This Adani Group school is ensuring quality and uninterrupted education for underserved students
COVID-19 dealt a huge blow to traditional classroom education. As schools and colleges shut down indefinitely, students and teachers had to switch to the online mode to ensure that classes and learning continued amidst the pandemic.
The shift was smoother in urban regions and for high end schools, but children in semi-urban and rural regions – with low data accessibility - had to struggle to keep up with their studies.
But some schools refused to be deterred by the shutdown and the resultant problems.
Ahmedabad-based multinational conglomerate Adani Group’s private school Adani Vidya Mandir (AVM), which aims to provide cost-free education to students from lower income families, did not change its academic calendar. The school year began in April 2020 as scheduled.
Speaking to YourStory, Vasant Gadhavi, Director at Adani Foundation on CSR, says the classes continued via G-Suite, and all teachers and children were trained to work through the online mode.
“COVID-19 affected all of us in unfamiliar ways, but our teachers and students showed optimism and will power, and continued the teaching-learning on G-Suite. They were trained to handle the online platform in repeated sessions, with training needs identified by collecting feedback on a weekly basis. Parents and students were contacted on an individual basis to find problems/difficulties and offered solutions,” Vasant says.
The school at present has 1,123 students from Class 3 to 12.
He adds that apart from online classes, the school also conducted online events on Yoga Day and Independence Day along with alumni meetups, intra-school competitions, parent-teacher meetings etc.
Quality education for all
Adani Vidya Mandir was started in 2008 by the conglomerate’s CSR group to ensure education for children from families earning less than Rs 1.1 lakh annually. This social initiative is led by Priti Adani, wife of Gautam Adani, Chairman of Adani Group.
“We want to recognise and enable such students reach a definite stature in their chosen fields and facilitate students’ progress in academics and co-curricular activities,” Vasant says.
The National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET)-accredited school not only helps students excel in school work and skills, but also meets their nutritional needs.
Dr Kanchan Deshpande, Principal of Adani Vidya Mandir, says a nutritious breakfast and lunch are provided to the students to ensure their health and physical development. Students also receive fruits, juice, and snacks before leaving the campus at the end of the day.
Encouraging and developing talent
The principal highlights that apart from education and healthy meals, the school also provides free transportation, uniforms, and books to ensure there is no financial burden on the child’s family.
“Adani Vidya Mandir, Ahmedabad, admits students who are intelligent and talented, but face economic and social challenges. The students attend regular classes, planned according to CBSE norms.
"They are divided into two groups for an hour for customised enrichment activities to reach the next level in academics. Their assignments, activities, and homework are completed in the school under the guidance of teachers,” Dr Kanchan says.
AVM alumni Dipesh Rafaliya, now working as a software development engineer at Amazon Prime Video, completed his degree course from California State University this year. He credits the school for his success.
“Adani Vidya Mandir has a well-qualified and experienced teaching staff. I was fortunate to have excellent faculty members and access to exemplary labs,” he says.
Dr Kanchan adds that the faculty is selected after a series of tests, discussions, and interviews. Teachers undergo tailor-made professional development sessions based on classroom observations and periodic feedback, and are also trained to handle the psychological needs of students. The school also has a counsellor to help students.
“The school takes utmost care to create a strong academic base. All developmental domains - cognitive, emotional, language, social, and physical - are taken care of through different activities. Enrichment activities, included in the academic calendar, are designed keeping in view the level of every student,” he says.
The Indian Constitution says education is the basic right of every child, but it still remains inaccessible to many. Schools like Adani Vidya Mandir are working to change this reality.
Edited by Teja Lele Desai