JAWAHAR NAVODAYA VIDYALAYAS | ESTABLISHED IN 1986
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
With good private schools largely concentrated in urban areas, the National Policy on Education, 1986, envisaged a system of residential schools in rural areas. The Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV) mandate was simple: provide quality education to those who lived in rural areas and otherwise had no access to it. The schools were to be residential so that all aspects of the child’s life could be catered to, which in many cases was not possible at home for students from poor backgrounds.
In the past three decades, JNVs have emerged as flagbearers of quality in an otherwise depressing rural education landscape. There are a total of 598 JNVs in the country today, 62 more are in the pipeline (as per policy, there has to be at least one JNV in each district in the country). The schools acknowledge an important aspect of India—that of diversity—and have a good programme for ensuring integration. This involves an inter-regional exchange of students between Hindi-speaking and nonHindi-speaking districts for one year in Class IX. Another objective: getting students from the villages to compete in the civil services exam. A sign of the JNVs’ success: Dhar collector Shriman Shukla (IAS), income tax deputy commissioner Sunil Sharma (IRS) and Ajay Dwivedi (IAS) all are alumni of JNVs in Madhya Pradesh.
A NEW CHAPTER
JNVs are considering online lessons on financial literacy for students with the help of the National Stock Exchange. The hope is that it will encourage the idea of entrepreneurship at a later date.