There are many educational hubs in Bharat. Among them, Alva's Education Foundation stands out head and shoulders among schools, as it considers moral and value-based educational system is the need of the hour in today's changing times
In the era of educational institutions competing merely on facilities or number of degrees offered, rarely does one come across an institution that is rooted to Bharatiya culture and values and yet provides the best of the education in various fields while adapting to the most modern curriculum.
Alva’s Education Foundation (AEF) was set up as a project to redefine the value of education and its potential for social change. The foundation is the brainchild of Dr M Mohan Alva. Intending to nurture the budding talent in our youth, Dr Alva founded the Alva’s Education Foundation. He also envisioned the AEF to be a hub for resourceful ideas and for reinventing and restructuring social, cultural and ethnographic milieu of society. The institutions, under the auspices of the Foundation, are a testimony to Dr Alva’s farsightedness.
Origin and Farsightedness
Speaking to Organiser, Dr Mohan Alva says that his vision for a healthy and educated country rooted in Bharatiya culture was the reason why he started the institution. “Health and education have always been essential aspects of my life. I envisioned a healthy and educated society, which were the primary reasons to start this institution. Along with this, an education rooted in our Bharatiya culture, which is unparalleled ensures value based education for our children. I wanted our institution to be a role model for the entire country”, he says.
Today Alvas Educational Institution is known throughout the country as a quality institution. In the era of commercialisation of education, Dr Alva stresses that “Education should not be commercialized. Though money is required to run institutions that should not be a sole objective as many are running them today as commercial enterprises. Institutions should collect only the money that is required to run and not for profits alone”, stresses Dr Alva.“Though money is required to run institutions that should not be the sole objective as many are running them today as commercial enterprises. Institutions should collect only the money that is required to run and not for profits alone”As per Dr Alva’s vision, the Alva’s Degree College is a unique Educational Institution that embodies all academic, cultural and sports characteristics. It offers a wide range of graduate and post graduate programs and traditional courses redesigned with new combinations to link them closely with employment market. At present, it offers 28 UG (Undergraduate) and 21 PG (Post Graduate) programmes.
The culturally rich milieu, the atmosphere of discipline and yearlong activities make the students’ life eventful. Apart from academics, students are also engaged in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The college ranks first in academic results as well as students strength at Mangalore University and hence it is recognized as a premier institute under Mangalore University. Besides, our students have excelled in sports, athletics and cultural activities by winning championship at the University, Inter-university, All India Inter University and National levels.
Building a Value-Based Institution
Dr. Alva lays emphasis on culture and values in education, and not all institutions do this. When asked how he thinks that Bharatiya culture and values impact students education, Dr Mohan Alva says education without values is a recipe for disaster in the long run.
“Due to many reasons values are missing in our children and are getting addicted to many wrong things. In such a scenario, it is easy for unscrupulous elements to attract our children towards wrong habits and practices by en-cashing their lack of values. To avoid this and inculcate values in our students, we lay a lot of stress on culture and value”
“We are giving importance to culture in our institution as we don’t want to impart education without values and culture. In today’s society, children are getting influenced by global values and ideas. It is both good and bad. They are exposed to many things that are bereft of values, which is becoming a weakness.
Due to many reasons values are missing in our children and are getting addicted to many wrong things. In such a scenario, it is easy for unscrupulous elements to attract our children towards wrong habits and practices by en-cashing their lack of values. To avoid this and inculcate values in our students, we lay a lot of stress on culture and value. For these sports and arts are a medium. We do this by utilising both classical and folk arts and instruments. Along with various instruments, we also encourage our students to partake in dance and songs”, says Dr Alva.
Vision for the Future
Alva's Education Foundation is now a key player in providing value-based education even in professional courses. Alva’s College of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences (ACNYS) is imparting Yoga & Naturopathy education at the graduate level. Alva’s College of Nursing started in 1995 provides the right mix of academic and clinical exposure needed to kickstart a perfect global career in nursing. Alva’s College of Physiotherapy & Research Centre is an institution that helps a student to rediscover the true essence of physiotherapy education with great emphasis on personal grooming and strong character moulding. Alva’s Institute of Engineering & Technology (AIET) is a premier Engineering Institute of Alva’s Education Foundation established in 2008, with an experienced faculty facilitating an active student-mentorship programme and excellent infrastructural facilities. Participation in cultural activities is part and parcel of every professional course at Alvas.
Dr Mohan Alva - Chairman AEF
Talking about his vision for his institution over the next few decades, Dr Alva says that adapting to newer technology without losing our culture and values is the key. “It is our duty to impart good education to our children and this is possible only if they are given good education right from young age. They should carry the values imbibed throughout their life even after they enter their professions. Hence we give a lot of stress to culture and values even in professional courses. Values are not available in shops to be bought when we want it. It has to be imparted and imbibed from a young age”, says Dr Alva.
Culture as part of Curriculum
Alva’s Education Foundation believes in creating a strong cultural identity for its students through a wide variety of activities.
Virasat is a national level classical music and dance programme. It is organised with an objective of
providing in-depth knowledge and aesthetic sense of Indian art forms to the students. Celebrated for 4-5 days every year in January attracts an audience from all over the country and abroad.
Nudisiri is a three-day literary and cultural extravaganza organised by the AEF every year during November in its campus in Moodbidri. The focus is on showcasing the diversity of Karnataka’s literature and language. Literary sessions deliberate on ‘adhyatma’, multi-lingual, and folk traditions of Karnataka. Kavi sammelans, classical and folk dance, Yakshagana, classical music, folk music, singing of ranga geethes, harikathe and other events. Alva’s Nudisiri Awards are also bestowed every year on achievers in art, culture, cinema and literary fields. Audience from Karnataka and outside are connoisseurs of Nudisiri.
Ranga Adhyayana Kendra
It is a well equipped classical drama training programme for the students. It also invites the professional drama teams to perform in Moodbidri from last 25 years.
Deemkita Yakshagana Adhyayana Kendra
The world-famous folklore art of coastal Karnataka is a part of the co-curricular activity for the students. The various dimensions of the art form are thought, learn and experiment. A new dimension for the traditional art form is been explored in Alva’s.
Lalithakala Adhyayana Kendra
Creating a formal platform for music, dance and painting is the only way to provide growing energy to these art forms. Bharathanatyam, Carnatic music, painting and other classical dance forms of India are thought in this centre.
Agriculture based on food culture amalgamated with a formal education system can only lead to a secure world. This vision is transformed into students experience through a wide variety of agricultural activities on the campus.
Children should be able to dream based on their rich foundation and not just think about money. Our education system should enable children to realize both the sides of the tools they are using, says Dr Alva when speaking about his vision for the future.
Mitigating Challenges in the Education Sector
As India grows, so does the aspirations of the next generations and the challenges too. Education sector which has seen unprecedented growth in the last few years is expected to cater to new modes of education and demands of the industry. With the advent of technology in education, burgeoning population, the challenge of jobs and automation, educational institutions have a huge task on hand to devise new methods to meet the challenges.
Dr Alva says that the key to finding answers to the upcoming challenges is to adapt and reinvent. When asked as to what are the problems he sees in the education sector in India and how can we mitigate them, he says, “People are becoming intelligent, and average IQ of children is increasing. There is an increase in people who are getting educated and most wish to go for higher education. The common man is dreaming of higher education today, which is a welcome development. However, this leads to more competition. Today people can know what's happening across the world in a few minutes. Hence, education institutions should realise this and cannot become complacent and be like a frog in the pond. We have to have a broad vision and cannot afford to think what we have done is enough. We have to adapt to new methods and challenges. We must accept new technologies but should see that our culture and values are not eroded.”
Future of education is good only if values and relationships are a cornerstone of the system says Dr Alva. As in his institutions, he says we must continue to lay stress on our Bharatiya values of relationship within families, the relationship between guru and shisya, children and parents, husband and wife, etc. Every relationship should be honoured and maintained. Only then we can safeguard our values, says Dr Alva.