Despite the increased access to education, the learning crisis continues to dominate rural communities all over the world. With an increasingly uncertain ecological and socio-economic landscape, the future generation needs an education that does not deprive them of the skills and knowledge of the world of tomorrow.
When engaging with victims of the learning crisis, one can’t help but feel the growing impatience for systemic changes. Like many other developing countries, India has been struggling for the last few decades. Applying macro-scale reforms and funding to systems that are foundationally broken does not help. The present issues of gender inequality, mental attitudes, economic instability, lack of teachers, and more, are only exacerbated.
After COVID-19, the UNICEF Education Sustainable Development Goals Report published how 20 years of educational gains had been wiped out due to the effects of COVID on schools. This emphasized the urgent need to develop more sustainable forms of education that are able to withstand the many challenges of the 21st Century.
Initiated as a search for educational alternatives and holistic learning frameworks, FALA responds to the urgent learning crisis by attempting to develop a self-sustaining community-driven creative space that fosters self-directed learning.
Started by the projects for peace grant under the Davis foundation - leading us to develop the concept for Future Arts and Learning Alternatives (FALA) by initiating a workshop in the rural village of Chauddachuli, which is found in a cluster of villages in the Purba Medinipur District of West Bengal, India. This one-month intensive workshop, funded by the Davis projects for peace grant, enabled us to study potential frameworks to help identify self-learners in a rural community of West Bengal, who were capable of sustaining Fala's long-term mission of self-directed learning.