Shishir Jaipuria, Chairman, Jaipuria Group of Educational Institutions, talks to Careers360 about making schools a safe place and improving pedagogy to foster critical thinking...
Q. How do you foster curiosity and critical thinking in a child?
A. Children by nature are curious and have a lot of questions. The kind of school environment we provide encourages students to ask questions and learn. Our teaching-learning system is designed like a voyage that brings joy of learning at every stage. Students progress step-by-step from acquiring basic knowledge to solving complex problems. Project-Based Learning (PBL) is an integral part which sparks curiosity to inquire, question and find solutions. Initiatives like “Steam”, “Atal Tinkering Lab”, “Robotics Club”, “Question Wall” & “Think Tank Corner”, “Ted Talk”, dedicated spaces for fine arts, music, dance-theater, multiple-intelligence camps, etc. are used. We also conduct many activities around environmental challenges and community services to develop qualities of good citizenship.
Q. How do you focus on the training of your teachers?
A. Teachers are the most important influencers in students’ lives and are the fulcrum of the school education system. They are also looked upon as a role model which goes far beyond their official role. Our schools focus on teachers’ professional development as a systemic intervention. Our Corporate and School Resource Cells provide institutional guidance for assessment, designing and implementation of training programmes. The training curriculum is designed to update domain knowledge, meet standards and provide personal attention to each teacher. It underlines subject-matter mastery, as well as training in soft-skills and IT-enabled pedagogy. Our resource persons are associated with CBSE, NCERT, CIET etc.
Q. Tell us about the pedagogy adopted for K-12 in your school and about its unique aspects…
A. We have a progressive school system. Though we follow board curriculum, it doesn’t restrict us to try new pedagogies. Whether it’s integrating life-skills in curriculum or welcoming the latest technology in classrooms, we make sure our children get the latest and the best. We believe pedagogical innovation is imperative for excellence. We are having running dialogue with Microsoft Education, Google Education and the Khan Academy to improve our pedagogy. We visit the premises of schools in India and abroad to learn about their new interventions. We are working with many reputed educationists and consultants and have successfully converted the threat from internet and social media to an opportunity. We focus on interdisciplinary teaching by aligning learning from different subjects to make them interesting and applicable for complex problem-solving.
Q. Student security is of huge concern these days. How does your school ensure student safety?
A. Our schools pay high attention to student safety. All our schools are secured with ‘boundary wall’ and 24X7 ‘watch and ward service’. Iron grills are installed at vulnerable entry-exit points. CCTV surveillance is installed and diligently monitored. Lady security personnel are detailed for guarding areas exclusively used by girls. Police verification is mandatory. Special attention is paid to cyber safety, chemical use in labs, etc. Safety mock-drills and sensitization training on POCSO and COPTA are periodically organized.
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