.