About Us

The aim of VMT is education. Through education, we reach out to the children of vulnerable communities, and help develop their self-confidence, discover their abilities and skills and develop them to the maximum each one could become a contributing member of society.

We are confident this is possible because ours is not an experimental initiative. We use the experience of nearly 60 years of educational experimentation and innovation in the field of education with children and communities, of different environments.

We focus on these children because, from our experience in teaching, we found that these children are innately intelligent, warm, sincere, creative, understanding and generous but due to suppression and exploitation by society they have lost touch with their true nature and have developed a low self-image of themselves resulting in low performance in schools and eventually become dropouts.

We have been working with children of Devadasi families in the surrounding villages of Tavaragera village and with government primary school teachers and children in this area.

Our Team

Margaret K T

Founder and Trustee

Ms K T Margaret is interested in teaching – how to help a child learn concepts and apply them in everyday life, and how to provide a base which will enable the child to discover and learn new knowledge. She has worked with children in various settings – at nursery, primary and high school, and with slum and village children. She has also worked with teacher trainees. Her teaching years were the basis of her research into how and what children learn, which is documented in her book, `The Open Classroom’. She currently works with two young children attending an English medium school. She guides and supports a group of interested teachers who teach children in the slums of Bangalore and villages near Raichur, Bijapur and Mysore.
Margaret is a teacher, committed herself to the education of children and a constant seeker of the environment, which will liberate the person of the child from all the social and emotional hurdles which block their growth. She has worked for the past 52 years as a teacher in the field of education at different levels with different categories of children and teachers. Now she is working as an Education consultant for our trust.

Jaigopal Govinda Rao

Trustee

Anchoring team Inspiration, Jai heads and guides the design team, the business development and ‘the new concepts’ wings. After his training in architecture, he consciously chose to de-school himself from mainstream education, and based his understanding of the need for design, on ground realities and complexities offered by the Indian subcontinent which according to him gave radical insights and helped to make it the basis of Team Inspiration’s approaches and strategies. Also managing trustee of the Charitable trust Jomythry based in Kerala.
He was inspired by Margaret and Prakash way of working with disadvantaged community children and took part in our trust as a responsible trustee. Now she is working as an Education consultant for our trust.

Mary Philomina

Trustee

She is an old student at Tilak Nagar Children Centre founded by Margaret KT in 1984. Now she is working as a volunteer social worker with women and also gives free consultancy service to the poor women of Ragigudda slum in Bengaluru. She is a trustee of Vidya Mytri Trust and also gives counselling services for the Trust programmes

Prakash Patil

Managing Trustee

In 2002 he joined the NGO Samuha and worked as a teacher in one of the villages where Samuha had supplementary schools. Samuha is a developmental organisation and education was part of their program. They had supplementary schools attached to government schools in about 25 villages in Deodurga taluk, Raichur district. Margaret worked as a resource person for education in Samuha.
After undergoing the training for two years Prakash assisted Margaret in conducting a teachers’ training programme for Anganwadi workers and helpers (ICDS) in 80 villages in Koppal district. Prakash was motivated to be a teacher and dreamt to start a school and apply Margaret’s methodology and values of education.
During the teacher training programme for ICDS workers, children from Pampanagar were brought for teaching demonstration classes for the trainees. These children were from the supplementary school of Samuha in Pampanagar. Thus Prakash had contact with the children of Pampanagar. During this period, he felt within himself that these are the children for whom he wanted to begin a school and teach.
Once the Anganwadi programme was completed, Prakash expressed his desire to begin a school for these children and asked Margaret for her help and guidance. Margaret agreed. Thus the teacher–student started the Vidya Mytri Trust.

Projects

Model Pre-primary School


This programme was conducted from 2010 – 2015. It was a programme to provide pre-primary education to children’s of age group 3 - 9 years.


Aim

For the kid to participate in creative learning activities, which prepare them for academic learning. For this, various activities were given to these children like clay, dabbing with paint, sand play, and doll play, which helped them.

The day school was from 9 am to 5 pm. The age group of these children is 3 to 9 years. There were about 40 children who attended our Centre regularly. We provided snacks and mid-day meals for them. We were able to help children become aware of cleanliness and hygiene and get good nourishing food.


Outcome

The Government school teacher and parents appreciated our children’s performance in learning and their good attendance and their nature to help other children.

Model Government School Project


Our observation on government schools

  • Government school teachers have the qualification and also the skill in teaching.
  • Some did not have the motivation to teach and most of them needed support and encouragement.
  • Since most of the children in our govt. schools are from vulnerable communities, the teachers felt that these children are not educable, and it’s a waste of time trying to teach them.
  • On the other hand, children also didn’t have the motivation to come to school regularly, they preferred to roam about.
  • The parents couldn’t discipline their children and were not aware of the value of education. They were helpless.

Government schools have problems in the field of teaching and learning and also with community involvement. It is vital to take both these problems because they hinder effective learning.


How we started

  • Initially, we worked with one government school working with one teacher. Before starting the job, a rapport was built first with the headmaster, then the class teacher and finally the children. We had a positive result. Children showed interest in learning, attendance improved, and the class teacher took initiative and interest in teaching.
  • Though the number of children in the attendance register was 50, the regular number of children present in the beginning was about 10 to 15. Now the number has increased to 30 -35.
  • The result shows an improvement in performance and our observation of children’s learning and participation of the government teacher shows a positive response.

The CRC in charge visited the classes and requested us to give input to the other 8 schools in his cluster.

After 3 years of experience working with 5 government schools, we feel confident that we will be able to solve some of the problems faced by teachers and children in the process of learning. It was a positive experience working with them which gives us confidence to continue the program more effectively.

Resource Center

The Open Classroom

The Open Classroom


The author, K T Margaret believes that life is an open classroom and education is a process that takes place continuously throughout a person’s life. Inspired by the initiatives of social activists worldwide in education, she struggled through her experiments to discover creative alternatives even while working within a flawed system. Through this account of her journey, she shows that education goes beyond the mechanics of teaching and learning, to enrich the teacher and the taught.

The Open Classroom

The Substance of Play


In this book, K. T. Margaret sets out to explain the substance of play and why she believes it is the most important element in the education of pre-primary children. Taking up common issues faced in nursery classes, she draws on her considerable experience as a teacher and educator for more than thirty years to elaborate on a methodology she devised to improve children’s overall learning experience.
Personal yet instructive, the book includes anecdotes, photographs, case histories and comprehensive lesson plans. It has been compiled to assist and motivate both aspiring and experienced pre-primary teachers in developing a curriculum which will provide a strong foundation for future learning.

The Open Classroom

Learning For Life


A teacher who dedicated a slice of her life to helping a group of slum children grow up into responsible, reliable, compassionate and helpful adults looks back at her experiences.
More exciting than any fiction, this real-life narrative will give us deep insight into the minds of the children revealing their will to fight against the odds and the inborn goodness in them.
‘Learning for Life’ is a book which will kindle the lamp of hope and faith in our minds, however deep the darkness around it is.