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K12 Education 2018-03-22

Colonel Gopal Karunakaran Shares his Idea of Building Great Schools for the Future

"Great innovation also requires great discipline", says Retd. Col.Gopal Karunakaran

By Reetika BoseFeature Writer

One of the rigid systems in the world, The Indian Education system, has led the sheer emphasis on K12 schools and has placed various boards on dated techniques that cannot be overstated enough, and this old-fashioned form of learning has contributed too many problems that can’t be ignored in today’s day-and-age.

Schools are striving to bring the future into the present.  The school, knowledge is actively constructed by the learner on a base of prior knowledge, attitudes, and values. Sophisticated technology is in place to support the pursuit of knowledge.

Colonel Gopal Karunakaran, CEO, Shiv Nadar Schools said,” The gigantic question of building a great school, where fundamentally it’s about running a school is the need of the hour. What are the major challenges that are to be addressed pertaining to which the future of schools remain disclosed?

Before being designated the CEO, Col. Gopal Karunakaran has served as the Director of Shiv Nadar School, playing a pivotal role in the laying down of a firm foundation of our institutions. Col. Gopal was earlier the Vice-President, Indus World Schools of the Career Launcher Group, where he headed the group's K-12 schools expansion drive.

Culture and Innovation is the Lock & Key

Today’s archaic 19th Century model of rote-based learning, the 'chalk-and-talk' system, where the teacher talks endlessly and dictatorially and the student listens passively and submissively has discouraged questioning, discovery, experimentation and application in the school classroom.

Commenting on that, Gopal Karunakaran said,” If there is a culture of innovation, there is no question of it being contradicting in any way. Rather it is complimentary. Normally it is believed that an efficient system following processes will not be innovative or won’t have a culture of innovation. That is not necessarily true. Great innovation also requires great discipline. It is mostly bringing about a process where you have innovative practices and encouraging newness, innovation which will bring about that sort of culture in an institution.”

“It’s about being nimble, flexible and light on the feet which means looking around the corner with what is happening all across the world and being able to connect all the dots.. It’s a constant practice. You are perceived to be successful”, said the CEO, Shiv Nadar Schools.

Technology in Schools

We are in the early days how Artificial Intelligence will impact us particularly when it’s about education. Talking about AI in schools, Colonel Karunakaran said,” I think it’s an area where school educationists must be looking carefully because the impact can be tremendous and deep in terms of how the world and the workforce will change. It should be introduced at a young age. One needs to be prepared for changes.”

“Teacher training is inherent in any sort of learning institution. More so today because technology is pushing change and teacher training is very central to that change”, concluded Gopal Karunakaran.

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