Imagine a school where kids can follow their passion, whether its arts, music, drama, computers, or anything else. Where there is no pressure to score high marks, rather the focus is on understanding and happiness of the child.
The traditional schooling system includes a fixed curriculum which gives more attention to secure good marks in the examinations. This system has several fallacies because it cannot focus on building the personalities of an individual. With a view to rethinking the traditional education system, a New York-based entrepreneur and his team are intending to build a school where they will prioritize happiness and positivity over the tough competition of getting better grades. They are inspired by a Harvard study which is done on the lives of the people over the past eight decades.
The school is being built in Chennai and the project will be completed by 2020. Riverbend School will be focusing on artistic, social and environmental skills along with intellectual and physical ones. Students will get the right to decide their courses. The education provided here will compel the students to address real-world issues like access to food, development of clean energy and global health. This school will begin its journey with 300 students with a mission of creating a happier mass. The students will live in the campus dorms during the weeks and they will be allowed to go home during the weekends because they believe that communication with parents is also equally important for their growth.
Danish Kurani, the main architect of this project thinks that the design of the campus should be like a village, as the villagers stay connected with each other in a more compassionate way. The sole purpose is to promote harmony. There will be a communal space, a giant plaza and common rooms in the heart of it known as the “chat labs” where ideas will be shared. The school will also facilitate for a meditation spot and kitchen for conducting culinary art programs as well. Other than this, they are also planning to design a dance studio and a storefront in the campus area, the latter to help the students pitch their own business ideas. Whether grades will be determined or not has not been decided yet because according to Kurani, it breeds unhealthy competition among students. In this system of “personalized learning”, no tests will also be conducted. The founders are hopeful that this new schooling system will surely inspire the students to think independently and help to build a more compassionate generation. This new schooling system will definitely create a buzz!
We wish more such schools come up in India, where the child’s happiness is the priority!