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The Good Harvest


The Good Harvest stands as a beacon of hope and empowerment in the small rural village of Jabrela, Uttar Pradesh, India, by offering a unique, free educational experience exclusively for girls. In a region where educational opportunities for girls are often limited, The Good Harvest provides a sanctuary for young women to discover their identities away from societal pressures, fostering a nurturing environment that encourages them to open up, share their experiences, and develop empathy towards one another.


This all-girls agro-school goes beyond traditional academic education by placing a significant emphasis on practical skills vital for future economic independence. The curriculum includes hands-on training in agriculture, teaching the girls sustainable farming practices and how to cultivate food, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to support themselves and their communities.

The Good Harvest is more than just a school; it's a community where strong, lifelong bonds are formed, and girls are inspired to realise their full potential. For more information about The Good Harvest and its transformative educational approach, visit

The challenge

In numerous regions of India, the arrival of a girl child is often met with disappointment rather than joy. This is a reflection of a broader societal issue where discrimination, humiliation, and oppression against girls, especially in rural areas, are rampant. Gender inequality deeply influences access to healthcare, educational opportunities, and the potential for personal growth. Daily, many girls face neglect and are compelled to sacrifice their dreams and aspirations.

The statistics paint a grim picture of the gender disparity that plagues rural India. Nearly half of the girls are forced into marriage before reaching the age of 18. According to the latest census, female literacy rates stand at 64%, which is 20% lower than their male counterparts. Furthermore, a report by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights reveals that around 40% of girls aged 15 to 18 drop out of school. A significant portion of these dropouts, 64.8%, occurs because girls are either tasked with household chores or are engaged in begging.

Against this backdrop, The Good Harvest emerges as a beacon of hope by offering educational opportunities to girls who have been systematically denied access to learning. Many students at The Good Harvest are unable to count, read, or write upon their arrival, highlighting a stark contrast between them and their peers who have had the privilege of early education. This diversity in educational backgrounds creates a unique challenge, as students cannot be simply categorised by age or grade as in traditional schools. Instead, The Good Harvest embraces this diversity, tailoring its approach to meet the varied needs of its students, thereby championing the cause of gender equality and empowerment through education.

How might we deliver a suitable and meaningful learning experience to underprivileged girls with mixed educational backgrounds?
The outcome

Recognising the inherent value in diversity and leveraging it to foster collaboration over competition is a fundamental principle at The Good Harvest. By moving away from the standardised and competitive nature of traditional education, the school pioneers a novel approach to learning. It shifts the educational paradigm from asking "what should we teach students?" to exploring "how do students learn best?".

In this innovative learning environment, classrooms are organised into smaller, intimate groups of 7-9 girls of varying ages and educational backgrounds, each led by a teacher or a volunteer. This structure allows the team leader to deeply understand the unique strengths and challenges of each girl in relation to the group dynamics.


This understanding led to the development of the "Permanent Beta Classroom" concept. At the end of each day, team leaders gather for a debriefing session to design or adjust the learning materials based on their observations. These materials are then tested with the groups, with the flexibility to pivot and iterate based on the girls' progress and responses.

The impact of this approach was quickly evident. Even within a short timeframe, the results were remarkable: the girls learned more rapidly, their motivation to learn increased, and a culture of mutual support and encouragement flourished among them. This underscores the power of adaptive, student-centered learning environments in unlocking the potential of each learner.

This project consisted of
Design Research
Service and Product Design
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