Promoted by the well-known spiritual leader and guru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (aka ‘hugging mother’), AV has swiftly established an excellent reputation for delivering values-based holistic education in a non-stressful environment - Hemalatha Raghupathi
Sited on a verdant 5.5-acre campus in Nallampalayam suburb of the textiles city of Coimbatore, Amrita Vidyalayam school (AV, estb.2010) has swiftly established an excellent reputation for delivering values-based, holistic education in a non-stressful learning environment. In the EducationWorld India School Rankings 2017-18, AV is ranked #2 in Coimbatore (pop. 1.9 million) and #12 in Tamil Nadu in the co-ed day schools category.
Promoted under the aegis of the Mata Amritanandamayi Mutt (MAM), a trust registered in 1981 by spiritual leader and guru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (aka Amma, ‘hugging mother’), AV began its innings in 2000 as a matriculation school affiliated with the Tamil Nadu State Board of School Education. However, in 2010 when the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum was introduced, most students chose to shift to CBSE and the matriculation section was gradually discontinued in 2015. Currently, the K-XII Amrita Vidyalayam has an enrolment of 3,371 students mentored by 125 teachers.
The globe-girdling MAM trust with its head office in the mega ashram complex of Amritapuri in Kerala’s Kollam district, runs charitable institutions and programmes in 40 countries worldwide. In India, the trust has promoted and manages 55 Amrita Vidyalayam English-medium schools, and six government-aided Malayalam-medium schools in Kerala, India’s most literate (99 percent) state (pop. 34 million). It also administers the highly reputed multi-disciplinary teaching and research deemed-to-be (private) Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University in Coimbatore (with campuses in Kollam and Kochi in Kerala, Bangalore and Mysore in Karnataka) which offers study programmes in 19 academic disciplines including engineering, medicine, business and nano sciences.
“The distinguishing feature of Amrita Vidyalayam is that we believe in providing education that prepares students for life, and not merely for professions and vocations. Therefore, our aim is to strengthen the intellectual, physical and spiritual development of our students in a happy, stress-free environment. The emphasis is not merely on academic achievement but also on integrating cultural and spiritual values, respect and compassion into the curriculum. Our teachers and students share a close bond with teachers mentoring children academically and spiritually,” says Mataji Nirupama Amrita Chaitanya, principal of AV, who signed up with the Amritapuri ashram in 1990. An alumna of Kerala and Annamalai universities, Mataji Nirupama began her professional career in 1995 as a maths and English teacher in AV, Kodungallur (Trichur district) followed by a stint as principal of AV, Chennai. In 2017, she was appointed principal of AV, Nallampalayam.
To attain its institutional objective of providing well-rounded education to all students, the AV management has designed spiritual and emotional development programmes with yoga and meditation an integral part of the school curriculum.
The emphasis on spiritual and emotional development has had a positive impact on students’ learning outcomes. Of the 187 AV students who wrote the class X CBSE exam in March-April 2017, 66 averaged 90 percent-plus. Moreover, of the 78 who wrote the class XII CBSE exam, 13 averaged 90 percent-plus. “Integration of ICT-based pedagogies, experiential learning and continuous teacher training and development are the factors behind our excellent academic record,” says Mataji Nirupama.
The school’s rigorous academic programme is complemented by a wide menu of co-curricular activities to nurture the other intelligences of students. They include classical dance, vocal and instrumental music, art and crafts, elocution, dramatics, scouts and guides, and 11 club activities. Students are also encouraged to participate in community outreach campaigns such as the Karuna project under which groceries and toiletries are donated to charitable organisations annually and under AV’s pidi arisi (handful of rice) initiative, students donate a handful of rice every week to orphanages. Moreover, all students are involved with the school’s Amala Bharatham (Clean India) sanitation and environment conservation campaign.
AV’s academic, sports and co-curricular activities are supported by excellent infrastructure. The primary and secondary school buildings offer globally benchmarked facilities including 90 classrooms (34 equipped with smartboards and projectors); two well-stocked primary/secondary libraries housing over 11,000 volumes and 20 magazine and periodical subscriptions; a kindergarten library with 1,000 titles; six state-of-the-art laboratories (science, math, junior science and computer labs); two audio visual rooms; a spacious ceremonial hall and a 600-seats auditorium. The exquisite Brahmasthanam Temple inspired by Mata Amritanandamayi, occupies pride of place on the campus.
Sports and games facilities include separate courts for throwball, volleyball and badminton; athletics track and football field. Mentored by five physical education coaches, AV students have won accolades in swimming, hockey, kabbadi and indoor games such as chess and table tennis in district, state and national tournaments. Special coaching is also offered to students interested in silambam (an indigenous martial art), archery, gymnastics, rifle shooting and roller skating.
With the school acquiring statewide respect for providing values-based education, the AV management is committed to continuous improvement of pedagogies and student enabling facilities. “We want to enhance the learning experiences of our children by implementing India’s tried and tested gurukula system of education which facilitates spiritual growth and ensures strong bonding between students and teachers. We also plan to construct two basketball courts and a new auditorium. Beyond infrastructure, we intend to multiply teacher training opportunities which will boost students’ academic and sports performances,” says Mataji Nirupama.
|ADMISSION & FEES
Amrita Vidyalayam, Coimbatore is a K-XII co-ed day school affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi. Application forms for kindergarten admissions are issued in January. Admission into higher classes (IX-XII) is against vacancies.
Fees (per year)
Class I-X: Rs.33,000
Class XI-XII: Rs.39,000-49,000
For further details, contact Amrita Vidyalayam, Ramasamy Nagar, Extn II, Nallampalayam Road, Coimbatore 641006; tel: 0422 253 8326;