In 1990, the Avehi Public Charitable (Educational) Trust (APC[E]T) initiated the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT (AAP) in Mumbai to strengthen the quality
and content of education in primary schools. With Shanta Gandhi as Director of the AVEHI ABACUS PROJECT, the programme was now tried out in
a formal school setting.
At Bal Bhavan, the programme had already been structured to move from an informal to a non-formal setting; now, it had to be further modified
for students in the formal stream. Both in the informal and non-formal settings, there had been no constraint of time or of rigid classification
of learners according to age groups. These factors had now to be taken into account in order to restructure the programme for use in ‘regular’ schools.
For five years from 1991 onwards, the AAP developed and tested a prototype at the Mahalaxmi Hindi-medium Municipal School in Mumbai.
Beginning with students of Class III, the project worked with a group of about 35 children till their graduation from Class VII. Every week AAP
facilitators conducted an hour-long session with these school children, to understand their responses and learn from them.
Based on this experience, and the realization that sustaining the programme would require the active involvement of teachers, the programme was modified again. Between 1996 and 2001, detailed session plans and visual materials were
provided to teachers from 25 municipal schools, 35 NFE centres and two private schools. Training workshops were held with these teachers who then used the AAP materials in class. Their feedback was invaluable in giving shape to the final
Thus when the Sangati series was launched in 2001, it was based on 10 years of experimentation with a variety of groups in different situations in the
formal and non-formal sectors. This new series was organised in the form of six comprehensive teaching-learning kits for Classes V, VI and VII. Since 2006,
Sangati has been integrated in the school timetable of all the 905 municipal schools in Mumbai for students from Classes V to VII.