Although Goa is considered to be a highly literate state, it unfortunately could not attain the same levels of educational supremacy as those in neighbouring states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. After high school, students had to travel to the other states to pursue higher education. Mr. Vyankatesh Prabhudesai identified this flaw in the education system and decided to do something about it and a new revolution in education system was born in Goa. Here in this article, I am going to take you through the real-life story of our trendsetter who did not leave any stone unturned to bring out some highly talented minds win the battle in Engineering and Medical exams in the country.
Anything that becomes big has to start small and that is the mantra of success. Without struggle, there is no success and unless you travel the difficult path you cannot reach the destination. The hero of this story is a scientist who left his highly paid jobs at NAT-NIO and CSIR and came down to the land of Parashuram to impart his knowledge to deserving students who were waiting for this Guru.
“I always wanted to come down to my motherland and serve myself in the sector of education and then promoted me to start the Aryan Study Circle in a form of coaching classes in the year 2004,” said Mr. Vyankatesh who came down to Goa from Germany where he spent 3 years working as a scientist. “NIO was just one year; my parent lab was NAL (National Aeronautical Laboratory Bangalore) which is the best lab under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. They have around 45+ plus labs in different fields, and NAL is one of the research labs in Aerospace engineering as NIO is in Oceanography. Dr. Mashelkar was the Director-General of all this.”
As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Prabhudesai started the Aryan Study Circle, to train the students for the All-India Engineering and Medical Entrance Exams, “I saw that there was not a single student who got into the IIT and that is what prompted me to take up this challenge. Initially, it was a very tough challenge as I had the responsibility of training the students who were attending the school in the morning and they had to come for the coaching classes for the IIT and other Medical Exams in the evening,” he added.
There is a common belief that the journey of Aryan began with Mushtifund Saunstha but that is a half-truth, according to Mr. Prabhudesai as Mushtifund Sanstha came into the picture much later. “I realized that students have to attend school and majority chunk of their time was spent in school, and after that they would come to me for the coaching classes from 3 pm to 8 pm and by the time they reached home it would be 9 pm and this would be a huge burden on the children as it would drain them drastically,” said Mr. Prahudesai. This would also lead to conflicts amongst the students as school would only prepare them for clearing the board exams and this where the role of Aryan Coaching came into the picture. “We do coaching based on understanding things in-depth. So, we realized over a period of time that if we start a school and integrate the coaching part with the school curriculum it will help the students train under one roof and from there our tie-up with Mushtifund Sanstha began.”
Our education system does not recognise individual private coaching and Mr. Vyankatesh Prabhudesai started privately but later decided to merge with the established education society based in the capital city, Mushtifund Sanstha, and formed a separate institute called “Mushtifund Aryan Higher Secondary.” “The merger helped us get a fully-fledged lab to conduct experiments for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Maths which is required for IIT entry and all the other Entrance Exams would be done by me,” said Mr. Prabhudesai.
If you look back into the history and mythology you will see that many Guru have left their highly privileged posts to become teachers to bring out some of the most talented minds into the light and modern-day Guru Mr. Vyankatesh Prabhudesai is no different. After completing his secondary education in a Marathi Medium, Mr. Prabhudesai joined Dempo College for further studies.
“I am a Goan, and I did my studies completely in Marathi medium till the 10th Grade and started learning English only in 11th Grade when I joined Dempo Higher Secondary. The Migration from Marathi to English was not a problem but the issue was at that time there were no tuitions or coaching to get into IIT and whatever was available was barely enough to get through,” he said adding that he had to make use of the Dempo Library and studied on his own. “What helped me was my proficiency in Maths, Physics, and Chemistry which does not require English proficiency to a great extent.”
But this does not mean that things went easy for him. According to Mr. Prabhudesai, he had to face lots of hardships and struggles to prepare for the JEE entrance exams, especially when you come from a Marathi medium and despite all the hurdles he managed to secure 605th ranking in IIT-JEE and joined IIT in Mumbai. “That was the time when I decided that I will come back to Goa and start my journey in the education sector so that other students would not have to face the struggle that I had faced and they would not have to leave Goa to join other institutions elsewhere” said Mr. Prabhudesai.
His dream is to bring Goa to the top for Technical Education in the country. “I want our students to compete with the best in the country and we have yet to reach that level. In terms of scientific output and educating those types of students, we were indeed struggling for a while. As of now, I can proudly say that I have put Goa on the educational map of India,” he averred. When I spoke to him about the awards he received Mr. Prabhudesai said that no award is worthier than the smile on the face of his students. “I never had the intention of receiving awards in mind when I started this. All I knew is that I wanted to come to Goa and create awareness in this educational sector amongst Goans, give them the confidence that they can beat anybody, and I managed to do that and that is my biggest award,” he said. Mr. Prabhudesai never regretted leaving his highly paid job and coming down to Goa to teach the deserving students. “Teaching was never challenging for me and I had been doing this right from the time I was in a hostel, I remember offering the free coaching to the fellow students in the return of room for the study,” he said.
Just like many intellectuals Mr. Prabhudesai also enjoys a couple of hobbies that he spends his time with when he is not teaching. “When I am not teaching, I love to do some gardening with my wife. We both share this absolute love for gardening as we have a dedicated space for the same at our house. We have never employed anyone to do this as both of us do it ourselves,” he said adding that for him gardening is a recreation and it gives him immense pleasure.
According to Mr. Prabhudesai, everyone should enjoy what they do. “This is something I tell my students on a daily basis: if they do not enjoy what they’re doing, they should not come here and it’s as simple as that. But on the contrary I see them enjoy themselves immensely. The idea is that we are enjoying our job, the students, in turn, are enjoying their studies and in the end, the results are for the people to see. There’s a message that I want to give the parents and students is that that they should only encourage engineering or medical seats but expand in to other professions. . You have to find out your interests and passion and then only make the right call to choose such professional decisions. If there are genuine interests, only then will there be genuine results.” With these words he concluded.