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Ekya / May 18, 2018 Posted by : administrator

When we first got in touch with Devaamsh Rajesh, he had just arrived back home after a game of basketball and a long day at college. With his Grade 11 classes already up and running, Devaamsh graciously took time to answer our questions, some of which he had been constantly answering over the past week.

Securing 97.2% in the Grade X ICSE Boards, Devaamsh is not just our school topper at Ekya School JP Nagar but also one of the city’s leading board toppers.

“I was in class when our results came out. My friends and I had a countdown going, by the minute. And when the news broke out at 3 PM, I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears. My parents messaged me and for a brief moment, I didn’t know how to react. I excused myself from class and screamed in the washroom. It was a sheer delight, more importantly, a sense of relief from all that tension.”

Devaamsh(left) secured 583 out of 600 with a centum score in Mathematics

With congratulatory messages and wishes still trickling in, we got a chance to hear from the boy himself, prodding him to share his secret recipe of topping the ICSE boards. We asked him the one question everyone had in mind – How did he pull this off?

In his humble demeanor, Devaamsh credited the learning-over-marks approach he employed at school.

“I never studied for marks. I never regarded school as a place to get marks, but a place to learn. I made sure I paid attention to what was being taught in class. At home, I would then revise topics that I had difficulty understanding from the day’s lesson. That was my day-to-day routine during school.”

Having joined Ekya in Grade 6, Devaamsh didn’t always have it easy with marks or class.

“I remember setting a goal for myself during the final Grade 9 examinations, of which I came short. I didn’t have the best start to my 10th Grade either. I wasn’t doing great in my unit tests and I had to buck up for my pre-boards.”

With a history of mischievous run-ins with a couple of his teachers, Devaamsh reveals how he turned things around.

“I set a percentage in my head, for the pre-boards. I was aiming for 95%. I sat down with my teachers to discuss where I was losing marks. I think this helped me identify areas that needed improvement. My preparation for both my pre-board examinations helped me cut down study time for my finals, substantially. I made use of this study break to revise what I knew and grasp topics that I wasn’t confident about.”

I was not looking to top my class. I set a target for myself and I just wanted to beat my previous score.

Admitting that he didn’t have a fixed study schedule, Devaamsh highlighted the importance of asking questions in class.

“We had a set of encouraging teachers who were always open to all our questions. I think I made the best use of this, asking them every doubt that occurred to me, however silly or stupid it may have seemed. Especially in Ms. Aarti’s Geography class or Ms. Asha’s English class, I’d actively participate in open discussions about the topic of the day. It helped me in my understanding and reduced my need to study it over and over again.”

When it comes to final exams, there is always that one subject that students dread. With Devaamsh, it was Hindi.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried. I wasn’t very proficient in Hindi and as a second language, I found it a little difficult to follow. Here is where my teachers and friends stepped in. I spoke to students who were scoring well in the subject, to figure what more I could do to improve. I guess I have surprised myself by scoring well in the finals.”

Devaamsh was in a number of the city’s newspapers

Securing 97.2% in the ICSE Board is no ordinary feat, so we coaxed Devaamsh to share with us his schedule during the month of his examination and how he dealt with stress.

“Once the Boards began, I was solely focussed on performing well and getting marks. The exam would begin at 11 and finish by early afternoon, so I would be home by 2:30 PM. A quick snack or lunch break would be followed by a study session. For the next subject, I’d break my schedule over topics that I wanted to revise. I didn’t do lessons at a stretch because I was fairly confident of what I knew.

Since I cannot do long hours of studying, I spent 45 minutes to an hour with my books. I would pick up a novel or my guitar or practice my singing, to ease my mind from all the studying. I had secured my admission into a college at this point, so I wasn’t very worried. I just didn’t want to let myself down. I didn’t want to cut any corners. It feels great that I have made myself proud, and my parents proud.”

Tucking in 10 to 15-minute breaks in between, Devaamsh’s mental release also came from regular games of basketball. A regular at the Harmony School of Music for over five years, Devaamsh was also an established player in the Ekya JP Nagar’s basketball team, also representing the school in debates and other interschool competitions.

“I think extracurricular activities play a big role in your mental state. When I was preparing for my Hindi exam, I found myself getting very saturated. Basketball helped me here. In between play, I would think about what I wasn’t doing right with the subject, a perspective I would have missed while sitting and studying. I would have this rectified as soon as I got home.”

On being asked if being at Ekya helped him with being one of the toppers of the city, Devaamsh spoke highly of his teachers, his classmates and all the support he has received over the years.

Ekya gave us an environment for open conversations – our teachers were always listening to us and answering our doubts, creating a space where we could focus on what was being taught, airing questions without the fear of being judged.  I received so much support from the vice-principal, my teachers and my house mistress, who was encouraging during my time as the House Captain. My classmates, we were one big gang of friends with absolutely no room for judgment.

Does our topper have any regrets? We prodded him to which he confessed,

“I guess I should have troubled my teachers a little lesser than what I did. That and a few more marks in English.”

Currently in Grade 11, pursuing the PCMB steam in Science, Devaamsh is an IISC aspirant, looking to apply for the KVPY Scholarship programme. With an eye on research, he hasn’t really decided which side of the field he will find himself in the future.

“One thing is constant – my love for Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. The study of genetics and radiology are two fields I might consider. Science has always fascinated me and I will continue pursuing it.”

With the latest fanfare from his performance, we wanted to know if Devaamsh was overwhelmed with the media coverage and if he had any treats due for his friends and family.

“My friends from my apartment have gotten theirs. A few more treats are pending. I was pretty happy and euphoric. I have seen my face in the papers a couple of times, as part of our troupe from music school but no-one has interviewed me before. This is definitely a first.”

And certainly not the last, we hope, for this young achiever of ours! Here is what Ms. Ayesha Sirajuddin, Vice-Principal at Ekya JP Nagar and a couple of Devaamsh’s teachers had to say about him.

We asked Devaamsh to list down his advice for his juniors and students who are looking to excel in their boards next March. Here are his eight commandments:

  1. Always ask questions, be free to share – don’t be afraid to be judged, you’re still going to learn from it.
  2. Always compete with yourself. Set personal benchmarks and believe that you are going to reach your goals.
  3. Make running notes in class. Concise everything you have understood and ask doubts if you haven’t.
  4. You have to know the ins and outs of your textbook. Cover every corner. Don’t skip topics. Understand them.
  5. Nail your revision schedule. Spend your study holidays studying and grasping. Save practicing question papers to only after you are done studying.
  6. Ask teachers for help. They have so much experience and can tell you what to expect in the exam and how you can answer better.
  7. Different things work for different people. Don’t set anything too high that you know you cannot achieve. Don’t aim too low. Don’t over-do. Just do your best.
  8. Don’t forget to have fun. It is an important part of the process.


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Ekya / April 03, 2024

The Power of Learning with Intent: A Guide to Purposeful Education

In a world brimming with information, the art of learning has evolved beyond the mere acquisition of facts. Learning with intent, a deliberate approach to education emphasises quality over quantity, depth over breadth, and purpose over passive absorption. It’s about cultivating a mindset that transforms knowledge into meaningful action and empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of the modern age effectively.

At its core, learning with intent involves setting clear objectives and actively engaging with the subject matter. Whether exploring a new language, delving into scientific principles, or honing a creative skill, intentionality infuses each learning endeavour with purpose and direction. As Albert Einstein aptly said, "The only source of knowledge is experience." This quote amplifies the importance of active participation and hands-on learning, highlighting that true understanding arises from deliberate engagement with the material.

Furthermore, engaging actively with the material is paramount. Embrace challenges and embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth. This proactive approach not only deepens your understanding but also cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential for success in any field.

Moreover, learning with intent emphasises relevance and applicability. Seek out opportunities to apply newfound knowledge in real-world scenarios, bridging the gap between theory and practice. By contextualising learning within your personal or professional sphere, you enhance its significance and utility, making it more likely to stick.

In conclusion, learning with intent is a transformative approach that transcends traditional notions of education. By setting clear objectives, engaging actively, prioritising relevance, and fostering a growth mindset, individuals can harness the full potential of learning to achieve their goals and thrive in an ever-changing world. So, embark on your learning journey with purpose, and let each lesson propel you towards a brighter, more fulfilling future.

By Sweta Pradeep Rao

Senior English Educator

Ekya School JP Nagar

Ekya / April 02, 2024

Gadget-free Summer Break

With summer vacation around, I urge parents to explore various ways to facilitate children to make healthy choices during their vacation time.

Last week, when we asked our Early Years to visualise their characters and create a story, most of them came up with stories about ghosts and monsters attacking others.  When we had conversations about what gave them this idea, we understood that these story ideas emanated from their online games. While gaming per se develops specific skills and requires focus, it also stifles the imagination of young children. Since it is visually appealing, children tend to remember those images in their heads all the time.

I often see parents providing very young children (1 year to 3 year olds)  with gadgets as the means to keep children engaged and entertained. I see children watching phones in the waiting areas of clinics, hospitals, school lobbies and banks.

This brings us to a fundamental question “ Should children be engaged by parents all the time?” Not necessarily. What is likely to happen if children were not handed over gadgets at the waiting lounges? What would they do? Some of them may cry, some may throw a loud tantrum, and some may crib. If parents show resilience and allow children to settle down themselves, they will soon find ways to keep themselves engaged. Likewise, during summer vacation. What if this is a “no gadget” vacation and parents do not take up the responsibility to engage their children? What would children do? How can parents show resilience here and facilitate children to make healthy choices? I leave the readers with this thought for this summer vacation.

Mathangi R,

Head of School,

Ekya NICE Road.

Ekya / April 02, 2024

The Eye of the Storm

In the hushed embrace of an Indian evening, our journey began, a symphony of anticipation orchestrated by the hum of jet engines and the flutter of boarding passes. The promise of adventure beckoned from distant shores as we boarded our flight bound for the United Kingdom, our hearts aflutter with dreams of far-off lands and newfound horizons. But as we soared through the velvet sky, a foreboding shadow loomed on the horizon, a harbinger of the chaos that was soon to unfold. In the blink of an eye, the tranquil serenity of our airborne sanctuary was shattered by a deafening crack, a burst of purple lightning that danced across the heavens with an otherworldly fervour. The air crackled with electricity as the plane shuddered beneath the force of the storm, its metal frame quivering in defiance against the tempestuous onslaught. And then, in a heart-stopping moment of sheer terror, the heavens unleashed their fury upon us, casting our fragile vessel into a maelstrom of chaos and uncertainty. The sky darkened to a shade of ominous charcoal as the winds howled with a primal ferocity, tearing at the wings of our faltering craft with savage intent. The cabin was awash with panicked cries and frantic prayers as we clung to our seats with white-knuckled desperation, each passing moment stretching into eternity.

And then, as if mocking our feeble attempts at control, the plane tilted almost 180 degrees, its nose plummeting towards the earth with a sickening lurch. Time seemed to stand still as we hurtled towards the ground, our fate hanging in the balance as the world spun wildly out of control. But just when all hope seemed lost, a glimmer of salvation emerged from the chaos, a beacon of light amidst the encroaching darkness. With a mighty roar, the engines surged to life once more, their thunderous symphony drowning out the cacophony of the storm as we clawed our way back from the brink of oblivion. As the storm clouds parted and the sun cast its golden rays upon the horizon, we emerged battered but unbroken, our spirits buoyed by the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. And though our journey had been fraught with peril and uncertainty, we emerged from the crucible of the skies stronger and more resilient than ever before. For in the crucible of adversity, we discovered the true measure of our strength, our courage, and our unwavering determination to defy the odds and chart our course through the tempestuous seas of life. As we touched down on solid ground once more, I couldn't help but marvel at the beauty of the world around us, a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human soul.

Arjun Narasimhan Kuppuswamy

Grade 8C

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Work Exposure Programme at Ekya Schools – Udhyam Learning Foundation

Summer internships are a great way for our senior students to step out of their comfort zones and expose themselves to the industry of their interest. With the Work Exposure Programme (WEP), children from Grade X to Grade XII of Ekya Schools and sister institutions, CMR National Public School and CMR National PU College got this opportunity this summer break. Here is Ms. Malayeeka Kulsum sharing her account from her time with Udhyam Learning Foundation: How did you find the application process at the start? Why did you pick Udhyam? I remember being nervous during the process. I had applied to Udhyam Learning Foundation and FonePaisa. I was really looking forward to the internship programme because as the name suggests, I was seeking exposure in a professional setting, to get some work experience during the summer – an experience that would help me in my future in terms of decision-making and problem-solving. Since I am a Biology student, I opted for organizations whose internship did not revolve around coding. My interest peaked when I found Udhyam on the list of organizations to apply for, as it was based on teaching and learning, an opportunity to hone my teaching skills and to help impact people’s lives. It was a humbling experience, as I got to learn so much on the job, aside from understanding what it takes to be human. I was interning for the Udhyam Shiksha Program, which is an entrepreneurship program that teaches children from private schools to do business. Children are exposed to real business scenarios, based on their interests and strengths and are guided on how to run it over three to five weeks of the program. Give us a brief of your time at Udhyam? How did your internship programme unfold across the month? I was assisting the facilitators at their summer program that was being organized across 40 schools in Bangalore. The first week was uneventful as our field work was scheduled to start with the program. We used this time to do our homework and understand the program’s objective, how it works and how it is implemented. We were introduced to the definition of learners-context, after which we were asked to submit our understandings and observations. In our second week, we got to visit a school in Neelasandra. I remember the commute to the place was difficult. Once there, I was happy to be greeted by a bunch of enthusiastic children. It was touching to learn about their dreams, every single one of them spoke about their family and their background. I was impressed by their interest and energy put towards running their business, with so many ideas and suggestions shared with us. Interning with Udhyam gave me the opportunity to visit different schools. I began to realize that situations make people. Having met so many children over the week, I realized that they came from unfortunate backgrounds, not because of their parents, but because a situation got them here. I was glad that they were coming to school, taking their opportunity to get educated seriously. I got to interact with children from the program, understanding their dreams, fears, aspirations and the backgrounds they came from. Seeing them take an active interest in learning about how businesses run was inspiring and left a mark on how I look at the world. What did you learn from your internship experience? Tell us what was your key learning? I have so many to list! The internship taught me to respect every occupation even if it is a job of selling vegetables. After interviewing the children I met, I realized that you cannot run away from your problems, a better alternative is to take those head first and face them. I understood that problems are long-lasting if you avoid facing them. ‘Don't let a bad day make a bad life’, someone once said and I now truly agree with them. With this, I also got to learn how to work in a company, how to talk to strangers, and break out of our comfort zone and do something new.  I got to meet and bond with some really inspiring individuals, which I don’t get to, on a daily basis. The kids and their circumstances made me realize the importance of not giving up. People are going to put you down, by discouraging you and passing comments. It is important to not get affected by these and keep our hope up, to do something even if there seems to be no way. Can you highlight two best points and two pain points during the internship? The best bit from the internship was the kids and the chance to work with the other Udhyam interns. I also started enjoying the travel as the weeks progressed, as I was excited to meet all the new faces at every school I visited. I wasn’t a fan of all the walking that came from interning, especially in this hot summer. Maybe that would count as a pain point? Also, some of the children were a little rude at the start, as they weren’t making any conversation and were making fun of me. Did you have someone from the foundation mentoring you? How did that work out? Do you have any memorable moment you'd like to share? I was mentored by Mr. Shubham who was kind and supportive throughout my time with Udhyam. He understood us from day one and guided us if we needed any help. I was half expecting to be holed in an office space, but interning at Udhyam Learning Foundation was a different experience, that I will cherish. There was a kid from the RT Nagar batch, named Yakoob. He was very protective of all us interns. He took great care of us and even dropped us to the bus stop, not leaving the place until we got into one. It was such a kind and warm gesture from someone we had just met.

Read more stories from our Work Exposure Programme

Ekya Summer Stories – Purvi’s Poetry

Ms. Purvi from Ekya School ITPL wrote to us, as part of our summer stories submission, telling us that she hadn't been to any place in particular but she spent her summer writing poetry which she wishes to share with us. Here are some of her endearing collection of poems:


Stars are tiny and shiny Stars always twinkle They are in different shapes and they look so different like us Stars form up to different constellations Sun is also a star


Flowers flowers are everywhere They bloom like beauty They never lose their brightness Flowers make the environment beautiful All beautiful flowers are around us like lotus, rose, marigold and tulips

We will be good

We will be good all the time Because we are quite And we listen to the teacher And we never break the rules And we be kind to others And we share everything to others And we don’t hurt anyone And we finish our work very fast and neat And we should help everybody around Us and we should listen to everybody

You should try

You should try for everything you do And you don’t fail And don’t forget one thing you should try and try and try And try your best to win a race or competition And don’t be sad when you don’t win Try your best next time to win And don’t forget another thing Don’t think you cannot do it You should try and try and try and try and try


Rain come, come, come You are the best creature of the earth You make that you make this you it beautiful Everyone likes your skill and smell Plants like your water, birds dance, Humans dance First make it wet then muddy Then waterfall You are one of the best waterfalls Rain, rain come come
Want to read more of our summer stories?  Here is Urja’s account on the digital detox camp she attended in the month of April. Ridha and Varnit narrate their trip to Srilanka with their mothers and friends. Ayush Murthy speaks about his trip to Italy in April. Ahaana visited her Ajja and Ajji, Mihika missed all her teachers, Dhrithi learned to swim and Misha was in awe of Dubai. Enjoy a collection of stories from our children from their summer break.

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