Paragon Charitable Trust is a registered charity in Mumbai which started an education programme called Muktangan. Muktangan’s innovative educational model integrates school and teacher education. Started in 2003, its community-based, low-cost inclusive, child-centred methodology has evolved over 10 years in our Teacher Education Centre and 7 English-medium Mumbai Municipal schools from Preschool to Grade X, whose setting up and day-to-day running is entrusted to Paragon Charitable Trust.

Muktangan’s educational model addresses the shortcomings in the mainstream education system. Currently we have 3000+ children. We train members from the local community (mainly women) as teachers through an intensive one-year teacher education programme. We have trained over 500 teachers of whom more than 400 are currently employed with us. We thus are providing livelihoods and a professional career ladder with positions ranging between teachers, subject specialist faculty and even school leaders. The teacher education and schooling is all offered free of cost.

The model has been appreciated by educationists and governments at the local, state and national levels. With our experience and expertise in school and teacher education, we offer our services from the Muktangan Education Resource Centre to impact schools and teacher education programmes across the country. In this we have partnered with UNICEF, State Government and more than 20 other organizations in Mumbai and across the country.

Website: https://www.muktanganedu.org/

Possible Volunteering Opportunities

Muktangan provides a space for children to receive quality, English medium education from trained teachers from their own communities. The State syllabus is transacted in a constructivist manner and our class rooms have low teacher student ratios. The entire programme is based on an inclusive philosophy.

  • The Holistic Education department includes exposure to Art, Music, Dance, Sports and Drama for an overall development of the child. The Library team promotes storytelling, reading and use of online resources for self-development of students and teachers. The intern will help our Teachers in the Holistic Education and Library department to upgrade their skills so as to enhance their interactions in the classroom.
  • The Socio-Emotion Department works with identifying social issues in the community and implementing changes. It’s an opportunity for the intern to be involved in pastoral care leading to leadership and life skills development.
  • The intern could also associate with our I.T department to digitize our lesson plans and re-enforce the use of online resources.
  • An intern could also work with the English language department from improving the language proficiency of our children, parents and teachers.
  • Another option is in the Research department in which, based on case studies of children, parents and teachers, an intern could examine impact and trends on issues related to social and child development, educational methodologies and student tracking system.

Preferred skills

We would prefer post graduates, graduates or under-graduates who are in the final year. An intern should be generally interested and enthusiastic to engage with other cultures, and should have appropriate skills related to one or more of the following fields:

  • Music, art, dance, drama and counselling.
  • Proficiency in teaching English.
  • Research conducted through interviews for case studies with associated and analytical skills to document and report impact and trends.

Other information

The optimal dates for starting the internship should be between the first week of July and the middle of August. (The dates are negotiable provided the 6 to 8 week period can be adhered to).

The Founder Trustees of the Organisation, Mrs. Elizabeth Mehta and Mr. Sunil Mehta, have been living in Mumbai since their marriage 48 years ago. Mrs. Mehta is British. They are actively involved in the functioning of Muktangan. They would also be involved, along with the other staff, in offering orientation and refuge in case of any emergency or illness to the intern.

Approximate cost

You should expect to spend about £1250 for eight weeks - this covers costs for food and accommodation, as well as local travel. There are no programme fees payable to Camvol.

In addition to these local costs, volunteers will need to book return flights to India (typically about £550 if booked early), and apply for an Indian visa, as required by the Indian government (for visa procedures and exact fees, please check the Indian visa facilitation service website.

Vaccination and other medical costs have NOT been included in estimated costs, and applicants should take this into account while planning their budgets. If you intend to travel for recreation and tourism, these costs will be additional, so please budget accordingly.

Financial support is available, including Camvol-CMEDT Commonwealth Travelling Scholarships; support from Colleges; and from the University. If selected, the Camvol Director can advise about funding opportunities.