A for academics ; B for behaviour ; C for caring – the ABCs of education at Apeejay School, Bhubaneswar

By Dr. Sasmita Tripathy

A little over a year old, our school is doggedly pursuing the intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual and aesthetic development of each of our students, in a sprawling green lush land in Ghatikia, away from the pollution and noise of the city of Bhubaneswar .

In the fast-paced, digital world, it is often felt that students are quite disconnected from one another, much more than ever before. Our teachers actively construct a positive classroom culture to achieve the very high standards Apeejay School Bhubaneswar has set for itself. Through empathy, our students learn to understand each other, build friendships based on positive thoughts of trust and integrity.

Teaching is much more than helping students learn and remember facts. One way to think about the ABCs of education is to equate A with academics, B with behavior and C with caring—one of the most important dispositions our educators hope to instill in  our students.

AnnualSports3With my students at Annual Sports Day

Books are undoubtedly a source of knowledge in the educational arena. However, hands-on experience is the source of awareness and understanding that lasts forever. To put it in the Chinese Philosopher, Confucius’s words, I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. Doing a deed of kindness increases the self-esteem and well-being of every child.  With this ethos in mind Apeejay School, Bhubaneswar started with a unique practice of giving.

The concern for under privileged children was evoked on Children’s Day by contributing rice packets for orphans and generating empathetic fervor for the have-not’s of society. This small act of kindness helped the students to build on their values,  of not only appreciating the meals they had everyday but also respecting the privileges they have as the Gifts of Life. The feeling of giving and the feeling of valuing gathered momentum among the children and got normalized in their daily behavior patterns.

GrandParentsDayWith my students celebrating Grand Parents Day

Affection for elders was shown in an event organized by our children for their grandparents. The overwhelming emotions filled the air with love and laughter a this small event. The feelings of the grandparents were so strong that not even a single child could resist the temptation to hold hands, hug them all filling their hearts with fresh new view of the world. A world that surpassed grey moments and the School had fresh, young, enthusiastic voices booming all over the campus.

Our school encourages inclusive education not only in frame but in spirit. Students participate actively in the design of altruistic attitude to pull the ones with special needs in. This feeling can never be taught through books alone. Today if the students feel for one another, it is only because of the empathy that has developed from within. They feel the pinch by being in the shoes of the child with special needs and thus respond appropriately enabling the student with special needs to embrace the empowering process of learning and growing.

YogaDay1With my children on World Yoga Day

It gives me immense pleasure to share that Apeejay School, Bhubaneswar was recognized for its exemplary practices in inclusive education by the Centre for Educational Development. It was a proud movement when Apeejay School, Bhubaneswar was awarded the Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan school excellence Award for the best upcoming school in Dec 2017. The reason behind this achievement lies in the innovative practices built in the regular curriculum that allows students to move beyond books, beyond syllabus and allows the successful attainment of age appropriate learning. The teachers, the management and the students work in communion, to pullout the actual vision of Apeejay Schools to educate students not only for a living but for a holistic and meaningful life.

Dr. Sasmita Tripathy is Principal, Apeejay School, Bhubaneswar

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