Nirmoktra is a Sanskrit word which means “to empower through knowledge.” Team Nirmoktra brought creative problem solving skills and critical thinking strategies to primary educationg in rural India.

The current education system in the government schools of India is based on rote memorization, and questioning information is discouraged. Team Nirmoktra decided to bring creative problem solving skills and critical thinking strategies to rural India. Their community partner, the Aparajitha Foundation, connected them with their pilot school. At the Swami Vivekanand Model Government School in Kherwara, Rajasthan, the team worked with over 160 students and several teachers to develop the best ways of integrating these tools and frameworks into the curriculum. They also set up a learning resource center for teachers and for the student body, and collaborated with students on a school mural.

“In this case, the idea was design thinking (Critical thinking and problem-solving skills) and it was constantly altered to the version that would best suit the Indian context. I also learnt a great deal about how to make ideas universal, by reducing them to their fundamentals so that more people can access them.”

At the end of the project, the Aparajitha Foundation arranged for Team Nirmoktra to present their findings to the state government. The team presented the impact of their work to the head of the educational board and 72 other school principals. Many principals expressed interest in Nirmoktra running the same workshop at their own schools.