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... When in 1999 we started a school without prescribed textbooks, the reactions ranged from mild surprise and amusement to anxiety, even shock and indignation. A school without textbooks? How would children learn? Yet, after 18 years, our data shows that these children are faring as well, and in many cases even better, than their counterparts who studied in schools with prescribed textbooks. From kindergarten to Class 10, children at the Mahatma Gandhi International School (a PPP with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation) learnt through real life projects that they voted for or proposed and then prepared for their exams in grades 11 and 12. Traditionally in ancient India, learning was imparted by the “guru” and mostly to children of higher castes. The guru’s position in Indian society was due to his spiritual and moral qualities as much as his knowledge of texts that were imparted in an oral tradition. ...Indian Express on June 30, 2017, 12:24 a.m.