As a committed Montessorian, I was curious about what Montessori schools were in New Delhi. The first ones I visited were very disappointing. The Montessori name has been an advertising slogan for many years, often disguising schools with little to no Montessori practices or philosophies at work, and that is what I found here.
“The Alpha Montessori School, located in Mandawali, an impoverished community in East Delhi, India, was founded to provide high quality education to low-income children and provide them the skills to move beyond the rigid limitations of social class. Without such an education, these children would be condemned to living and working in the same low wage, back-breaking jobs of their parents.”
Alpha currently has two primary classes and two elementary classes. All the children exhibit a sense of self that is remarkable. The older children speak English with a fluency that is rare for children from marginalized, non-English speaking communities. Moreover, they are absorbing a sense of self-worth and an ability to be confident drivers of their own futures.
The teachers, especially Mrs. Anita Chandel and Mrs. Mohan, exemplify authentic Montessori practices and the results are a marvel. It is their tireless work, day in and day out, that has created something radically different for the children they serve.
I work with the students two days a week. I coordinated an AWA fundraiser in 2013, a Photo Exhibit, and Silent Auction, with all proceeds dedicated to Alpha Montessori. With those funds, they were able to renovate the roof to create a garden.
Learn more about the Rooftop Garden taking shape here.
Learn more about Alpha Montessori here.