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Insights from the masters: Building a good school

From branding a school to solving the human resources issues, every aspect of building a good school was discussed at the eighth Educarnival at IIT Delhi.

By Pragati Ratti Sharma Associate Editor

How often is India seen as the leader in providing education among top nations in the world? If one looks at the numbers, the current K-12 school system in India is one of the largest in the world with more than 1.4 million schools with 250+ million students enrolled, according to an EY-FICCI report on the education sector in India. However, the quality of education remains a concern. With a motive of taking this quality one notch higher, eduExcellence brought together school leaders, school teachers and leading brand makers and educationists on one platform through the eighth edition of its three-day event, Educarnival, at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, from December 9 to 11.

From branding a school to solving the human resources issues, every aspect of building a good school was discussed among the school leaders, teachers and educationists during the event. The event is the brainchild of Dr Harish Chaudhry, Professor, IIT Delhi, who began this edition with a note, “A good teacher can hold a wonderful class under a banyan tree. While computers, visuals etc. are tools, teachers are the real magicians,” as he welcomed teachers for the first time to the event.

At the School Leaders’ Conference, Professor M. Balakrishnan, Deputy Director, Strategy & Planning, IIT Delhi laid emphasis on the challenges that the Indian educational institutions are facing today. Taking the IITs as an example, Professor Balakrishnan said, “The biggest challenge today is that the expectation from the IITs has grown globally. But, in a way, it’s good. It forces us to think globally.” He also stressed on the need to deliver what students need in the future for their professional growth. “Earlier, programs used to be introduced without considering what students really need in the future for their professional and behavioural growth,” he said.

Professor Balakrishnan also pointed at other challenges like decrease in attendance span and the challenges of assessment processes.

There is also a gap between what schools teach children, what higher education institutions teach them and what organisations offering placements expect out of them. The education system of India needs an overhaul to bridge this gap. Professor Pankaj Jalote, Director, IIIT Delhi pointed out that gap and said, “There’s a huge focus on remembering and securing marks. However, placements are based exclusively on what you can deliver and your capability. There’s also a gap between the way schools teach and the research process in higher educational institutions and the way students perceive plagiarism is one such example. There is a need for effective dialogue between schools and higher education institutions,” he said. Professor Jalote gave an example of how IIIT has an induction program for every student coming in from school to enable a smooth transition from school to college. He added that the goal of education institutions must be to develop happy, productive and responsible citizens for the future.

To end the discussion on Day of the School Leaders’ Conference, Vishnu Dusad, MD, Nurtr, quoted Swami Vivekananda, “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.”  

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