On the Northern fringes of Gujarat lies Palanpur, a small town placed on the world map by its entrepreneurs in the diamond industry. The pride of Palanpur also lies with its poets and litterateurs. However there is one more asset that every Palanpuri takes pride in: Vidyamandir, an educational institution with a history spanning over six decades.
The Trust, initially named as Shri Palanpur Shishushala Balmandir and Education Trust, was established in 1948 with intent to provide quality education to the people of Palanpur.
Vidyamandir had humble beginnings. It was started as a primary school that has now expanded into a number of institutes, centres and hostels, spread over 14 campuses with a highly experienced and knowledgeable staff of 450 that cater to every educational need of around 5000 students. Today the Institute provides mainstream education affiliated with Gujarat S. S. C board, from Kindergarten (KG) to Std. XII in Gujarati as well as English. Additionally, special education is provided in the following four categories- Visually impaired, Hearing impaired, mentally challenged, and physically disabled. The Trust also runs teachers’ training colleges, community education programs, vocational training, and facilities for extra-curricular activities like art, music, dance, physical education etc which are not only available to the students but also to the local community.
The Trust was renamed 'Vidyamandir Trust, Palanpur' in 2006.
The Vidyamandir Trust was founded by a group of “academic visionaries” who believed that education was more than just imparting academic knowledge. It was a process of development of character, mental abilities and all round personality of every child. Their vision and mission was to start ‘a school with a difference’… not just another school!
The aim of Vidyamandir is to provide a value-based, child-centered, creative nurturing and challenging environment for students, so that they can maximize their innate potential. The goal is to be a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in the field of education and hence the motto… “Better Everyday”. The ‘Vidyamandir Parivar’ is committed to this child centric approach, with a co-operative and collaborative effort between the Parents, Teachers and the Management.
The most important aspect of education is that it has to be socially relevant, progressive, liberal and broad-based. In addition, it has to keep pace with the rapidly changing trends, without losing its rootedness in non-negotiable values like integrity, honesty, social consciousness, compassion and concern for humanity. Vidyamandir tries to implement the concept of ‘Think Global and Act Local’, so that we learn from international developments while retaining our Indian cultural values.
The most important aspect of child-centered education is the recognition that every child is unique and different- and children must be encouraged to learn at their own pace, in a nurturing environment, so that they can maximize their potential. This ‘learner centered’ and not just ‘curriculum centered’ education is adopted by the School in the early years so that there is a joy in learning. Education is a process that has to be enjoyed by each and every child. They should not feel pressured to the level that it becomes a burden. At the same time the School recognizes the need for coping and excelling in a highly competitive world, so there is a shift in focus in the Senior School to prepare the children accordingly from skills of learning to content centered teaching.
The road ahead…
True to its Motto of “Better Everyday”, Vidyamandir continues to innovate and move forward in this fast-changing world scenario while remaining committed to the core values of the Vidyamandir Trust.