Below is a brief summary about how the Sri Prahlada Gurukula is set up, what we do, and what are the requirements for families to join our school community. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!
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Krishna Valley was estabilished in 1993. Besides the construction and organization of the village and the community, children’s education had to begin as well. At that time, there were only a few children. They were homeschooled, and devotee teachers helped them to prepare for their exams at the local elementary school. They did not have a designated school area, so they used whatever space they could find. As you can see in the picture, the children are sitting in a half-finished warehouse. It was a great relief when the first school building was built in 2002.
In 2009, when the Sri Prahláda Primary School became a state-recognized and accredited institution, children were able to study according to the Hungarian national core curriculum without having to take exams in any other schools.
Shortly after that success, the kindergarten was accredited.
There were more additional children who came to live in Krishan Valley, so we needed a second school building. It was built according to Hungarian eco standards, and the institution won the title of Eco-school.
However, the most meaningful milestone in our history is that the Hungarian Ministry of Education accepted and accredited our alternative curriculum, in which we are now allowed to differ by 30% from the National core curriculum and teach Vedic subjects.
Also, in 2022, our Gurukula became an accredited high school. Thanks to our excellent and talented students who are outstanding in music, bhajans, and Odissi dance, our school was awarded the title of Krisna-Valley Talent point.
Currently, education takes place in four buildings. There is a kindergarten and three school buildings. We can arrange classes separately for boys and girls as much as possible.
Our experience has been very good with this arrangement. Boys are free to express themselves according to their nature in their building, and girls can create their girly space with curtains, carpets, colorful flower stickers, and other cute things without having to deal with the boys’ resistance.
The institution is headed by the school principal and two department heads (school, kindergarten), whose work is supported by the school secretary.
There are 14 teachers, 3 lecturers, 3 special education teachers and 3 cleaning and maintenance personnel.
The Gurukula is one of the largest and most dinamic departments in Krisna Valley, including all the staff members, children, and parents.
All our educators are already qualified and certified teachers. However, eight teachers are currently enrolled in further studies, so we have teachers of all kinds of specialties.
Based on our alternative curriculum, teachers work together in study groups according to their expertise, and make sure that the education our students receive is always up to date and best suited for their abilities and talents.
The teacher board built a strong team and deep friendships. The leaders of the Gurukula strive to strengthen this bond.
They regularly find ways to listen to everyone’s experiences, opinions, and ideas. They organize teacher service-days in the pujari room regularly, and chant, hike, and laugh together on the week-long team-building retreats in the beautiful western hills of Hungary every year.
Our alternative curriculum: Consists of three main parts: character development, practical activity/varna training, and subject groups.
With character development, our main goals are to develop positive character traits that serve to build both the individual and the community, to learn the rules and practices of the culture, and to develop the value system through which we understand who we are – either as individuals or as members of a community.
Through the subject groups, students learn about the world and understand how it works and what our place is in it. The subjects are organized into subject groups:
Hungarian grammar and literature
Foreign language 1. live
Foreign language 2.
Science of creation (bhautika-vijnana)
Visual arts and culture
Drama and theater
Technology and design
Church song (bhajan)
Vaishnava Liturgy (Svadhyaya)
Vedic verses (sloka)
Students can choose in grades 9th to 12th:
Vedic Fire Ceremony (Yajnya)
Vedic prayers (mantra)
Social science (varnásrama dharma)
And finally, Varna education or practical activities arising from the knowledge and human nature will be the area where students engage themselves in various occupations – in other words: where knowledge meets practical application.
These three main areas help students learn how to live and cooperate in the community, and in the world.
During varna education, students get to know most of the departments and service areas of Krishna Valley. Boys likely choose forestry, organic gardens, and goshala (cow protection center) as their big favorites. Girls love the pujari room, shop, and the gurukula. However, once, we had to take the girls blacksmithing because they were upset that the event was organized for boys only. 🙂
From the age of 10, they receive theoretical and practical education about the given place, and from the age of 12, they can choose which activity they want to try out for a period of time. Varna education is an ample opportunity for them to try their aptitude and themselves from a young age in different activities that suit their nature and sparks their interest. This experience also helps them choose a career later on.
Besides all the curricular training, we strive to ensure our students’ spiritual practices. Children can participate in the morning programs from 6:30 am during the week, starting with mangala arati once a week.
Each gurukula building has an altar which are decorated by designated students every morning. Classes start after the morning kirtan and prayers. Once a week, we all gather in the main building to chant japa together.
Besides the Vaishnava subjects built into their schedules (puja, sloka, Vedic literature, etc.), on project weeks, children prepare for the Vaishnava festivals, and deepen their knowledge about the scriptures. They often invite Sri Govardhan Lal for their mini-festivals at the Gurukula.
They are also excited to join the Srila Prabhupada Marathon before Christmas.
Our methods and tools vary. We use state, alternative, and our own textbooks for teaching. The development of children with special needs is carried out by special education teachers.
We try to use different methods during classes, such as project methods and drama pedagogy, and one of the kids’ favorites is the Adventure day.
In the summer, the boys learn about survival in the Dróna camp, and the girls learn about the duties of a virtuous wife in the Draupadi camp.
The community of our children is very enlivening. The operation of the student government promotes the community building and self-organization of children.
We also participate in international projects through the Erasmus+ grants and youth meetings, where they get to meet other young devotees from all over Europe.
In the Yugala-Sangam program, parents organize various spiritual activities and services for boys.
During the Covid lockdown, we also had to find a way to reach our students. Thanks to that situation, even today, our students and parents can access daily class materials, homework, and important information regarding school programs and events on Gurukula’s website. We also started our quarterly Gurukula Chronicle, a magazine for the whole community where we share news, articles, and artwork of our most talented students.
Our Gurukula has its own set of rules. The policy sets out the standards we expect from children and families. We only accept children from practicing Krishna-conscious families. Currently, in addition to Hungarian children, there are also students with foreign mother tongues. We teach them the Hungarian language, as the education is conducted in Hungarian.
We are very proud of our education system. As far as we know, in ISKCON, families who believe in Krishna have the opportunity, unique in Hungary, to have their children educated in the church’s institutions from kindergarten to doctorate.
The Council of Krishna Valley would like to help and support devotees who decide to move to Somogyvámos with these steps to follow for the smoothest transitioning.
Maybe you would like to live in a community of devotees, or you would like to work with devotees, or your child/children would need a devotee education, etc.
Some houses are heated by wood burners, and the village can be very quiet. Familiarize yourselves with our community customs and practices, and the rules of kindergarten and school.
We strongly recommend that those who would like to settle in Somogyvámos get some experience and a feel for Krishna Valley’s weekdays (especially in wintertime) at least for a week or two.
We cannot offer residency in Krishna-valley guesthouses, and we do not recommend such a place as a living environment for more than two weeks. It is best to pre-arrange a rental, or purchase a home.
Krishna Valley tries to help as many devotees as possible by providing job opportunities (salary, insurance, etc.), however, our possibilities are finite.
Devotees moving here need a recommendation letter regarding their spiritual standards, service attitude, ashram, cooperating abilities with their leaders and other devotees.
Once you have decided to move, please describe your aims, spiritual standards, economic situation, and other needs (place of future residence, workplace, educational requirements, etc.) in detail.
The appointed devotee will examine your situation and help with the process of integration.
If you would like to enroll your child/children in Krishna Valley’s kindergarten or school, we have to determine how it is possible. (if the school can accommodate other students, number of teachers and classes, language requirements, etc.)
Classes are taught in Hungarian. If your children do not speak Hungarian, we provide two Hungarian language classes per day during the first year.
If all the above points are checked, the appointed devotee will denote this to the Council of Krishna Valley. The Council is going to discuss and decide on the application.
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA
KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
All media that are depicting students and artwork of the Gurukula’s students are the property of Srí Prahláda Gurukula. Please do not share, download or distribute.