National Academy For Learning
|National Academy for Learning, Basaveshwaranagar|
|Principal||Ms. Catherina Koshy|
|Location||Basaveshwaranagar, Bangalore, India|
|School motto:||Aspire, Achieve, Excel|
The National Academy for Learning is a school in Basaveshwaranagar Bangalore, founded by K.P. Gopalkrishna in 1994. The current Principal is Mrs. Catherina Koshy and Administrator is Mrs. Ajita Satish. The school is located on 3rd Cross, 3rd Block, 3rd Stage of a west Bangalore suburb, Basaveshwara Nagar.
The school's vision is stated thus: "NAFL envisages their students as articulate, confident, caring citizens and leaders of tomorrow who will delight in the small courtesies of life as well as be at the helm of its bigger, vital, global issues".
NAFL is a day school offering classes from Montessori & Kindergarten to Grade XII. There is no prescribed syllabus that the school follows until Grade 9. For higher grades, NAFL offers the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) program. The school also offers the Cambridge International Examinations program for Class X (Cambridge Secondary 2 for 14 to 16 year olds) and the Cambridge Advanced program for Classes XI and XII (the Cambridge International A Level which is typically a two-year course, and the Cambridge International AS Level which is typically a one year program).
The typical NAFL class size is 18-20 students. If more students are enrolled, the school breaks the class into multiple sections. The school claims that faculty members act more as facilitators rather than teachers. The school requires each student to be in uniform the color of which depends upon one of three Houses the student is in. Silence is required at assembly and study time. Students are not permitted to carry mobile phones to school.
NAFL operates school buses to various parts of Bangalore. The school works on a 5-day a week schedule. The school has a high walled-compound with a gate that is shut at 8 AM sharp. The gates are opened again at 3 PM when class is dismissed.
The school has a large sports ground and is located in a residential neighborhood. Four other private schools also operate in the area creating traffic chaos each day at school start and end times. Beginning June 12, 2014, the school has implemented new procedures to ease this burden by intelligently shuttling traffic to both rear and front gates of the school compound. Like in the US, children traveling by the NAFL school bus will alight and board buses at the rear gate, whereas students who travel by private vehicles are picked up at the front gate.
The academic year starts the first week of June and runs to the first week of October (Term 1). After a break of about 2 weeks for Dasarah, the school reconvenes for Term 2 which runs to March 31. The school is off for a week during Christmas. The weeks that end each term are marked by tests and assessments.
Important extra-curricular activities are the NAFL Sports Day during Term 1 and the NAFL DAY (Music, Drama, Arts) for Term 2. An out-of-town school trip is typically planned for grades 6 and above during Term 2.
The school's report card is a comprehensive assessment of a student across multiple dimensions. The Co-Curricular Evaluation includes assessments in Reading, Library Education, Art, PE, Indian Music, Dance/Drama, Work Experience and Western Music. Each of these categories has four sub-categories (for example, Reading breaks down into Interest, Imagination, Verbal Skills and Group Activity). The school's Personality Development assessment includes areas such as Courtesy, Confidence, Care of Belongings, Neatness, Regularity and Punctuality, Initiative, Sharing and Caring, Respect of Others' Property and Self-Discipline.
The school sends out accurate and well-written circulars, mostly once a month, to communicate with parents. Through the 2013-14 academic year, the school did not use electronic communication to interact with parents. But beginning June 2014, the school has implemented communicating with parents by e-mail, an improvement over paper-based communication. But unlike schools in the west, school and class websites continue to be not maintained. Teachers don't use emails or social media and are not directly approachable by phone. School and home work assignments continue to be communicated through a daily diary that students need to maintain. By requiring parents to sign the dairy daily, however, the school forces parents to stay involved. [students with unsigned daily dairies are called out and penalized]. Handwritten notes between teacher and parent - all recorded in the student's diary - continue to be the norm even to request a meeting.
The student demographic is largely made up of Indian families who have had some exposure to the west, mostly the United States. Many children were born in the US, raised there for a few years before returning to India when their families relocated. Or students have parents who are professionals who were themselves either schooled in the west or who travel to western countries on a regular basis. This gives the school a quasi-international flair while it retains a largely Indian approach to education, academic discipline, arts and culture. For example, for Bastille Day (the French National Day on July 14), all students are required to wear French colors to school just as they do for the Indian Independence Day (Aug 15). Or, the school requires students to attend both Indian and Western music classes each week.
The tuition fees charged for new students (especially those returning from abroad) are higher. If students stay for two years, their fees drop as they are considered to be "in-state". Many teachers are veterans having served in the school for most of its existence. Some were transferred into the school from the school's parent National Public School.
- Official NAFL School Almanac, 2014
- NAFL School Circulars 2014