Last Saturday PGPX students revisited their childhood when they paid a visit to the Eklavya School in the Sanathal village in the south western part of Ahmedabad.
The visit was arranged as a part of the “Laboratory for Entrepreneurial Motivation” (LEM) course taken by Prof. Sunil Handa. The school was founded in 1997 by Prof Handa. Set on a huge 35 acre campus, the school provides for all round education of students through an innovative curriculum.
We started off from the IIM A campus in one of the Eklavya school buses. Sitting in the bus triggered several happy thoughts of school picnics and “gaana-bajaana” amongst the PGPX-ers. However before we could turn into a bunch of rowdy school children Prof.Handa brought us to order and gave us a brief background of how he went about starting the school. His passion for the school was there to see. True to his form Prof.Handa spent about 1.5 years reading, researching and visiting hundreds of schools all over the world before he got an answer to the question: “Ye school hota kyaa hai”?
As we entered the school, we were treated by the sight of rows after rows of basketball courts. We knew this was no ordinary school. Everything about Eklavya is grand. There were about 50 of us, including spouses and children. We were immediately split into four groups and accompanied by a teacher went off on a tour of the school. There was a lot to see. We saw the classes, the play areas, dance practice rooms, libraries and the arts and crafts rooms. The walls of the school were decorated with paintings and craftwork done by students and carried inspirational quotes.
One of the coolest things was that each class was given a patch of land where they could sow seeds and grow flowers and vegetables under the watchful eye of a gardener. What better way to teach kids about nature than this! There was also this huge play area with all kinds of see-saws, slides, tunnels and a huge jungle gym. The engineer in me loved the huge models that were built to demonstrate various scientific concepts. Other exciting elements of the visit were visiting the teakwood forest, holding a live turtle and checking out the mammoth indoor gymnasium with itseight TT tables and four badminton courts.
The tour was followed with a Q&A session with Prof.Handa in his big office lined with books from floor to ceiling. Prof.Handa talked more about some of the research he had done on education and shared tips with parents on developing their kids’ intellectual abilities.
All in all, it was a morning well spent. The budding entrepreneurs learnt what it takes to start out on their own. For those interested in doing something in the field of education it was a particularly rewarding experience. Some of us plan to follow it up with a visit to the Fountainhead school in Surat started by Vardan Kabra (PGP ’04).
– Gaurav (PGPX ‘09)