Careers360 interviews Dr. Anuradha Joshi, Principal of Delhi’s Sardar Patel Vidyalaya (SPV), who speaks on India’s school education system and explains about true spirit of education. In this interview, Dr. Anuradha also talks about failing of India’s education system.

Read the full interview to know what the Sardar Patel Vidyalaya Delhi Principal shares on the effect of over-competitive environment in the Indian education system.

Read below excerpts of interview.

Careers360: To begin with, how should an ideal school operate?
Dr. Anuradha: When a school has an ecosystem where everybody has voice then it becomes a wonderful place for learning. Assessing a student is such a judgmental thing. I would rather provide a platform for introspection, if you can sit and have a feedback loop both individually and collectively. The society improves only if there is self-critique and analysis. Collective viewpoints help a school take a better decision. I expect teachers to feel every child as their own child – in that case you want the best for your own child. When you become a lifelong learner you will walk the talk.

Careers360: Why is India’s school education system failing?
Dr. Anuradha
: The country needs to address teachers’ education seriously. We need people who are genuinely interested in teaching. I am against importing a foreign model to India. We need to design a system that works for us. There should be a continuous loop – if CBSE gives constant feedback to drive NCERT to improve the teacher-training continuously, the system will work efficiently. There should be a detailed analysis of what works and what doesn’t.

Careers360: Is an over-competitive environment killing the true spirit of education?
Dr. Anuradha: Absolutely. I feel the only competition you must have is with yourself. For example, even in a 100-meters race, we establish benchmarks, for a 11-year-old it could be X seconds and Y seconds for a 13-year-old. We applaud all those who achieve that benchmark. The happiest moment would be if the entire class reaches the benchmark.

The necessity of achieving 100 percent score is to give an ego boost for parents. Your child’s victory cannot be another child’s defeat. Parents need to learn that children cannot be given pre-decided checklists. Children are rivers of life which will find their course and path. If we can learn that then we can come so much further as a mature and civilized human being.

Careers360: You received President’s Award on Teacher’s Day. What made SPV earn it?
Dr. Anuradha: I can naturally be me. Anything which is natural always wins the course. When you can give space to yourself of being you then one can experiment with learning. Our school teaching believes in good communication. Unless your language is under your grip, how will you talk to a child? I think SPV was recognized for the creativity and humane qualities of the school. There is space for everyone in terms of caste, class and creed. This school is “of the children” and “by the children”. We have very strong Gandhian, Tagore and Patel leanings – all three fought for equity and equality.

Real education can never happen in formal background. In other words, education can happen in formal setting, but learning happens when it is informal.  Learning must become part of your life. I can learn from anyone and everyone. And by doing that any learner dignifies to be a better human being.

Stay tuned to for more updates on India’s top schools

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