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Awake & Shine Primary School at Samthar

Awake and shine school School was set up by retired Lt. General Jagat Mohan (“Jimmy”) Singh as part of NGO Project Awake & Shine in 2007. The project is supported by the Awake & Shine Charitable Trust. The school is a Not for profit establishment.

The School lies in the tangle of mountains between Siliguri and Kalimpong in village of Samthar. The driving time from Siliguri, or Kalimpong or Darjeeling is about 2.30 hrs.

A second school is under construction at the remote village of Chota Suruk,

Why Awake & Shine ?

The General desired to change the image of rural schools by providing quality English medium primary education and create income generation by developing village tourism. He wondered as to how it was expected that children would become achievers in the future, if their childhood schools set such poor examples? Moreover, it was his belief that what we teach, must not be just knowledge, but should lead to preparing the young for the challenges of life.

How are Awake & Shine Schools different ?

The Awake & Shine Schools are different from other rural schools in the Darjeeling hills on five counts.

  • Firstly : Quality infrastructure and learning aids, provided at the school match urban private schools . These have been creating by using local material, employing local artisans, as a measure of empowerment for the local community.
  • Secondly : The school has developed activity based methodology to teach English, mathematics, and computer literacy, which is suitable for rural schools.
  • Thirdly : Personality development has been included in the curriculum, and experiential learning methodology has been pioneered, as a tool to build personality alongside with academic learning. 
  • Fourthly : The school has established that a child friendly, non -traditional teaching team, can achieve amazing results by in-house training of local youth.
  • Fifthly : Integrated village tourism has been harnessed to generate funds from visiting tourists.

A second school is being developed to replicate the Samthar model, at the isolated village of Chota Suruk. The School will open with the nursery class in February 2019. For more details click on  Project Chota Suruk.

The objectives and guidelines for the school have been achieved.  The school has set high standards, to justify its aspirations as a model rural primary school.

School At Samthar

Nursery Class Room Chota Suruk

145 children are enrolled in 8 classes in 2018. Of these 106 are sponsored. The per class capacity continues to be restricted  to 20-25 children. This has ensured quality learning 

The teaching staff of One principal, 11 teachers and one class assistants, is backed by 02 care takers cum gardeners. The teacher to children ratio is 1:12, and adult to children ration is 1:8.5. All staff members are from the local community and have been empowered by in–house training to become achievers. 

Curriculum & Teaching Methodology
Funding & Sponsorship
What has been achieved?