Friday, September 23, 2011

An institution with a difference

Baba Aya Singh Riarki girls college has set a unique example of self governance and discipline while strictly adhering to the cultural ethos of Punjab

Pardeep Luthra / Gurdaspur

Baba Aya Singh Riarki girls college has set a unique example of self governance and discipline while strictly adhering to the cultural ethos of Punjab.
Deep in the interiors of Riaki belt in Gurdaspur district, is a girls' college whose students not only top the merit list in education but also in religious studies year after the year.
They also take care of the management of the college and its administration, right from sweeping floor to acting as principal and conducting examinations. And if that wasn't enough, every year each students voluntarily plants tree and have kept the entire region green.
On the banks of the Upper Bari Doab (UBDC) canal in Tugalwal village in the district, the girls college not only impart the best education but also provide moral and ethical values along with discipline, social and religious values.
The college was started with a 14 girl students in 1974 on a 15 acre land. Now there are 4000 students to take care of.
Only five teachers have been recruited in the college for difference subjects and each teacher gives lecture to a group of students, who further in turn give lectures to their fellow students.
Fulfilling their principle aim of "each one teach one", the bright students teach junior students. The practice is so perfect that the educational institution never felt the need of more teachers.
The college has only two clerks to look after the college accounts and students have been imparted training to everything by themselves.
Principal Swaran Singh Virk, said that college charges "real expenditure" incurred on the students. For the college students, the charges are Rs.800 annually for day scholars and Rs.5000 per year for borders.
Emphasizing on the importance of character building of the girl students, principal Virk said "we haven't made education a trade and impart basic and real education and try to make students face the grim realities of outer world" as they sweep their class rooms and make the food for the hostel inmates.
There is no discrimination on the basis caste and religion as the college celebrates festivals of all religions and students of all walk of life participate in it .
Being a Sikh populated area, the students from Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities also study here and they have liberty to perform their religious rituals in the college independently.
An eleven member students committee headed by a secretary, takes all important decisions like admissions, exams, fee structure, expenses and other day to day problems.
The members are elected by voting and other students accept them. Thus, principles of democracy is inculcated in them.
At present, where as menace of mass copying in the examinations is common, the college is free from this mal practice as its students do not believe in the malpractices during in the examinations.
They have an inbuilt system to prevent copying and the university authorities do not bother to deploy full staff for annual examinations. Only a superintendent, an invigilator and a clerk were deployed on the duty.
The staff deployed on such examinations duty are duly satisfied with behavior of the students as the students distribute the answer sheet before the commencing the examination and distribute the question papers also.The students were not allow to write a word after the finishing of time. During the examination , the doors of the examination centre remain open any body from the outside can check the centre.
During this period no one managed to get the prize of Rs. 21,000. The college has its own solar system, dairy farm and gobar gas plant where the students work themselves . The people popularly call the college as Shanti Niketan in Punjab.

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