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News9th June 2022

“Access to education is not a privilege, but a right for every child,” says Peepul founder

Peepul is transforming student learning across Indian-led government schools by creating classrooms where teachers meaningfully and effectively engage children. The charity has just gained a ‘Rethinking Innovation in Education’ accolade at the Commonwealth Education Awards, which recognised Peepul from a cohort of more than 2400 organisations for its impact.

Kruti Bharucha, Founder & CEO of Peepul, shares her journey after a successful spin-out from Ark Ventures.

Kruti Bharucha

From incubation to reality

When it comes to improving student learning outcomes in India, every minute counts, underprivileged children in India have access to education through payment free public schools, but they are not learning. These students, often first-generation learners, are losing the opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty due to poor-quality public-school education. Students are disengaged in classrooms, and an interconnected web of poor policy, poor implementation and poor governance has led to a shortfall in learning outcomes.

After a 13-year stint in the corporate sector, I decided to make it my life’s work to improve education for the poorest communities in India, eventually founding Peepul in 2010. We work to create a world where every child is enabled and anchored to reach their full potential – through public schools that provide education at par, if not better, than private schools.

As an Ark Venture and a founding member of Global Schools Forum, Peepul draws on international best practices and experiences to develop a high-engagement classroom practice model customised to the Indian government school context, impacting the student learning outcome every day.

For the past ten years, Peepul has supported government school systems with the aim for them to be at par with private schools at a cost comparable to existing government spending. In partnership with the government, we enable them to have the right resources, efficient processes, and world-class teachers to engage students effectively.

We test, innovate and demonstrate our work in our three model schools in Delhi. These model schools guide our scale partnerships with state governments where we implement high-engagement classroom practices, build a supportive teacher development environment, and have the proper process to track student progress and enhance student learning.

With unconditional support in the vision to change the public school system from Ark in the public education system in India, we have worked towards bringing about change in the lives of millions of students. Ark’s constant support and guidance have been genuinely catalytic towards making the dream of quality education for each child in the public school system have a visible impact.

Our model

At the heart of our model is a high-engagement teaching toolkit. Research shows the strong linkage between the soft infrastructure of schools, including teacher behaviour, to develop student engagement and, in turn, better educational outcomes. If children are meaningfully and effectively engaged in the classroom, they attend classes regularly, engage in their work, and achieve learning. We also adopt three supporting interventions as part of our work.

And our impact has been evident:

National and global recognition

The best practices being adopted in a once turbulent public school system with poor enrolment and massive dropouts have seen significant improvement and growth with the support of Peepul.

Our interventions have left a lasting impact on the public school system. They are being adopted as best practices in the ‘India Report on Digital education for 2020 and 2021, which has been virtually launched by Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokriyal. The feasibility of the “light but right” approach through bite-sized content that builds teachers’ capacity, especially during the pandemic, has been praised by the Commonwealth Secretariat.

We also gained a ‘Rethinking Innovation in Education’ accolade at the Commonwealth Education Awards, which recognised Peepul from a cohort of more than 2400 organisations. This was such an honour as we are setting an example for other commonwealth countries facing similar hurdles in their education system.

Peepul’s legacy and beyond

We started working with one school with nine children and now run five programmes across New Delhi and Madhya Pradesh that impacts more than 9.4 million students working with 270,000 teachers in more than 100,000 schools in partnership with the government.

We work with leading institutions such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, Ministry of Education (GOI), The World Bank, Niti Aayog, and the United Nations. We also have partnerships with philanthropic and global corporations that share the same drive.

We are motivated to continue our work so that access to education is not a privilege but a right for every child.

You can find out more about Peepul’s work on the website: