A parent writes about how a school in Bangalore is leading a parent-led learning community to prepare the children for an exam called ‘life’.
The air in Aurinko Academy is certainly different. You feel it as you walk in through the warm, welcoming gates into their very informal settings. The air is full of love, care, a sense of purpose, a feeling of oneness and achievement – the excitement is almost palpable under that calm façade – one that resembles a big joint family with uncles and aunts, cousins and friends all working on various things together or individually – in perfect harmony.
Like any other loving family unit, Aurinko members have an inbuilt urge to look after one another. The older children watch over their younger ‘siblings’ as the happy, content kids enjoy their activities. On one side you see a child intently listening to the teacher narrating a story, with his head on her lap, while in another Arts room down the corner, little artists are abuzz with activity in the arts room working on the year end Bazaar Project.
The inspiring ‘maker space’ entices kids to create workable carpentry projects while the play area has some children learning rock climbing or simply having their ‘me-time’ after a creative working day in school!
And like the perfect parents who know the whereabouts of all their kids, founders and guardians of the Aurinko family, Chetana and Anoop Keni share a unique bond with each and every child under their wing. With naturally easy-going personalities and amiable, approachable attitudes, you would see them surrounded by children all the time, discussing, questioning, sharing or simply chirping around them.
This closeness and homely approach of the founders, the foundation of their progressive learning method, seeps through the system. With all the teaching and non-teaching staff reflecting the love and care through their deeds and words, the children often give feedback on the approach/extent of lessons and many a times devise a lesson plan with them!
A progressive learning space supported by parents
What seems like a dream learning space isn’t complete without its set of dedicated supporters who stand through thick and thin and work tirelessly alongside the school vision to make it a reality – the parent volunteers, who have seamlessly integrated themselves into this close-knit fabric. Aurinko philosophy believes in holding hands and walking together.
A child’s holistic development is only possible when all of its major motivators work on it together by creating a community that is based on transparency, openness, warmth and unity. Such systems succeed when the parents and the school have complete faith in one another and treat each other as equal contributors to a child’s development.
Parents who are in tune with this philosophy of the school have seen excellent outcomes for their children and also for themselves at Aurinko. They are very clear about their expectations from the school and the child and that reflects on the overall growth of the child because the parents and the school are raising the child together as one single unit tuned in perfectly. The proof, you ask? Well! The last three batches that have graduated from High School are doing very well on their chosen paths!
Besides studies, parents volunteer for various events in and out of Bangalore and have excellent rapport with the founders, children, teachers and other parents. They arrange visits, guest lectures and workshops and create more opportunities for the children to learn. Recently a parent introduced the older kids to the world of Entrepreneurship through BNI and ever since the children are travelling to learn from various Industries.
With all the love and support that this philosophy of education has received, Aurinko is blooming and rightly so! With a new, bigger campus, the Aurinko family is welcoming more like-minded families to be a part of their clan, with open arms. This dream, which began in one heart is throbbing in thousands of hearts now and everyone is doing their bit to add a drop and make this a big ocean! With referrals to fund-raising, from planning to execution, things are happening in full swing – and this is only possible due to the unconditional support from one and all.
“Our Vision to bring about a change in the field of Education would have just been an abstract idea, if not for these children and their families that made it their own, since the past 6 years. Today who we are is because of them” says Chetana Keni
Parents say that the joy of being with an educational institution that is like an open book – in every aspect from finances, future plans to child development – is a dream come true!