The Chairman, Bhavans Middle East Mr. N. K Ramachandran Menon, and the Director of Bhavans Middle East, Mr. Sooraj Ramachandran, have taken over the Wise Indian Academy in Ajman which will now fall under the umbrella of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Middle East under their able guidance. The flagship school Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kuwait and the sister concerns in the middle east are in the euphoria of welcoming the new member to their big family.
From the humble beginning, as Indian Educational School, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kuwait in 2006 with just 111 students to 10 prestigious schools, with more than 10,000 students, the educational empire has been rapidly expanding under the umbrella of Bhavans Middle East. Dazed by this remarkable progress, indeed amazed and proud, we Bhavanites, Malavika Krishna of Grade 9 and Sandra Prathap of Grade 10 wanted to know about the new branch of Bhavans Middle East which has been opened in Ajman, U.A.E.
Propelled by the power of curiosity, admiration, amazement and reverence we decided to interview the visionary of this noble educational empire, Bhavans Middle East, Mr. N.K Ramachandran Menon, our dearest chairman, whom we all lovingly address as Ram Sir.
Snippets of the Interview
Malavika and Sandra: Good morning Sir.
Ram Sir (With a warm and welcoming smile): Good morning.
Sandra: We are extremely proud to be a part of the Bhavans Middle East and in fact the flagship school BVB Kuwait. We heard about the new branch of Bhavans Middle East which has been opened in Ajman, U.A.E. We have come here curiously to know more about it. Sir, could you tell us something about the taking over of the new school? How is it different from our school?
Ram Sir: About the new school? Wise Indian Academy is just like any other ordinary school. True to our tagline- ‘Education First’, here too we have positioned quality education as the first and foremost priority. As such, there are not many differences between the schools except that they are in two different places. Moreover, it has just begun to function, so probably I am looking forward to it.
Malavika: Sir, what made you choose the tagline ‘Education First’?
Ram Sir (to both of us): Why do you students come to school?
Malavika and Sandra: To get good education.
Ram Sir: Exactly. So, you have the answer to your question. It is for quality education that children like you are sent to schools. In today’s world, a person is given priority based on his/ her educational qualification, no other parameters can become the priority. Hence, education is very important and should be given the first preference. We also have another tagline ‘Convert your ambitions into reality’ which is mostly printed on our certificates to give our children a moral boost.
Sandra: It is nice to hear that the school has begun to function. Sir, so when was it inaugurated?
Ram Sir: The inaugural ceremony was on September 10, 2017.
Sandra: What is the strength of the school presently? Is it affiliated to the CBSE or the CBSE-i board of education?
Ram Sir: At this infant stage, we have around 600 students till grade 6. We are waiting for the affiliation from the CBSE.
Sandra: What languages can the students opt as second language? Are the educational policies of our school alike; extended schooling hours, remedial coaching etc. are practiced there as well?
Ram Sir: There too students can opt for Hindi, French or Sanskrit. In addition, they can opt for Malayalam as well. The students have an option to choose their third language also. Yes, even in Ajman we are incorporating the educational policies that you have just mentioned.
Malavika: Sir, we see you finding time to fill in your presence for most of our formal functions, your doors are always open to any one of us who are confronted with problems, you respond to all the mails sent by our parents without any delay. How is it possible for you to find time to manage everything?
Ram Sir: The President of America and the Prime Minister of India are busier. Compared to them, my work is very little, maybe 1% of what they do each day. Everyone is given only 24 hours a day. If they can manage their work in this given span of time, then, why can’t I? Mostly students complain that they do not have enough time to complete their work. However, most of the students, who complain, waste almost one to three hours every day on electronic gadgets and social media. I take utmost care in utilizing it than simply whiling it away. So probably, this makes me manage all my responsibilities.
Malavika: Sir, we students get inspired listening to your words even if it is for a few minutes. Could you tell us where you draw your inspiration from?
Ram Sir: How could I inspire anyone? Who in this world would be able to motivate anyone else? No one can motivate you except you, yourself. No one has an influence on you or no one can influence you unless you yourself decide that you want to do something. You are the one who should decide what you want to be, where you want to reach and how you should be. No one can persuade you in this matter. Your parents can push you around to do something. However, unless and until you decide what you want, you will not achieve anything. You are the one who decide what to do and what not to. So, inspiration and motivation come from within and not from anyone else’s external manipulations. You must build up your own inspiration.
Malavika: Sir, what is your advice to the children of this century, especially students in the Middle East?
Ram Sir: Students these days are not using their potential to the fullest. The students of this century have more advanced technologies and facilities in their hands. However, these are not used effectively or wisely. The students living in the Middle East would surely find it difficult to cope with and compete with the students studying in India, when they will go back to their homeland after 12th grade. Some of our boys, who have joined professional colleges in India, find it hard to adjust to the teaching system. Nothing is spoon-fed there. The students who are brought up in India are more practical in life whereas, most of the students in the Middle East are very emotional and impulsive thinkers. You must get out of your comfort zone and work hard to achieve your goals and aspirations. Most students will also find it difficult to interact with people, identify the right kind of people, and understand the intentions of people. This is one of the main reasons why students fall into the traps of drugs and other immoral activities. It is as if they have fallen in to a deep sea and do not know how to swim or come out. If one can identify the intentions of the people around them, they will be able to avoid bad company. Only a very few can keep their balance without falling into a fathomless pit. You cannot understand the world with your marks. Students must prepare themselves well to face such situations. Work hard, do more, understand well and mingle with people. I am here just to provide you an environment where you can grow. It is up to you whether you are going to use it and benefit. Everybody has the potential and capacity to do what he or she wants. They just have to use their time and the facilities given to them wisely.
Malavika: Which quality of yours would you like the teachers in your school to imbibe from you?
Ram Sir: See as I told you earlier, nobody can teach you things like these. You must learn them yourself. They must find their strengths and weaknesses within them. No one can find these and give it to them. My qualities are the ones that I developed myself with my experiences in life. Their experiences would be different, surroundings too. If I ask someone to follow my footsteps, they might not be able to succeed as I did. In addition, if they fail, it will be a blame on me and it will pose a question to my methods. Each one is a unique creation of god, and no one can copy anything from his or her fellow beings. If they do so it will just be a copy of someone else. You must come up with what you can do. No one can decide that for you. You must experiment a lot to find out what is there deep inside you. My qualities are just mine and your qualities are just yours.
Malavika: Thank you Sir for your time. It was our immense pleasure and honor to be able to learn from you this afternoon. There is a lot more to learn.
Ram Sir (With the same smile): God bless!
Mr. N.K. Ramachandran Menon, the great visionary behind Bhavans Middle East believes that failures and successes are lessons taught in the classroom of life. He says that failures should be the stepping stone from which we progress and continue our journey. We must never dwell on what we have lost. There are a lot of values that global citizens, and we as students can imbibe from this visionary who always has a positive attitude and an unfading smile on his face.
“You ask, you will be asked, but in that question, you find the answer, and we found the answers to all the questions.”
By Malavika Krishna (Grade IX) and Sandra Prathap (Grade X)
Indian Educational School (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan)