HEAL aims to provide nothing but the best for its Paradise Village students Dance teacher Nani leads a class at Paradise School IT’S not only the building work that is progressing quickly at HEAL’s model development Paradise Village, because students at the Koneru Lalitha & Rama Krishna Rao Secondary School are benefitting from a rapidly expanding programme of academics and arts too. With another 150 or more new arrivals set to swell the ranks ahead of the start of the next academic year in June, Paradise administrators are working hard behind the scenes to offer the best possible learning environment for their pupils. The first Sanskrit class was held at Paradise recently HEAL founder Dr Satya Prasad Koneru always intended to ensure that the Paradise school experience was unlike anything else available in India with a strong emphasis on extra-curricular subjects and activities. In addition to the regular teaching staff, Paradise has brought in specialists in the fields of art, dance, science, English and mathematics, while guest volunteers bring with them a wealth of worldly experience which they are encouraged to share with the children. Artist Imran Liyakath Alikhan holds a workshop for HEAL Paradise students The students not only benefit from e-learning classes with highly experienced tutors from as far away as England and USA, but enjoy workshops with the likes of top-class dance teacher Nani Vellivalla and artist and sculptor Imran Liyakath Alikhan. And there are plans to give more time to both singing and music lessons, while strengthening the existing language and science departments and introducing vocational skills training and other valuable extra-curricular activities. A new librarian has been appointed recently at Paradise School “Imran has a Masters in Fine Arts and learned his craft at one of the world’s most renowned art schools, while Nani has a very interesting background in dance, holding regular classes for impoverished teenage orphans at his own private dance studio when not helping out here at Paradise,” said HEAL communications officer Jem King. “Nani has become something of a regular fixture at Paradise Village, helping the boys and girls prepare for special performances to entertain guests and visitors, as well as the many festivals celebrated here. “Imran was introduced to us by one of our long-term supporters Anita Rao, herself a talented artist who has painted a colourful map of the world on one of the corridor walls inside the secondary school building. Volunteers are encouraged to share their experiences in the classroom “Anita has been asked to take charge of the arts and crafts department and she conducted a workshop with Imran recently in which the children were introduced to collage and clay modelling. Several of our teachers were also inspired by what they saw and will hopefully introduce more art lessons into their classrooms. “Music lessons are gradually being introduced and the opening of the new Paradise skills development centre will allow children to have further opportunities to sample subjects such as cookery, computers and tailoring. “We have recently added a vastly experienced new biology teacher to the staff and will be developing the sciences, while some of our students recently took part in the first Sanskrit lesson held at Paradise school and a new librarian has been appointed. Anita Rao, who has been given charge of the Paradise Village arts & crafts department “Add all that to the fact that funding is already in place for new state-of-the-art sports facilities as part of the Phase Two development and this truly has the makings of a centre of educational excellence.” A major priority for the Paradise administrators is to obtain funding for new staff quarters behind the Hans Foundation Boys Dormitory. “Teachers have been pressed into sharing accommodation with the children in the boys dorm until now, but to attract exceptional teaching staff we need exceptional facilities for them to live in,” said Jem. “We hope at least one generous donor will come forward to offer funding for the staff quarters which will be key to the continued growth and progress of Paradise Village.” To find out more about donating to HEAL, please visit our Get in Touch page on the website.