In an interview with Careers360, C. Dhawan, principal, Blue Bells model School, Gurgaon talks about the quality of human resources being built in India. In the interview Dhawan also speaks about the challenges that India is currently facing in context of illiteracy. Read the complete interview with the principal of Blue Bells Model School, Gurgaon below.
Careers360: Tell us about Blue Bells Model School
Dhawan: We are pleased to introduce ourselves as a pioneer Senior Secondary School of Gurgaon committed to providing quality education with the vision of promoting value based education. Blue Bells Model School envisions towards cutting a perfect and unique balance between academics and extra-curricular activities which prepares the students to meet the challenges of the competitive world. Today, we can say with pride that Blue Bells Model School has endeavored to break the shackles of conservative and traditional methods of imparting education and has risen above petty dogmas to create a personality, which is true and total in itself.
Founded on November 10, 1980, the school has come a long way in its journey of 38 years providing meritorious service to the society in the field of Education. D.R.Memorial Bal Shiksha Vikas Society is the apex body of Blue Bells institutions. Blue Bells institutions are recognized for providing state-of-the-art amenities, which cater to the academic needs of the students and contribute in building a perfect ambience for their over-all development.
Ever since, this institution has never looked back and remains committed to maintain this pace of progress, rising higher in its service to the residents of the city of Gurgaon. The school has now completed 38 meritorious years in service of the society keeping the flame of knowledge ever ignited.
The School aims at producing global citizens and this task has been materialized by bagging British Council International Award 2014-17. The school has been re-accredited with the prestigious British Council International Award 2018-20 for the strides that it has made in enriching teaching-learning process by grooming teachers and students into global mentors and pupils, providing unique educational experience through interactions, exchange of mails, visit to embassies and video conferencing. The students are determined to carry this legacy forward by going ‘GLOCAL’ to make education an enriching learning experience.
Careers360: How is it different from other K 12 schools in India?
Dhawan: Being one of the oldest educational institutions of Gurugram, we have forged ahead making a smooth progression, keeping pace with the needs of the modern era and have proved ourselves as a strong educational system. Our student centric pedagogy and teaching methodology has taken us to newer heights at global level.
The best ambassadors and the most prominent scale of an institution’s contribution are its students. Through their remarkable achievements in multiple spheres, Blue Bellians have proven time and again that they are holistically groomed. From scholastic to co-scholastic, our students have exhibited their versatility at national as well as international levels We are very proud of how our students interact - not only with each other but also with people of all ages. Our school is a place of friendship and esteem, where students feel safe from bullying and negative peer pressure. Our learning environment is caring and enriching as are the relationships between the students themselves. We feel privileged to know each and every student and we are proud to have them as part of our school family.
Careers360: How important is technology in Education?
Dhawan: The term education contains extensive functions of the breeder and the improvement of the life of a society, especially bringing new citizens recognize the shared responsibility in society. In this process a Teacher plays an important role.
The traditional passive learning model is broken. With technology in the classroom, the teacher becomes the encourager, adviser, and coach. It helps teachers to transform content into practical approach.
In present scenario, there is no physical boundaries in learning in Digital Era as it provides Global Connectivity. The whole world of learning is readily & easily accessible so kids can learn anything, anytime and anywhere according to need. It helps students to realize the power of “Collective Intelligence” through global networks where information is collected and analysed. Participation in these network enables students to develop cross-cultural understanding while addressing global issues, synthesizing information from multiple cultures and collaborating in global teams to responsibly build on existing knowledge as well as generate new knowledge.
One major benefit of using technology is being able to meet the needs of students’ individual learning styles, particularly for those students with unique needs.
Careers360: Highlight the major challenges that India is currently facing on the path to become a complete literate economy. How can these bridges be filled?
Dhawan: Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write. It happens to be a multi-dimensional concept which keeps on adding new parameters to it with respect to the developments that are taking place in a globalised world.
The following are the challenges that India is currently facing in context of illiteracy:
Parents with little schooling
Lack of books at home and lack of stimulation as to the importance of reading
Doing badly at or dropping out of school—many have not completed high school
Difficult living conditions, including poverty
Learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, dysorthographia, etc.
Inadequate school facilities
Lack of drinking water facilities
Inefficient and unqualified teaching staff in government-run schools
Gender imbalances, income imbalances, state imbalances, caste imbalances, technological barriers which shape the literacy rates that exist in the country.
Incorrigible element of corruption with respect to the allocation of funds by the government to education. Lesser money than actual budget allocation for education is utilized for the implementation of the schemes.
Commercialization of education both at the elementary and at the higher education levels.
Efforts to improve literacy level by the government of India:
The Supreme Court in a ruling in 1993 said that children had a fundamental right to free education and thus in the year 2003 the “Right to Education” was incorporated in the Constitution under the Constitution (83rdAmendment), 2000”.
The National Literacy Mission in 1988 made literacy a community endeavor.
The Sarva Siksha Abhiyan was launched in 2001 to ensure Primary education for all children in the 6–14-years of age-group
Navodaya Vidyalayas were also introduced for enhancing Literacy in India
Planning and execution of Employment Generation Programmes and Poverty Alleviation Programmes
Fair allocation and distribution of resources for Literacy Programmes
Stringent rules to curb corruption at different levels
Eradication of illiteracy to be taken as a personal goal of every literate person.
One of the initiatives is “Teach India” as Internship programme or Holidays homework for literate ones.
“Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education” as it imparts better learning, greater involvement, lesser bunking of classes etc.
Careers360: What changes do you wish to see in our education system in near future?
Dhawan: Education builds the man so it builds the nation. Today we claim to be the biggest human resources supplier for the world, but are we concerned what quality of human capital we are building?
India aspires to be powerful, it wants to play a role in the international community, for that to happen, its economy has to grow multifold and for that to happen, it requires a huge force of entrepreneurs who could transform it into a nation which Produces, from the one which only Consumes. India needs a huge force of innovators who could make it self-reliant in all kinds of sciences and technologies. In a nutshell, India needs Henry Fords, Bill Gates, Thomas Alva Edisons and Michael Jacksons born and educated in India.
It is the education which should inspire one to become something one really wants to. Education should make us free, should make us experiment and it should make us ask questions. Ultimately, it should make us realize what we are.
We expect the revolution in Education System to bring lots of changes. These changes are:
Best talents of the country should work in the education sector.
A world class infrastructure.
Greater investments into Education: Public as well as Private.
Education which encourages innovation and creativity.
Education which encourages entrepreneurship.
No stress on Rote learning
An education should make a child sad when the last bell is rung at the end of the day in the school.
Marking System based on classroom participation, project work, communication and leadership skills and extracurricular performance along with his/her performance for the duration of three hours of the exam
Respect for all streams which exist and can make an economy diverse
Variety in education streams and combination courses in which students can opt for a major and a minor subject.
Common syllabus across India
Balance in Demand and Supply of human resource in various fields based on the planning about the requirement of skills in the near future
Moral Education as an integral part of syllabi in schools to remind ourselves that rights are the rewards given to us for completing our duties.
Modernization in thinking and giving due consideration to the feelings, opinions and ambitions of the students by parents and teachers.
Stress on core subjects like Biology for Doctors (Why Physics and Chemistry)
Careers360: Where do you see school education in India in next 5 years?
Dhawan: A strong education system is the cornerstone of any country’s growth and prosperity. Over the last decade, India has made great strides in strengthening its primary education system. Whether you realize it or not, India’s Public-Private combo education systems have already begun to morph into what they will eventually become in the future.
The movement towards major change that began quietly in the early 1980’s has been picking up speed ever since and is now in the process of bringing sweeping changes to how we educate our young. Whether they will be good for society or bad, we cannot predict now. But mind it either way, they are here to stay and survive.
There are several issues that have led to the changes we are now seeing in our schooling education:
Advancements in technology,
The charter school movement
An increased push for civil rights,
Changes in the family structure and
Implementation of child protection laws
The Future of Our Educational System Is a Mixed Bag
As you can see, our educational system in India is now sitting on the cusp of major changes that will seriously effect learning environments, cause job loss and force parents into situations that will require them to spend more money and/or time to see to it that their children become educated.
The National Achievement Survey (NAS) was developed by the central government to assess students based on their class/subjects and the recommendations have been included in the Right to Education (RTE) rules. With more than 70% of schools being government-aided, we hope this will go a long way in improving the quality of education.
Greater importance has been given to teacher training this year by the government and it has set a target of training all of them by 2019. The government has also introduced a course for the currently employed untrained teachers to ensure they have the necessary skill-sets. It is an exciting time to be in education.
Careers360: Where do you see Blue Bells Model School in 5 years from now?
Dhawan: Blue Bells Model School will definitely stand first among the equals. The leadership has all sort of positivity towards future challenges appearing in the field of education. They all have long-term goals to cope up with the challenges. With well-equipped infrastructure and professional approach, the Crossover Teaching-Learning, modern educational pedagogies, Incidental Learning, Adaptive Teaching, consistent improvement in teaching techniques will turn this esteemed institution into an ideal example of the nation.
Though every attempt is made to incorporate and stay in touch with innovative teaching methods and aids introduced in the field, 5years down the lane our endeavor will be to encourage students in the pursuit of excellence not only in the field of academics but also in co-curricular activities.
Many In-House educative innovations by our own faculty will be successfully implemented which will become a model for other institutions too. The school plans to prepare learners for twenty-first century competencies and skills. Traditional approaches emphasizing memorization or the application of simple procedures will not advance learners’ critical thinking skills or autonomy. To develop the higher-order skills they now need, individuals must engage in meaningful enquiry-based learning that has genuine value and relevance for them personally and their communities. Real-world experiences merged with sustained engagement and collaboration will offer opportunities for learners to construct and organize knowledge, engage in detailed research, enquiry, writing and analysis and communicate effectively to audiences.
Embracing ICT to get the best out of it: The school has and will implement ICT to create positive outcomes for their most visible of stakeholders – their students.Information and communication technology in school will be used as a school communication tool to improve student learning and better teaching techniques.
Shaping Responsible Citizens: Education is not an end task, rather its motto is to equip children for their entire life, and hence it is very important to select a system of education valuable to society. In the past, education was considered to be a process of filling the minds of children with mere facts. But today, we all have realized that education is not a process of implanting or imparting lifeless information to children, but a process of drawing out the innate potentialities of children. Children possess three innate potentialities through education- the power to act, the power to think and the power to feel. Our task will be to draw out these powers and to develop them by using the right material and means. And this kind of harmonious development of the three powers is real education.