Pushing Multi-grade Classrooms in Learning Sector

The process of learning and teaching needs to be enhanced more often for better outcome and results. Karnataka had rolled out an initiative called Nali-Kali programme way back in 1995 to boost up practices in elementary levels especially in rural areas. The learning Enhancement Programme was initiated in 2010-11 in the state and its main agenda was making Nali kali more effective in classrooms.

Nali-Kali Programme

It was developed in Mysore district in 1995 to revive the primary school practices. A group of 15 primary school teachers went to Rishi Valley to study about children in multi-grade classrooms. They observed about how these children are learning in this setup.

The mono school or traditional classrooms indicated a slow run and most schools functioned with less teachers. It is a teacher directed process who lead the students from a lecture to lecture. For slow learners or absentees there was no provision which resulted in higher dropout rates and these types of classrooms showed children not able to acquire competencies like the ability to read or write

Nali Kali was introduced to provide children with joyful learning which stressed on elements such as student-centric, activity- based curriculum and individual care. The multi grade classroom consist of children from different grades accommodated in a classroom. This kind of framework need special attention for students because there is an integration of children of various age groups with different thinking and learning ability.

The main motive of Nali Kali is to integrate activities for children to get their attention. Some of the principles of Nali Kali are:

It is a multi-grade learning/teaching approach which accommodates all forms of learning styles. Here, personalized or individual learning is given more importance where students have to self-evaluate their progress. It is a learning through peer-discussion in a playful manner.

The classroom practices adopted by Nali Kali exist only in a situation where multi grade learning or self-pace learning is given importance. They participate actively throughout the process and the burden of the teacher is lessened.

How Nali Kali works?

  1. The curriculum is divided into small units called ‘mile stones’ or ‘phases.’ The units are arranged in a learning ladder and they have set mile stones for each subject like Language, Maths and EVS. This is to attain mastery over each subject.

  2. There are activity cards to facilitate learning, reinforcement and evaluation. It contains songs, games, outdoor activities, puzzle or craft.

  3. The students of different standards (I, II, III) are put in a classroom and they sit in a circular form which is called learning circles or learning plates. The given activity is partially supported by teachers.

  4. The child can pick a card and sit in the assigned position. Once the student thoroughly learns the matter, it will be evaluated by the teacher and enters in the progress chart.

  5. Arts, music, drawing etc are included in the activities and there is no separate period for these.

  6. Children move from easiest towards difficulty. They are free to move at their own pace based on their understanding.

  7. The groups are formed depending on the activity that the child is doing.

  8. The teacher’s job is to initiate children into learning, include them in different activities and encourage peer supported and participatory learning. They should also help slow learners understand and complete the task.

The Intended Outcomes of Nali-Kali

  1. Children should be able to learn joyfully at their own convenience.

  2. To enable teaching-learning process keeping in mind the individual differences

  3. Students applying the concept with real life situations

  4. Bridging gaps between students and teachers

Nali kali is a practice initiated to invoke effective learning practices primarily in rural areas. These backward areas are the ones which needs proper care and cure for a country’s development.


Vinod Kakumanu

Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.

Write to our School Consultant:

All Comments:

Related on Founder's Blog

Popular on Founder's Blog