An Unconventional Approach to School
Viddalaya is a day-care cum school where children learn
under a totally different sun. Auronees mean the sun and it
opened its doors to children on January 19 last year. Located
at House 60A, Road 7A, Dhanmondi, Auronee is a place where the
children are seeing and experiencing first hand that school
is not simply a place where 'knowledge' is force-fed to you
but a place where you come to enjoy yourself through learning.
Here, class-work is not forced upon the students. They are simply
given a guideline of the subjects that need to be focused on
and the workload is divided to cover the basics such as Bangla,
English, Maths and Art. They finish their work at their own
convenience and the teachers, who are quick to befriend them,
are always present to help the students out whenever they can.
school is different because it dares to divert from the conventional
learning methods and has taken a different view of education;
one that is fun and entertaining for the pupils, in the meantime
both challenging and academic. Here, learning is not just through
the books but also through games. Lessons are not simply numbers
and letters but are combined with drawing and practical experiences
that always keep the students on their toes. Like they say 'seeing
is believing,' the students are taken outside the school on
field trips so that they can learn about reality on a practical
basis, not simply from textbooks. This way, they can easily
relate to what they have learnt and Ismat Sultana, the Principal
of this institution feels that there are a number of ways of
tackling a problem. "The problems are always solved in
a variety of ways at Auronee such that the child can grasp whichever
method he or she finds easy," says Sultana. Probably the
best thing about this school is that there is no pressure of
lingering homework for the children to take home. All the work
is done in the classrooms and teachers mix the right amount
of workload and fun to bring about a harmony between them such
that the students do not lose interest in studies nor fall behind.
The textbooks that are followed comprise both Auronee's own
textbooks along with the standard government curriculum.
enrolled here usually are from three and above. This is a crucial
period because it is during this time that we start to understand
the things around us. Our logical, visual and vocal intellect
start to develop around this time and it is imminent that they
are appropriately developed such that the child may grow up
to become an intelligent and understanding (in every aspect
of the word) human being.
One of the
modern norms here amongst schools is to use names of well-established
institutes. "Here at Auronee, the importance of Bangla
in our lives is given equal importance compared to English"
says Sultana. "We want our students to be fluent in English,
but we don't want them to lose their national identity in the
process." Auronee has accommodation for classes 1 and 2
but as the years pass, they are hoping to expand their classes
and take it all the way up to class 10.