Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Don't by heart....no homework !

Priya arangan adiyar,

The novel schooling technique adopted by Acharyah school has caught the attention of the press. In the midst of schools that pressurize on high grades beyond high morals, high recognition beyond good mental health, Acharyah seems to be a rose in an accumulation of thorns and hence, every time a persons drops in at Acharyah with a view to publish an article, he/she is greatly surprised and inspired. Recently, people from Kalki magazine visited our Acharyah school and grasped the ways of its functioning. In the issue dated 19.08.2012, in page number 12 a nd 13, an article on Acharyah has been published. We are translating (almost literal) the article into English for your benefit though the original one can be seen by clicking the link at the bottom.

Here is the article :

“Not much portion to bog down the heart. Not much homework to make the fingers beg for rest. Not much hunting for grades to send one into frenzy. Learn. Think creatively. Write what you think with your own words.” 

This is how, ‘Acharyah - the school for leaders’ is functioning in Srirangam. Languages like Tamizh, English, and Sanskrit are taught here. Started in the year 2009 with ten children, the strength of children till second standard is 46 now. 

“Children should grow naturally. Just like the blossoming of a bud into a flower, education should reach them. Today, all schools train children for a rat-like battle. To run a school in sheer contrast to these schools, we run Acharyah” says the Headmistress, Smt Geetha Krishnamoorthy. “For the parents wishing to send their lads to this school, these principles are clearly explained. They should not trouble themselves that their child didn’t score marks, did not secure rank like other children (of other schools), is it not?" asks the HeadMistress.

Mixing the wheat flour together, making it into small round pieces and brining it “Is it correct? Is the mix enough teacher?” asks the seven year old Anand. Six year old Kavitha binds the match-sticks together and making it into a piece of art, shows it. What is happening here? Curiosity overtakes.

Some water in a cup. And into it the little girl drops some objects. From this she learns what all object float in water and what all submerge. “Learning through speech and action is the way teaching happens in our school” say the teachers. The children are taught Puranas, Ithihasas through lectures.

One day, the lessons are about flowers. The very next day, “Flowers are beautiful. They carry lot of fragrance” writes the little girl in her own hand and shows it. When asked to arrange words with the end letter of one as the starting of another, the very second, Raman poetically puts “Pattasu, Sulukku, Kuthambai, Paisa, Saavi, Vilakku, Kuduvai, Vaiyatthu, Thuppakki, Krishnan!”.

On a piece of sheet, all the heavenly-bodies around Earth are embossed in their own shapes. Moon, Mars, Saturn, Sun and other such bodies are mentioned in English too. Having come to school the previous morning, the first standard student Varshini asks “Madam, Curiosity has landed in Mars. Madam, when are we going there?”. “She has seen the news in television. The next day morning, when she came and asked me the question, I was simply amazed” says Gomathi Venkat, a teacher.

“Giving education mixed with Good habits, our culture and morals is our aim. That is why we have named it ‘Acharyah – school for leaders’. Having come up to second grade in three years, the school will slowly have more grades and adopt C.B.S.E INTERNATIONAL system of education. In future, the school will start teaching the languages of other Indian States. The children who study and pass out of this school will never tread the path of Adharma. To that effect, we are inducing in them, the thoughts of Good Morality” says the Founder of the School, Shri Parasara Badrinarayan Bhattar.

For the actual tamizh article, please click the link below :

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