Dr. Neeta Bali, Principal, GD Goenka World School, Sohna Road,  speaks to Careers360 on the school’s efforts to make students study with ease and ingrain a global outlook… 

Q. How can school education be made more interactive?

A. School education has undergone a paradigm shift. It is learner-centric compared to teacher-centric education of earlier years, Rather than relying on chalk and talk method, teachers are using various aids, including technology  and methods including interactive brainstorming  which is typically performed in group sessions -- think, pair, and share methods ; Establishing  a problem or a question, pairing  students. and buzz sessions.  

Ingraining international mindedness

Q. How does your school deal with slow learners and low scores?

A. We have an intensive remediation programme for academically weak, SEN or special education needs cell as well as a strong counselling programme. IIPs or individualised instructional plans assist such students to cope better with their studies.

Q. Choice of subjects define the students’ further studies. How does your school guide them?  

A. A career advisory service , with a trained counselor as well as API- aptitude, personality and interest - tests, help our students choose subjects carefully. Additionally, subject and curriculum orientations help students.

Q. How does your school use technology to impart education? What are the ill effects?

A. As an international school head, I constantly encourage use of technology but under controlled conditions. Firewalls prevent misuse and careful monitoring by staff helps prevent misuse. We follow the BYOD -Bring your own device as students doing the IBO accredited programmes need to research intensively. However, the effort is to minimize misuse and empower students to use technology carefully.

Q. Student security is of huge concern these days. How does your school ensure student safety?

A. G D Goenka World School, an international boarding – come – day boarding school places a very high premium on the safety of all students. Utmost care is taken to ensure a safe environment is provided. The main Gate is manned by female and male security guards. No parent or visitor can enter the school without Escort/ID card. All visitors are provided a  pass for entry. Entry of parents and visitors in school premises is  registered and frisking is done of all visitors, staff members and parents before being allowed in.  

Q. Any efforts on your part to reduce exam stress?

A. Yes, frequent counselling sessions for students with anxiety and workshops for parents and students.

Q. Do you give much emphasis teachers training, and how?

A. Trainings are ongoing and part of the system. The staff attend IBO and Cambridge accredited training apart from in house training

Q. What are your thoughts on the no detention policy? 

A. We believe in discipline with dignity and prefer not to detain students . First recourse is counselling and explaining a discipline policy.

Q. How do you foster curiosity and critical thinking in a child?

A. We encourage students to ask questions; find solutions; experience and reflect. Rote learning is discouraged.

Q. Do you help out students who takes part in extracurricular activities regularly?  

A. We provide additional classes and support students - during slots created.

Q. Students appear overburdened in terms of curriculum. How can we ease this burden?

A. Fortunately, in international curricula, learning is cumulative and ongoing due to internal assessment component and assessment does not rely solely on exams and this mitigates stress.

Q. Any unique features of your school you would like to discuss…

A. IM - International mindedness, which is deeply ingrained in all our activities.

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