An often asked question is, whether our education system should only focus on cramming information into young minds and creating money-making machines out of them? Or, create good global citizens who are responsible enough to care for their society as well as their families? It was quite a discovery to see the answer available in […]
An often asked question is, whether our education system should only focus on cramming information into young minds and creating money-making machines out of them? Or, create good global citizens who are responsible enough to care for their society as well as their families? It was quite a discovery to see the answer available in one of the hymns of Guru Nanak, the Founder of Sikhism, on page 356 of the holy book, which incidentally is the most modern religion at present. Guru Nanak says “Contemplate and reflect upon knowledge, and you will become a benefactor to others.”
Thus, the need of the hour is to create an equilibrium between the modern scientific education and moral values, which some educationists call value-based education. If you are looking to make a good human material out of your child, and yet make him/her succeed in this cut-throat competitive world, you might want to send your kid to Akal Academy, a chain of 129 schools across rural areas of five northern states of India. Incidentally, these schools were founded by a Harvard Alumnus, Sant Teja Singh, MA LLB, AM Harvard.
The first thing that hits you is the ‘Simple Living – High Thinking’ approach in the environment of an elevated level of reasoning. A walk across Akal Academy is an absorbing experience. The atmosphere is distinct, simple with a modest uncomplicated approach, rich with the spirit of potential, the heritage of past achievements, and the vitality of inquiry and discovery. These schools hold the promise of a different life. A sophomore discovers inner peace and happiness. An inquisitive child identifies the power to unburden by confession. Akal Academies map the child’s heart to create an enabler that spreads love and compassion.
These rural students explore the finer aspects of micro-organisms, Newton’s laws, Polonium – the new entrant in the periodic table and the subtle issues of human values, pardon, inner awakening; all in the same breath. These schools or shrines of education nurture and attract the simplest and most deprived human talent and open a window to science, art, and elevated thinking. Their alumni are equally outstanding, shaping society with their leadership, creativity, and innovation yet remain firmly rooted in the basic values and stand out with their simplicity and sensitivity.
It is this breadth of accomplishment and activity in Sahil Jindal, Pavneet, Yuvraj, Tejprakash, Jasneet, Manpreet, Gursharan, Shivinder, Navdeep and beyond – that separates Akal Academy from other institutions. The students are inspired to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them.
The list looks nonpareil and inimitable:
Navdeep Singh – All India Rank 1 NEET 2017 (The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-UG)
Yuvraj Singh – A.I.R. 18 NDA (National Defence Academy)
Karandeep Singh – A.I.R. 30 NDA 2013 (National Defence Academy)
Sahil Jindal – IIT – JEE I.R. 67th
Gursharan Singh – IIT I.R. 127th
Shivinder Singh – Lieutenant Commander in Sikkim, Indian Army
Gurinder Singh Khaira – VP at Morgan Stanley
Dr Jasneet Kaur (Gold Medallist) – Postdoctoral Researcher at Ryerson University and Postdoctoral researcher at University of Naples Federico II. She has written 11 Publications till date.
Dr Manpreet Kaur – PhD student at Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research
Lovepreet Kaur – Nexteer Automotive, Detroit
Jasleen Kaur – Assistant Professor at DAV Institute of Engineering & Technology
Tejprakash Singh Gill – Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft, Redmond, Washington
Pavneet Singh – Software Development Engineer II at Amazon.com, Seattle
Balwant Singh – Surgeon, Dept of Neurosurgery, GTB Hospital, New Delhi
“I joined Akal Academy in the year 1992 when I was in 4th Standard, and from there on the school took my heart forever for the rest of my academic life – I completed my entire schooling from there in the year 2000,” says Gurinder Singh.
Gursharan Singh adds “Akal Academy is the best school which provided both spiritual and academic knowledge to us, students.” Shivinder Singh asserts “The education they provided was great – the studies, the time-schedules, the curriculum and especially all the teachers, they all provided great support at all times.”
Dr Balwant Singh gets emotional “Akal Academy has played in transforming me from a boy belonging to a below poverty line family into a Doctor. My good fortune that I managed to be there.”
Now, with a chain of 129 Akal Academies across Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh and two Private Universities; The Kalgidhar Society, Baru Sahib a non-profit charity, under the leadership of Baba Iqbal Singh, Retd. Director of Agriculture, Himachal Pradesh has managed to intervene at the rural nerve points with quality value-based education as a weapon to fight drugs with books.
In hindsight, how apt do these two aphorisms sound? Change is inevitable. And, Change is the end result of all true learning!
-Ravinder pal Singh Kohli