In the spotlight Children

Winning hands down

A TYPICAL DAY: Fashioning tools from wood. Photo: Special Arrangement

A TYPICAL DAY: Fashioning tools from wood. Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: Photo: Special Arrangement

Vivek balances his lessons and his business, making it possible for him to do all the he enjoys.

Vivek Kondajji found his calling in carpentry — a field that doesn’t fall under vocations that today’s youngsters usually choose. This15-year-old entrepreneur crafts customised study aids for Montessori schools.

When he was in Std. VI, his parents, Rashmi and Nagesh Babu realised that the traditional curriculum did little to bolster Vivek’s talents. “It wasn’t that he had no interest in studying. He was receptive to learning through examples. But, everything he was ‘taught’ in school started becoming hard for Vivek to cope with after a point,” said his mother in an interview. So, they switched his curriculum to the alternative system of education, one that would help develop Vivek’s talents.

Exploring education

While at Aurinko Academy, a school for alternative education, a teacher introduced him to the basics of carpentry, hand tools and power tools. “I spent two years familiarising myself with the field. Later, my father set up a small workshop for me,” he says. “After making some products for the house, my mother asked me to make a few things for a Montessori school. Now, I make educational products for such schools.”

A typical day for Vivek begins with tuition which goes on till two in the afternoon. A short break, and he’s back to work. He fulfils the orders he has received.

Vivek says the alternate system of education is vastly different from regular school and he finds it to be immensely beneficial. “In the mainstream system, there was a lot of pressure to score marks. The alternate system of education emphasises on learning. As the pressure of exams is not so high, you can dedicate more time to learning, understanding and exploring concepts in greater detail. Also, one gets time to pursue one’s other interests too.”

What about exams and evaluation? “I write exams like my peers. However, I have more time to do it. I registered with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). I have five years from the time of registration to complete my Std. X exams. I have completed two of them. I have three more to go.”

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 1:46:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/winning-hands-down/article19634864.ece

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