Akanksha believes that a strong afterschool model can effectively fill many of the gaps in the school system. Founded on the principle of maximizing existing resources, centers are run in under-utilized buildings and spaces for 2 ½ hours a day, five days a week for a group of 60 children. Each center is staffed with professional teachers trained in imparting the Akanksha curriculum and methodology, assisted by volunteers and social workers.
Akanksha has developed an 10-level curriculum that uses innovative teaching methodology to teach English, Math and Values. The first 7 levels focus on the goals of providing a Strong Educational Foundation, a Good Time, and Self-esteem and Values. The last 3 levels focus on the goals of Successful Completion of Secondary School, and Preparation for a Job. The Akanksha curriculum and methodology supplements serious gaps in the formal school system and makes learning fun by teaching through games, stories, and interactive activities.
The Akanksha curriculum focuses on three main areas: math, values, and language.
Akanksha has created manuals for its students in levels 1-5. These manuals test not only basic skills, but breaks out of the rote learning model to ensure its students are grasping the application of mathematical concepts. For 3rd-5th standard, Akanksha has created a file that includes worksheets and informal assessments. This file follows the formal school textbook while also laying the foundation for a deeper understanding. From 6th standard and beyond, Akanksha follows the formal school curriculum, making sure its students’ fundamentals are strong.
The Akanksha teaches values in levels 1-5. These manuals for this curriculum values endeavors to build self-esteem and ensure its students can leave the program with the ability to make responsible choices for themselves. The lessons begin with a focus on the self and then move to the family, community, society, India and the world. Each manual includes tips for teachers on building self-esteem in children as well as projects for the class.
Akanksha’s language curriculum focuses on listening, reading, writing, speaking, and grammar. Akanksha manuals are available from Levels 1-4. In Level 5, the theme is “Incredible India,” and students learn about their country through a variety of means and media. Lesson plans for level 6 and beyond are created every three weeks by Akanksha’s education team. These lesson plans are given to teachers and allow a certain degree of flexibility, while maintaining high standards. These plans include informal assessments, as well.