"My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my Nation." - Guru Kalam

Tributes to guru kalam

Sheik Dawood, grand nephew of Guru Kalam, at the launch of the Knowledge Park recently.

APJ Knowledge Park: A school library themed after inspiration

By Boby Michael | JAN 2017

In the beginning, the idea was a reunion – a return of the 1991 batch of Vayattuparamba St. Joseph’s High School, Vayattuparamba, Kannur District, Kerala – after 25 years. The alumni formed a WhatsApp group and started inviting members from across the globe.

They chatted, recollected teenage memories, celebrated happy moments, slowly realising that their life has become just sweeter. It was sweet like ‘Narangamittayi’, a variety of lemon flavoured toffee, common in their school days and so they named their association after it.

They accepted ‘Reunion For Rebuilding’ as their motto, indicating that the inspiration, over a period of time, has grown beyond the idea of just a reunion of friends.

The tribute to the school

For the silver jubilee get-together, the organisers wanted the day to be a memorable one and, more than that, a meaningful one, by way of gifting something precious to their alma mater.

Several concepts were considered but the idea of a special purpose library and activity park was accepted unanimously. They wanted the library to be themed after inspiration, and classify it as a theme-based school library, may be the first-of-its-kind.

The motive was to promote guided reading with research outlook, not the usual way of random reading, among high school students, with the help of teachers who are experts in various subjects.

That way, Narangamittayi expected their juniors in the school to become informed and inspired so as to move on to careers best matching their aptitudes.

The library wanted an icon to carry the real message of inspiration, and the search successfully ended with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President, whose life, words and deeds are now globally accepted, especially among students and youths who are sincere in their heart but lack in resources.

So the library was named APJ Knowledge Park and it was decided to install a statue of Dr Kalam in the landscaped activity park in front of the library, and well known sculptor, Prem Kumar Thadikkadav, created a massive 10- foot fibre glass statue of the icon.

The Knowledge Park

The inauguration of APJ Knowledge Park took place on 28th December 2016. Nearly 190 of all the 230 students of the 1991 batch came for the event. Almost all the teachers of that time also came to witness the historic event.

The books and the digital content selected for the library are aimed at introducing the real roads of growth in various fields of knowledge, travelled by the noted gainers in those fields.

It also has various specially designed programmes associated to serious reading, rather than the usual library activity, making it a knowledge park. The activity area adjacent to the redstone library has two parts.

A quiz or debate zone with a gallery for participants and a platform for the quizmaster/moderator. The other one is a discussion/gaming/experiment zone where participants gather for consensus or solution.

These two activities -- one of asking questions and receiving answers, and the other of arriving to common answers with the help of processing the knowledge gained -- are the two necessary activities making the best follow-up for reading of any book. Sheik Dawood, grand nephew of Guru Kalam, who represented the Dr A P J International Foundation during the inauguration talked about need to strengthen basic education in India.

He said the A P J Knowledge Park can help students understand what they have to learn in a scientific manner. Several activities have been planned and executed by the teachers and students, and three major programmes are planned to be conducted in the Park on an annual basis

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