A residential school for holistic learning with a center for Educational Research...
Situated at the picturesque Kailashghat road, our Vidya Vanam (a Gurukul - A School for Changemakers and Center for Research on Education) is nestled around the forest, hills and valleys of Deogarh district of Odisha. It is about 260km from state capital Bhubaneswar and 25km from the nearest town, Deogarh, surrounded by tribal and semi-tribal hilly villages.
Ek-Asha Trust is building a unique educational campus with an aim to shape the lives of the underserved children in these villages and groom them to become the 21st-century change agents. To impart such an education requires a school to impart such education effectively; a research center to design such a curriculum and a self sustainable learning environment so the earlier two could happen effectively & seamlessly.
A) Vidya Vanam (The Gurukul - A School for Social Changemakers)
It's a school that is not confined to classrooms, textbooks, degrees or career but a sacred place that provides required conditions for each life in it to explore the limitless possibilities and bloom to it's fullest potential. It's a school to offer Human-Making education with the help of a Holistic Curriculum.
The underserved, needy or the motivated ones who possess such a desire to explore the life in a more meaningful manner. It would be a green residential school for up to grade-10.
For EK ASHA, a holistic curriculum is that which gives equal emphasis on all the dimensions of learning. It's the TRAINING of the MIND to THINK; HEART to be EMPATHETIC; and HANDS to become SKILLFUL.
It's also something that covers all the aspects of being as an approach to thoughtfully impact existential, Transformational and Transcendental education. Therefore our curriculum covers all the six aspects: Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Social, Cultural and Spiritual education.
The Learning Environment:
Environment plays a significant role for such an education take place. It is about creating the right climate for children to develop fully as a complete human being. By environment, we mean the physical and psychological, social and cultural atmosphere, having a much deeper association with one another.
B) Center for Educational Research:
The world around us is agile and is changing constantly, be it science, technology, politics, ecology, economy, society, workforce...etc. The education methods and content needs to be equally agile and adaptive to the changing global and local scenarios and more so it needs to be contextualized to the local socio-econo-ecological needs.
For Ek-Asha, education is that which reflects in character. While knowing, understanding and skills help in livelihood, the world today needs people of a certain level of character that comes only with higher-level of clarity and purpose. This is possible through a certain kind of education that trains the mind to be a critical thinker, heart to be empathetic and hands to be skillful. Hence the curriculum and methodology are very different.
The center will focus on Pedagogy, COE, Teacher's Training...etc. This will be the place where all the new ideas will be churned in to practical and applicable modules and for the benefit of our ThinkCenters and other educational institutions.
C) Self-Sustainability Lab: 26 Acres of lush green with forest, farming & livelihood.
An important purpose than this is to create the right climate and environment so that the child may develop fully as a complete human being. This means giving the child the opportunity to flower in goodness so that he or she is rightly related to people, things and ideas, to the whole of life. To live is to be related.
For such an education, the environment plays a significant role. By environment, we mean both the physical and psychological environments, having a much deeper association with one another.
We at Ek-Asha believe, one couldn't learn about life being outside of life itself. Therefore the learning environment needs to provide opportunities to learn various aspects of life and livelihood. It has to give constant stimuli to a child's natural inquisitiveness and impels them in the path of self-exploration, creative discovery and learning. It should offer sufficient variety to ensure all-round development of a child across disciplines. There is also a need to re-establish the interconnectedness of human life with nature.
The Gurukul of Ek-Asha therefore is designed to address all of it in a coherent and eco-sustainable atmosphere for each child to draw inspiration from and learn. The idea is to provide students access to learn from farming to robotics, natural medicine, sports, drama, history, culture, astrophysics, film-making… etc. at one place while they are engaged in doing. There will also be focus on Indian Traditional Arts, Sports, Scientific outlook & Academics, Innovative Streams, Skill and Child development.
Impact in Numbers
Acres of Lush Green