Invitation – Atmiya Parichay

Atmiya Invitation

Atmiya Swajan Shri,

Through a system wherein, values are integrated with education, His Divine Holiness Hariprasad Swamiji Maharaj’s dream of nurturing global citizens equipped with the 21st century skills who would whole-heartedly serve their parents, society and souls, has taken shape at Atmiya Vidya Mandir.

We feel glad and honoured in inviting you to intimately experience the dream manifested. This event will be graced by the presence of His Holiness Hariprasad Swamiji.

ATMIYA PARICHAY
Empowering leaders of tomorrow, today

Time: 5:00 PM onwards

Date: 20th December 2009

Venue: Atmiya Vidya Mandir

After the event, please join us for the dinner with your family and friends. Also, please wear suitable clothing as the event will be celebrated outdoors.

Note for parents: You are kindly requested to meet the children only after the event.

This event will be webcast live, for more information, please log on to Atmiya Parichay or contact us via email on [email protected].

Cordial Invitation from

Sadhu Premswaroop Das, Sadhu Guruprasad Das, P. Vitthaldas Patel

Atmiya Vidya Mandir Family

Parents News Letter – Website updates and Contact Information

Namaste Parents,

With the New Year approaching, we are sure you have much to look forward to and so do we!

In line with that, we are glad to inform you that we are in the process of upgrading our school website. This will be a phased project and we are shortly bringing in new and exciting interactive features especially keeping in mind the requirements of the parents and the students’ community. Since we will be updating the site, you may face difficulties in accessing the site. Therefore we will be temporarily posting all our updates on another site. You will be able to find all updates related to the school on www.avmfact.blogspot.com.

We sincerely apologize for any missed opportunity to communicate with you in the past and would request you to kindly note the updated contact details. We would like you to continue sending us all your questions, comments, feedback and/or suggestions at the following addresses:

Vitthaldas Patel (P. Fuva): [email protected]
Ashish Tanna: [email protected]

We will try and get back to you promptly.

Thank you for your kind and continuous support.

Atmiya Vidya Mandir

National Spelling Bee Competition

12 students from the Atmiya Vidya Mandir school will be participating in the national level spelling competition which is called Spell bee competition tomorrow on 15th December 2009 at Ahmedabad.

This will be the second round of the competition where students from different parts of Gujarat will compete to secure a place in the next round which will be held in Mumbai early next year.

Here is the list of the students participating from our school:

AIMS – The Journey Begins

Let’s face it – Historically, technology has evolved more out of the needs of the business community than those of the education arena. Whereas it’s a subjective issue of prioritizing in this situation, there’s good news that technology creators are now indeed focusing on the requirements of education.Furthermore, we have borrowed technology from the business community to serve our educational needs. There weren’t many such options available in market specifically designed for educational purposes until a few years back. Kudos to the companies who have been putting in efforts to come up with systems and applications to assist the educators. The key however is to look out for a solution that would further help the teachers to remain organized, resourceful and collaborative, some of the most defining qualities of a 21st century teacher.
Jim Collins starts his book “Good to Great” with an interesting statement – “Good is the Enemy of Great.” One can become and remain good enough following the orthodox working methods like using big chunky files to document lesson plans, course materials, test papers and student’s progress reports. All these may become cumbersome to manage within six months time and demand additional resources from the school administration. There are many such things which can be overcome almost effortlessly and effectively with the use of Information Technology, thereby helping teachers to maximize their efficiency and gain 21st century skills.

Some proactive teachers at AVM were on a lookout for such a system and discovered about the opportunities presented by cloud (internet based) computing, especially for educational purpose. Cloud computing is the use of a 3rd party service to perform computing needs over the Internet. The following are the benefits of cloud computing that the schools are certain to want to take advantage of:

  • More Mobility: Teachers can access information wherever they are, rather than having to remain at their desks.
  • Highly Automated: No longer do the teachers need to worry about misplacing a piece of paper with some important information.  

  • Reduced Cost: Teachers’ and administrators’ time saved is actually money saved for the school. Besides, cloud technology is paid incrementally, further saving the school’s money.
  •  Efficient Archiving: Schools can store more data than on private computer systems and retrieve within seconds when needed. 
These benefits and many more encouraged us to hunt for a cloud computing application which we could customize to suit our needs. Google Apps Education Edition came up as a very promising candidate in our endeavor. Apart from Internet based solutions, we considered Moodle and Plone which are very popular intranet based solutions. Whilst exploring those options, we realized they demanded a certain level of technical mindset of the end-user to be used effectively. Besides, Google Apps offered almost everything and more that a
school environment would need from IT. Furthermore, Google Apps was found relatively easier to customize. The Google Apps Education Edition is a broad IT solution that schools can use to bring communication and collaboration tools to the entire academic community for free. Google manages all the technology details, so we can focus our time, energy and budgets on teaching our students.
In other words, it allows us to focus on our bigger aims. Hence we called our customized version of Google Apps as AIMSAtmiya Vidya Mandir’s Information Management System.

Information sharing is the key to success in today’s world and using Google Apps,our teachers can now collaborate in real-time and access documents, presentations, spreadsheets and sites anytime, from anywhere, on any device. Another fascinating feature of this solution is the instant communication of announcements via free SMS delivery. The Google Apps Calendar tool provides a pretty simple way to communicate instantly thereby saving a lot of time for the teachers. Through AIMS our goal is to achieve excellence in whatever we do here at Atmiya Vidya Mandir. The inherent capabilities of our staff are further enhanced towards excellence which is reflected in our punch line – “Where Technology meets Excellence”.

Hence was born – AIMS – Where Technology meets Excellence. A milestone in our journey towards Excellence.

In AIMS, we have configured the following services for our entire school:

E-mail – Individual email accounts to our faculty with 2 gigabytes of storage per account, search tools to help them find information quickly.
Google Talk – Teachers can call or send instant messages to each other for free — anytime, anywhere in the world. Imagine the possibilities for people collaborating on projects from different locations.

Google Calendar – Teachers can organize their schedules and share events, meetings and entire calendars with others. We can even publish the school calendar on our website to let parents know about events like back-to-school nights, homecoming and vacation days.
Google Docs – Teachers can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations and collaborate with each other in real-time right inside a web browser.
Google Sites – We have created a domain wide site shared with everyone at AVM. This site is like a virtual common ground for our people to share and access information. Moreover, we have created around 7000 pages with a well thought of structure to manage teaching resources.

AIMS allows us to have fast and seamless communication which I think is the key to success for any institution. It has become very easy for our teachers to organize their subject meets or make announcements through their personal calendar on AIMS. Generally, change comes with a certain level of resistance. Truth be told, some of our teachers and staff who were not tech savvy earlier and were apprehensive about using computers, are now enjoying working on computers as a result of AIMS.

Here are some feedbacks from teachers:

“From the floor I am on a skyscraper, is my honest feeling after the training session.”

“AIMS has reduced the paper work and it saves lots of time and other formalities of communication. I liked the calendar updates, home page, document uploading facility and the greatest benefit is that we can operate our server login from anywhere in the world.Its wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!”

“This fabulous program has converted our huge campus into a small beautiful home, in which we can communicate with everybody at any time.”

Some of our staff proactively asked for more training sessions to really get to the roots of the system and some had very genuine suggestions to make it even more effective for the school. Some believed this system will be very conducive in further strengthening of the team spirit in the entire staff!

With the launch of AIMS, we have joined the ever expanding yet exclusive league within the academic fraternity who have been happily using Google Apps to make the teaching-learning process more effective.

Of course, this is just the beginning, we will have our lessons to be learnt on the way, but we sure are another step closer towards consistently delivering excellence.

Top ranking CBSE English paper created by an AVM Inspirer !

C.B.S.E. has started an online forum for teachers. On this forum they allow all the teachers around the world to submit their sample question paper. It is an open site and is intended for the benefit of both the students and teachers. It is a matter of great pride and pleasure for us that our dear Paras Sir had submitted his English sample paper of standard 9th few months ago on this forum. His paper has received a rating of 4 out of 5 and is on the TOP of the list with the highest number of hits 8082 i.e. so far 8082 people have downloaded his paper.

Congratulations Paras Sir for crossing this milestone from the entire AVM (Atmiya Vidya Mandir) team. We wish You Good Luck for all your future endeavors! Paras Sir is a great teacher and a guide, mentor and friend of the students at AVM. We pray to god to help you continue with your excellent work and to keep sharing your experience & expertise with all the teachers.

This is a great achievement for him and hence for the school; so, let us all congratulate him together!

To download Paras Sir’s paper please click on the link below:
http://www.cbseguess.com/papers/sample_papers/ix/2009/english.php

Those who are interested to submit their respective subject sample paper for the year 2010, please follow this link:
http://www.cbseguess.com/papers/sample_papers/

Submitted by: Pranesh Shah

Never Compromise in Teaching Quality…

Mathematics is an integral part of life and it’s used everywhere. Recently, Maharashtra State Board introduced two levels of mathematics for Class X SSC board students. One will be regular maths and other will be general maths. The general maths level will be lower than regular maths. It’s not advisable to opt out or to use truncated syllabus for Math in Class X SSC Board Exam.

Availability of such options could make the Parents think that their child may not score well in Maths Class X SSC board exam or even fail in the subject. Due to this fear, they encourage their child to select general Maths. But this means that the child may not be able to choose the science or engineering field for his career. http://mail.google.com/mail/images/cleardot.gif Even if a child opts for Arts or Commerce, then also he/she will not be taken Maths in Class XI.

The mathematics taught year ago largely focused on teaching student how to perform procedures. Students were required to memorize definitions, formula and rules, and often they applied without any thought. Students were considered good at mathematics if they could “do math” quickly and without any thought. Today we know that for student to be able to use school mathematics outside the classroom, they must understand what they are doing. By understanding, I mean that they know not only how to perform option like long division but [also] why the procedure works and what the result means. This deeper understanding enables students to know when it is appropriate to use what they have learned.

Under the given circumstances, a teacher can play a very important role in clearing away the myths associated with the learning of Maths. The teacher can strive to make the child understand the abstract Mathematical concepts and their applications. To make the subject interesting, a teacher can try to relate a topic with other subjects like History, Art, Music, etc. If a teacher explains the application of Mathematical concepts in day to day life, the student can then understand and remember the concept more easily. The Teacher should teach in such a manner that develops the critical and creative thinking skills of the pupil. Also, the teacher can bring the child up to a certain level of understanding of a Mathematical concept, after which it’s up to a child to perform well or even crack the subject. For that, a child has to work on the subject with hard work – constantly and continuously.

For that, the Teacher has to foster such an environment in the class. I can think of a good old story that very well fits in here.

A German once visited a temple under construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol of God. Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby. Surprised, he asked the sculptor, “Do you need two statues of the same idol?” “No,” said the sculptor without looking up, “We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage.” The gentleman examined the idol and found no apparent damage. “Where is the damage?” he asked. “There is a scratch on the nose of the idol.” said the sculptor, still busy with his work. “Where are you going to install the idol?”

The sculptor replied that it would be installed on a pillar twenty feet high. “If the idol is that far, who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?” the gentleman asked. The sculptor stopped his work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, “I will know it.”

Like the sculptor of this story, it is the Teacher’s responsibility to practice excellence which will consequently improve the quality of teaching Mathematics.

Never compromise in Quality is indeed the need of hour.

School Trip to Sardar Sarovar Dam

14th September 2009

An early morning it was than usual. There were news that the 6.82 million cubic metres concrete filled ‘object’ was overflowing! You could make about 3 Eiffel Towers sleep in a row to be as long as this concrete ‘object’! It did come as a refreshing and pleasant surprise after all that hard work the AVM Bhoolkus had put in for their CMTs. Even at such a short notice, Fuvaji and Hareshbhai arranged for the permissions and the transport for the entire school to visit the place. Thus begun the journey to the much talked about, very promising, very educative, third highest concrete dam of India – the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

The 8 luxury buses and a supply tempo altogether accommodating 380 students, 20 teachers, the entire hostel staff and cafeteria staff made their first stop at the Gumandev Hanumanji Mandir. After having darshan in the mandir, the entire troupe had their breakfast in the spacious compound of the temple. There was a lot of excitement in the students as they boarded their respective buses for the onwards journey to Kevadia Colony. Parambhai, Fuvaji’s secretary was busy arranging for the school’s visit at the dam taking care of the formal procedures with help from Shri Maheshbhai Thakkar, our Ambrish devotee involved with the project.

Upon arrival at the reception site, students of Classes 1 to 6 were taken to Dam View Point 1 where there was a breath-taking view of the entire 1.2 km dam structure. They were accompanied by teachers, didis and an expert guide to enlighten them about this engineering marvel of India. Due to heavy rains in the Madhya Pradesh area, the accumulated water was overflowing from the dam reservoir. It was truly a unique opportunity to see such an action. The roaring sound of the overflowing water could be heard quite distinctly at the view point which was almost 1 km away from the dam! They were then taken to the Dam View Point 1 which provides a very close view of the dam and the river bed power house. (Visit http://www.sardarsarovardam.org/tourism/visit_places.htm for the chief places to visit at this project site)

Meanwhile, students of Classes 7, 8, 9 and 10 visited the Model Room and Interpretation Centre which had a model of the dam besides detailed information about the entire project right since its inception. The students keenly studied the model of the entire project, model of the dam, all the pictures and the statistical data about the project. They gained appreciation of the social and environmental implications of dams and got chance to look into the functioning of government projects of such a massive scale. Some inquisitive minds proactively asked questions to gain further understanding of the project and many even took pictures of the exhibition. The seniors then made their way to Dam View Point 1 to witness the grandeur of the dam. They had discussion about the mind-boggling statistics of the dam. (Visit http://www.sardarsarovardam.org/dam_reservoir.htm# for a few surprises yourself!)

Due to security related restrictions, only Classes 8, 9 and 10 students were able to visit the River Bed Power House generation section. The expert guide revealed some startling facts about the site.
For example,

  • Each of the 6 turbines in the power house weight 690 metric tonnes!
  • The mountain was drilled to make space of 214 m length, 23 m width and 76 m depth to accommodate the turbines!
  • The electricity generated there was transmitted to the switch yard using big thick stainless steel plates!
  • 1200 MW power generated could provide electricity to about 75 lakh (7.5 million) families!

The students took keen interest in learning the facts and understanding how the entire process worked. It turned out to be a highly educative and thought-provoking visit via the long tunnel to this wonder world created inside a mountain!

All the students then visited Dam View Point 3 which gave a very close view of the dam and the power house. The journey to the starting point was equally exciting despite the hot sun and the empty stomachs. The visitors came across beautiful natural landscapes and artificial lakes along the way. Freshly prepared hot lunch awaited the hungry young enthusiasts at the Jalaram Eye Hospital, just a few kilometres away from the Dam Reception Site.

After the lunch, the next stop was at the Rajpipla Palace Resort where the students saw a small exhibition of various items used by the royal family there. After relaxing for some while in the lawns outside the resort, in the evening, the buses headed back to Ankleshwar where an AVM Bhoolku’s parents had arranged for dinner for the entire school.

Undoubtedly, it had been an exciting as well as a tiring day for all. The house masters, didis and the accompanying teachers did a commendable job guiding the students and being with them all the time. Finally, the journey back to our alma mater begun and before late all arrived safe and sound to another marvel of the world – the Atmiya Vidya Mandir.

Teacher’s Day Celebration

12th September 2009

History in a way is the story of a few men and women who made their mark in this world in various ways. The legacy they left behind has attracted a subjective discussion in the course of time, nonetheless, it is a treasure trove for us. Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan is one such person who made an indelible mark in the world. He was a great philosopher who bridged the gap between Indian and Western spiritual philosophies. He went on to become the second President of India and was known to tactfully use spiritual Sanskrit verses or quotes from the Bible during the heated sessions of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States – Parliament of India), which calmed everyone down and made it look more like a family gathering! His contribution to the field of education in India is very well acknowledged by the celebration of the 5th of September, his birthday, as the Teacher’s Day in India. Due to the CMTs this memorable day was celebrated on the 12th of September here at Atmiya Vidya Mandir. The morning assembly witnessed the presence of our mentor Rajubhai Dharaiya, our Student Principal for the day Anand V Patel (Standard 10) and the Student Teachers for the day. Rajubhai spoke about the significance of Teacher’s Day and about the qualities of Dr Radhakrishnan. Anand gave the Principal’s speech for the event. It was an inspiring start of the day already and got all the more inspirational by another event. Anand V, the Principal Student for the day, began his day at Yogesh Sir’s office by getting blessings from the Thakorji and the Principal’s Chair in the office. The Student Teachers ran all the school activities – teaching, sports, library and inspiring “their students”. The toppers of Classes 7, 8, 9 and 10 served the roles of various teaching and non-teaching staff members. Furthermore, an entertainment-packed evening was put up collectively by students of Classes 9 and 10. In the presence of Pujya Fuvaji, Hareshbhai, entire school staff and hostel staff, this evening was managed entirely by the students in the school’s basketball-tennis courts. After the opening prayers, the elders performed Thakorji’s pujan. The Student Teachers then performed pujan of the entire staff amidst a lot of excitement of all the students present. During the pujan ceremony, one could sense a lot of mutual respect between the staff members and the students, something that has been very much a part of the AVM culture since the beginning. The event anchors – Jay Tailor and Sarveshwar started off the event in style by singing Jane Kyun accompanied by frequent claps of the audience. Atmiya K conveyed the gratitude on behalf of all the students to all the teachers in a very heart touching speech. He also mentioned about the uniqueness of the students at AVM. His poem was especially touching: Wonderful Teacher With a special gift for learning And with a heart that deeply cares, You add a lot of love To everything you share, And even though You mean a lot, You’ll never know how much, For you helped To change the world Through every life you touched. You sparked the creativity In the students whom you taught, And helped them strive for goals That could not be bought, You are such a special teacher That no words can truly tell However much you’re valued For the work you do so well. A short comedy skit depicting a classroom situation was performed by Class 9 students followed by another humorous depiction of a real-life situation in a Mumbai local train by Sarthak, Rushy, Siddharth and Samyak. A short candle mimic was then presented by Siddharth. Following that was another comic mimicry of a News Reporter by Bhadra and Siddharth. Finally, the ultimate comedy show was put up by Bhadra and Rushy playing the roles of Munnabhai and Circuit who are on their visit to the USA. All these were very well received by the audience. Sarthak Jariwala and Vivek J Patel were the Executive Organisers of the whole event. They were the key decision makers and co-ordinators in the management of all the items of the function and did a pretty impressive job, especially considering that they only had one day to prepare for all this! The students then presented every single teaching/non-teaching staff member with greeting cards for the occasion. The students of Class 9 and 10 had prepared these cards themselves using their creativity in art and craft, whilst the card content clearly reflected their spirituality. They had expressed the individual qualities they liked of all the staff members in these cards. It was truly inspirational for the staff. The students then interviewed Renuka Madam and Saumya Madam asking them about their personal achievements and their experience of working at AVM. It was our beloved Paras Sir’s birthday on the 5th of September. Taking the opportunity of this event, the students of Class 10 had collectively prepared a special Happy Birthday card for him with a message from each of them conveying their feelings towards him. The versatility of the senior class was seen in these messages that Paras Sir read out. Some of them were very moving (“You have been like a father to us.”), some very naughty (“You are notorious.”) and some even more adventurous (“You are the James Bond of our School.”)! Towards the end of the evening, Pujya Fuvaji gave a concluding speech in the manner of a student which was highly appealing to the varied audience from the students of Class 1 to the senior most people present. During the entire evening, Krunal Vakil (Std 10) and Raj G Patel (Std 7) enthusiastically received the phone calls from the students’ parents informing them about the event and requesting them to call back the next day. Arjun Mama and the cafeteria staff had prepared a delicious Punjabi feast for everyone after the dramatic evening. This event also coincided the time of arrival of Param Pujya Swamiji in Mumbai (8:25 PM, 12th September 2009) from His videsh vicharan. The students rejoiced upon getting the news and were motivated to put behind all the obstacles they had and march onwards towards an even better all-round performance.