It warms one’s heart to see institutes of Education and people associated with it who are totally pro-children and haven’t been touched by commercialization at all. Mrs. Monali Bag Mehta of ELITE ACADEMY is one such lady with passion to touch lives. This academy is doing its bit in the field of education and much more to build confidence in kids to face the world. It is truly one big FAMILY at ELITE !
Monali says :
I belong to the land of legendary Nobel Prize winner, Guru Rabindranath Tagore, who had been trying hard to bring a change in the education system. Today’s education system lacks ambition, it only aims at cracking the competitive examinations and join the best institutions of the country.
After working with corporate and institutions for a long time, a time came when I realized the need to work from the grassroots level. Maybe that will make a little, but, effective difference in the system. Elite Academy, The Academic Resource Centre, believes in creativity, original thinking, research and innovation. Memorizing is no learning; the biggest flaw in our education system is perhaps that it gives incentive to memorizing above originality. The children are bribed to get the rewards by the parents, and end up memorizing. We discourage this process and make things easy for the little minds by conceptual methods.
For e.g.; Sara Sheikh, my student, studies in Class 3 in one of the most reputed English medium schools of the city. She was supposed to make a sentence with the word, “amazed”. The teacher in her school made her write a sentence with it, which was; I was amazed to see the acrobatics performed by the acrobats. Now, Sara doesn’t know the meanings of the words, acrobatics and acrobat, and the teacher did not even explain it. She is so tensed before her test, as she is not able to memorize the sentence. She comes to me with a sad face and says that she is going to fail. Before I make her explain anything else, I asked if she is aware of the term amazed. She said, yes it means surprised. I asked her when the last time she got a surprise was. She smiled and answered, “When my father got me a pair of red shoes on Eid”. I said, “Now you have your sentence”. Then she wrote, I was amazed to see my new shoes.
Elite is all about concept learning. Another lovely e.g.; Once reading a Hindi chapter, Fatima asked me regarding the usage of ang ki matra. I said when we are using our nasal sense to say a Hindi word; it’s used, like bandar, jangal, sundar…etc. And out came a live example from Humeira Khan, Thankgabali from Bahubali.
Learning to know about the general facts and usage of the same is very important, and we practice it every day. Once the child understands the concept, they are unstoppable. They explore and experiment. At Elite, we encourage kids to ask more and more questions, i.e., why, what? Etc. Experimenting more and more with words, numbers, special characters, and giving them space is what Elite believes in. Elite embraces internet and technology in the classroom, making access to knowledge easier than ever. We use Google, we believe in using technology at its best, from YouTube for real life videos, slooh for exploring the space, The National Digital Library, etc. Students are encouraged to use the dictionary, manually as well as online.
From doing live experiments, projects, making the weirdest sentences, dancing in between during exam times, celebrating birthdays, and much more; Elite is not an institution it’s an emotion. Elite never says no to kids. We have enrolled special kids who have not been really accepted by our orthodox society. I always understand and believe that every creation of nature is unique and special. We have kids with hypothyroidism (absence of sweat glands), Thalesemia major and Dyslexia. They are not only treated as normal kids here but other kids here learn to understand the fact that every individual is special and should be respected.
Empowering women is another important part. Training women, educating them and giving them employment is important for us. I took up a small initiative to educate my staff for higher studies, helping them in understanding the concepts, sponsoring their education and taking them another step ahead. Teaching English as a language to women, especially mothers, is an integral part as well. We provide 3/6/12 months’ program in English language for mothers.
Elite organizes workshops for its students regarding hygiene, health, good and bad touch, etiquette, and many more. Activities like story telling sessions, games, sharing articles and videos is also encouraged. Another very beautiful thing that I do is we exchange ideas and views regarding different festivals that we celebrate in India; narrate real life experiences about just anything. Kids at Elite are free to express anything.
The best part of being the creator of Elite is what I earn in terms of love and respect I receive from the kids and the parents. It’s mutual, you receive what you give. I workout the timings of the kids and the teachers here for the classes in the holy month of Ramzan and they too happily adjust the timings while Navratris, Durga Pooja or any other festivals. Not to forget receiving dabbas full of sewai and biryanis all year round. The initiative is not to make kids eligible to pass with flying colors in exams, it’s practicing humanity so that it becomes a habit. As I believe, only education is the key to it.
The goal is to create entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, scientist, thinkers and writers who can establish the foundation of knowledge based economy rather than the low quality service provider that we are turning into and also practice humanity in every aspect of life.
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Addrress: Elite Academy, 1st floor, Arshad Residency, Opp- Aneeq Homes, Sarkhej, Ahmedabad.
Contact Number: 9879557216, 7874040627