About the Organisation- Vikramshila is a non-governmental organisation, registered under the Society Registration’s Act, Government of West Bengal in 1992. Vikramshila is an education resource organisation, located in Kolkata, (West Bengal, India) and currently extends the ambit of its activities across West Bengal and Tripura.
Mission – To Make Quality Education a Reality for All Children
Vision – To help create a peaceful and equitable society free from injustice and exploitation
History and Impact – The organisation believes quality education to be the right of every child and hence, equity has been the primary issue addressed over the years. Vikramshila consciously worked in under-resourced belts and deprived pockets across India, from 1989. The organisation undertook teacher development, curriculum development and technical support for agencies such as International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP), Child Rights and You (CRY), GTZ, UNICEF and the like, and worked in many states of India – Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal. The organisation has also worked in Nepal and Bangladesh, providing technical support to senior educational functionaries. It also ran an 8-month evening course ‘Early Childhood Learning’ in St. Xaviers’ College, for 12 years.
Gradually, Vikramshila felt compelled to undertake its own education programmes which would act as a laboratory for experiments in curriculum, pedagogy and good practices of education. These labs were set up in both rural and urban contexts. Shikshasatra, the experimental school at village Bigha (District Burdwan , West Bengal, India) was started in 1996 under the “Innovative and Experimental Scheme” of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for which Vikramshila was required to have its own Lab School to experiment on its pedagogical principles of linking the text to the child’s context. In addition, the organsiation started its own education centres, through the Naba Disha programme, in crime prone and under-resourced communities in and around Kolkata, which it runs in partnership with the Kolkata Police, within local police stations, since 1999. Both programmes have been operative for more than a decade and have been considered as exemplars in their own right. The sites are often frequented by NGOs, government agencies and corporates for exposure visits to understand good quality education practices.
Vikramshila’s work with the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Tripura since 2004 has led to the creation of a group of 200 Master Trainers in the State of Tripura. Through them, the organisation reached out to 30,000 government school teachers at the elementary level. At present, Vikramshila is engaged with a state wide quality intervention with the Govt. of Tripura’s SSA and Department of School Education.
From 2007 onwards Vikramshila has engaged with madrasas in West Bengal- both private madrasas as well as government madrasas, in attempting quality improvement in their education. In working with the government madrasas, the organization has formed a unique partnership with the West Bengal Board of Madrasa Education (WBBME). The organisation championed the need to create a layer of academic support persons within the system, which was hitherto missing. This led to the formation and institutionalization of the State Academic Resource Group (SARG) in 2010, with technical support from Vikramshila.
From 2008 Vikramshila created a new wing to address the issue of the ever increasing gap between the existing skills and capabilities of high school graduates and the needs of the industry outside. The Education to Employability project was piloted in Bengali-medium, government secondary schools to offer remediation, soft skills and communication English support, IT education and career counseling to students from high school, to make them employable. The government has now taken up under the RMSA scheme (Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan). Vikramshila acts as a technical partner in the implementation across West Bengal.
In 2010, Vikramshila had the chance to revive it expertise in Early Childhood Education by partnering with UNICEF in research, curriculum development, training and monitoring for a full fledged roll out of the new ECE curriculum in West Bengal’s ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) centres.
Vikramshila has been recognised as one of the leading agencies working in education, especially in eastern part of India. It has partnered with eminent government agencies, Trusts and corporates such as Wipro, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Child Rights and You, UNICEF, IL&FS-ETS, SSA (Kolkata and Tripura) , RMSA(West Bengal) , ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth, OWSA , USAID etc .
Vikramshila is a part of State Resource Group (SRG, Government of west, Bengal, Dept. of Education) and has been appointed member of various state and national level bodies.