VidyaVanam – Unique School without Exams
VidyaVanam is established in 2007 by Ms. PremaRangachary for tribal and unprivileged children. It is situated in in Anaikatti, a rural village, 30 km from Coimbatore. It is an elementary school to make children learn read and write.
There are 270 students and 19 teachers in the school at present. The school also conducts extra-curricular activities like dancing, playing keyboard andmridangam, vocal music, sports and games.
The school runs from 9 am to 3.30 pm. Free lunch is served to all students in the school. The school has two buses and a van to pick students from their locations to school. Students are charged for the bus based on the travelling distance but it is not more Rs. 100 per month.
The children are categorized into three groups – kindergarten, elementary and middle school. The groups are subdivided and given names as mentioned below Kindergarten consists of Orange and Mango groups with 60 students. Elementary school consists of Neem, Pipal, Jamun and Banyangroups with 120 students and Middle school has Kaveri, Bhavani, Krishna, Alakananda and Gangagroups and consists of 97 students. Children are promoted according to their performance. Often the children with poor performance are demoted to previous classes to improve their performance.As this school is an opposite of traditional education system with no exams being conducted, parents are worrying that their children do not get certificates under this system. The school is trying hard to get the recognition of CBSE to eliminate their worry. It also prepares the children who are 12 years old for board exams for 3 years to get good marks.