Evergreen School is located in a quiet neighborhood, about 8 km from the heart of Kozhikode City in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The school started in 2006 with 18 children in the junior Kindergarten program and has now grown to a full-fledged elementary school with classes from pre-school to 4th grade and over 130 children enrolled.
Our school aims to impart high-quality holistic education at an affordable cost to families who live in the area. A strong focus on academics through the lower grades prepares children to get a head start when they move on to the upper-primary classes. What sets our school apart is our immersive co-curricular program that lays huge emphasis on giving children a strong spiritual and moral foundation along with a well-focused personality development program. Meditation, Yoga asanas, Sanskrit slokas, devotional songs, moral stories, and service opportunities are all part of the curriculum at Evergreen School.
The school is situated in a quiet environment, away from the main road, which is ideal for an educational institute. The teacher-student ratio of 1:25 or less ensures ample personal attention for every child. The school’s most valued resource is our hand-picked, loving, and caring teachers trained in Neohumanist Education (NHE) pedagogy over the years.
About 50% of the children who join our school are from low-income families. The tuition is kept at a nominal amount that is affordable for the parents. A scholarship program is available for families who cannot afford to pay the nominal fee. Through careful budgetary planning over the years, the school has achieved complete operational self-sustainability.
Management and Staff
The school is run and managed by ‘Neo-Humanistic Education & Charitable Trust’ – a public charitable Trust with 80G (non-profit status) approval from the Government of India.
Shri. V.K. Velayudhan, who founded the school, was the principal for the first 16 years and was instrumental in the development of the school from the very early stages. Smt. P.T. Shylaja took over as the principal in 2022. The other seven Trust members play key roles in the planning and management of the school on a day-to-day basis.
Smt. Bindu K.A. is the headmistress and Smt. Sindhu K.K. is the teachers’ supervisor. The rest of the full-time staff include 9 teachers, 3 children assistants, and 1 office admin.
We start our day with 30 minutes of Morning Circle. The circle time includes a mix of yoga asanas, Sanskrit slokas, devotional songs, kiirtan chanting, meditation, and story time. This joyful transition from the home to the school environment sets up the children for a happy, productive day at school. The students also practice a short meditation before the start of every subject period.
The 10 ethical values of Yama and Niyama (from Ashtanga Yoga) form the basis of the ‘Value of the Month’ program at Evergreen. We focus on one ethical value each month and songs and stories based on these values are shared during the circle time. Many of the songs and stories that we share with children are from the ‘Circle of Love’ curriculum developed by Ananda Marga Gurukula
Most of our teachers and staff have learned the Ananda Marga meditation practice and they attend the once-a-week group meditation conducted at the school every Friday.
Festivals and special day celebrations bring a lot of joy to the whole school community. The influence of pseudo-culture that stems from too much exposure to media and movies on the little minds is a major concern for us as educators. Evergreen School makes a special effort to have our events and celebrations as learning opportunities for children to get inspired about traditional spiritual culture and progressive values.
The major events that we conduct are Sports Day, Arts Competition, Children’s Day, Science Exhibition, Annual Cultural Program, and Educational Tours. We also celebrate World Environmental Day, World Yoga Day, Onam – the traditional harvest festival, and Diipavali – the festival of lights.
Bala Samaj, our personality development program, is conducted once a week. All the children come prepared to present a song, poem, dance, or story of their choice in front of their class or sometimes in front of a larger gathering of multiple classes. Teachers give a lot of encouragement as well as feedback to the children on improving their presentation skills. Leadership opportunities are provided to children to organize and lead the Bala Samaj sessions. Our teachers and parents have observed that children are transformed into self-confident, courageous, and smart personalities during the 4 to 6 years that they spend in our school.
Having a good grasp of the English language is a major advantage for higher education and employment opportunities in India. With this in mind, an age-appropriate communicative English Program has been designed and implemented in our school. Special focus is given to conversational English for everyday usage and importance is given to proper pronunciation and correct grammar.
The Annual Cultural Day program is a much-awaited event in the school calendar and the preparation for it starts 2 months in advance. Our dance and music teachers work with all the other teachers and decide on the performance pieces. We ensure that ‘every student’ in the school gets an opportunity to perform on stage. The cultural program lasts for about 4 hours and consists of group dances, songs, and skits. The students present a variety of classical, folk, and other dance forms from different parts of India with spiritual and devotional themes. Additionally, socially relevant themes such as gender equality, the fight against drugs and alcohol, saving the environment, and serving the needy are part of our dance presentations. We get an audience of about 600 to 800 people that include all the parents, extended family, and the local people who live around the school’s neighborhood. The staff, parent volunteers, and management work closely together to present this phenomenal event every year. There is a great sense of happiness and accomplishment that everyone feels after the conclusion of the event. The students are ecstatic and proud to have presented their talent in front of their loved ones and the whole process ignites personal growth and expansion of their young minds.
With generous funding support from our Trust members, we constructed a new school building in 2017. A second-floor addition was planned in 2019, however, the construction was held off due to the uncertainties brought about by the Covid pandemic. By March 2022, as the world started getting back to normalcy, we embarked on the construction of the second floor and continued the work through most of 2022. It was an extremely challenging period for all involved, but with great planning and cooperation, we were able to complete the construction work by the end of December 2022.
We are extremely grateful to Voice of a Child, our US-based non-profit ally, and our Trust members for their generous funding support that enabled us to take on this work.
The new addition to the school building was inaugurated in a grand public event held in January 2023. The inauguration event started with a day-long spiritual ceremony and kiirtan and meditation program. The new building was inaugurated by chief guest, Shri. A.K. Saseendran (Honorable Minister for Forests and Wild Life Protection, Government of Kerala). Dr. P.S. Sathidevi (Deputy Director, National Institute of Technology Calicut) was the other chief guest at the event. Trust members Shri. V.K. Velayudhan, Shri. Saril Kumar, Shri. Babu T.K and school principal Smt. P.T. Shylaja addressed the large gathering and talked about the life and contributions of Shri. P.R. Sarkar, the propounder of Neohumanism. They also talked about the key aspects of Neohumanist Education and its importance in the current society and how the unique education methodology followed at Evergreen School is paving the way for the holistic development of the children. The inauguration event was followed by a grand cultural program presented by the students of Evergreen School. Well-known RAWA artists Sadhika K.R, Poornima Babu, Arunima S and Abhila Keerthana enthralled the audience with their presentation of songs and dances based on Prabhata Samgiita – The Songs of New Dawn – written and composed by Shri. P.R. Sarkar.
Looking to the Future
The strong focus on NHE philosophy has been the crucial factor that has helped Evergreen School to establish its presence in a place where there are several educational alternatives available for the parents. We are working towards making Evergreen School to be a center of excellence in the early childhood education field and look forward to serving many more young minds in the years to come. We also hope to develop teacher training programs based on the NHE methods followed in our school and thereby spread this education system to more schools and children in our area and beyond.