Katha Lab School (A high-quality low-cost community school for most marginalized children)-Delhi- CSR Projects India

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Katha Lab School (A high-quality low-cost community school for most marginalized children)


Organization : Katha


Location : Delhi


Project Description

Katha Lab School is a low-cost affordable school located at the center of bustling narrow streets of Govindpuri, Delhi’s largest cluster of 12 slum communities of high density with 2 lakhs population but lacking some of the most basic amenities. The population is mostly of migrants from neighboring states in search of better livelihood. The children from these weaker sections, are the real sufferers of migration. They are not enrolled in the school and even if they are enrolled, the formal education is not suitable to them resulting in drop-outs. At a young age, children fall into child labor which, because of the profitability, is rampant and convenient for the greedy employers who get cheap labour with no big demands. Poor parents of the victims are not against it due to the little additional income for the family. Consequently, these children when employed are not only denied their right to education but are robbed of their precious childhood. This has a long-term negative effect on their character and it is likely that later in their life most of them end up in conflict with law. The scourge of child labour is a blot on the social life on the Nation. Children in the age group of 6 to 15years of age are the most vulnerable to this.


To address the above problem Katha started its “community schooling and Vocational Training Initiative” popularly known as the “Katha Lab School” to directly help 700 children every year in urban slums in getting into full time education. These children are provided academic support, computer literacy and vocational training. Till date more than 1 lac children have been weaned away from child labour. Founded in 1990, Katha Lab School in New Delhi is Katha’s incubator for its innovative approach to teaching and learning. Katha’s unique model, developed by Geeta Dharmarajan has been tested and refined over 32 years. Katha Social Work Institute integrates poverty-reduction activities and community action into the curriculum. The crèche and special needs center enable mothers to work and elder siblings to attend school.


Their education methodology involves:

  • Active story based Learning, in which teachers use a variety of methods such as discussion, debate, story, dance, theatre and video to engage students in the learning process;
  • Theme-based curriculum, in which the National Curriculum (NCERT) is taught based on themes;
  • Integrated subject teaching, in which teachers coordinate their lessons across subjects so that concepts are continuous between subject classes;
  • Application of knowledge through classes in computers, bakery, tailoring and carpentry.


The magical world of Katha Lab School is made of the following programs:

  • Creche (6 moths to 3 years) provides a vibrant play and learning space for community infants and toddlers so mothers can earn livelihoods and elder siblings can attend school.
  • Phulwari: This section caters to children with special needs with an objective to integrate such children into the mainstream school (15 students)
  • K-12: Gives children quality, holistic education using Katha’s innovative model based on Story Pedagogy® and Active Story Based Learning. Teachers creatively engage students and foster in them a life-long love of learning through discussion, debate, theatre, dance, fine-arts, sports, music, and film.
  • The Preschool: Age group 3+ to 5+. The curriculum for this cluster has been specially developed keeping the needs of such preschoolers who are first generation learners.
  • The Junior School: Grades 1st to 5th. The curriculum integrates traditional learning in math, sciences and language with a theme-based education taking hybrid approach (online means as well physical teaching at community spaces)
  • The Secondary School: Grades 10th-12th. Students are awarded the Katha School Leaving Certificate (KSLC) once they complete these levels.


Katha Lab School serves approximately 700 underserved children and young adults from the community each year, enrolled in our crèche to the 12th program. They also provide, elder children, training in IT, robotics and vocational skills in bakery, food processing, cutting & tailoring and fashion design. Their full-time program also offers inclusive education for differently-abled children from the Govindpuri area.


Project Type : CSR


Special Features of Project

  • It is low cost model school with all the elements of National Education Policy 2020 being in practice for the last 25 years consistently.
  • It caters to ‘Children at most risk’ with highest quality of education (orphan, single parent child, girl child, children from BPL families) who otherwise are at risk of child labor and other exploitation.
  • Key distinguishing features includes the integration of theatre, dance, music, sports, storytelling, and film among the many tools our teachers use.
  • Vocational skill training, digital literacy and Robotics to all students. The idea is to build scientific temperament among children who otherwise are devoid of such learning and lag behind in fact paced world.
  • Katha’s model also brings community issues into the classroom so that learning is relevant for children and empowers them to become agents of change in their communities. We empower children to solve pressing community challenges related to health, water, sanitation and environment.

Project Donors and Partners

New Zealand High Commission, Australian High Commission, BT Global, British Asian Trust, BEI Foundation, Cians Analytics, Tata Communications Limited, Oracle, Aviva Life Insurance, Deloitte, ONGC

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