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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Guruvani: ‘Focus on problem solving, creativity’

This forum provides school principals/teachers a chance to share their views and insights on a wide range of subjects with students.

chandigarh Updated: Sep 12, 2019 11:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajdeep Kaur Aulakh,principal, Darshan Academy, Bhamian Kalan, Ludhiana.
Rajdeep Kaur Aulakh,principal, Darshan Academy, Bhamian Kalan, Ludhiana.

Your most interesting moment as the principal of Darshan Academy and biggest challenges.

Every moment spent with students is interesting. It’s a treat to see them play, study, speak and do a number of amazing activities. The biggest challenge these days is ensuring safety of students. The school takes precautions for providing a safe environment, but even if a child gets hurt while playing, some parents create a ruckus.

What helps you identify a talented student or leadership material?

Students who are good at time management and are able to strike a balance between academics and co-curricular activities will always remain ahead of others. Leadership is all about effective management and presentation.

Do you believe students should be labelled ‘mediocre’ or ‘average’? Have you come across a student who has excelled after being labelled as such and can you please tell us about him or her?

Not at all. As long as we support and motivate our students, there is nothing our students can’t do. The moment we tag a student, the child gets into his or her shell never to come out again. On the other hand a positive comment can do wonders.

What should schools do to stop students from indulging in substance abuse?

Involving students sports will help them to make proper use of their time and energy. The mainstreaming of physical education by the Central Board of Secondary Education has been of great help.The launch of fit India movement’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proved to be a big step towards healthy India.

One school community outreach project that you are proud of.

Students and staff members are involved in a number of activities throughout the year. Roti Bank on every Thursday is one such activity. Students and staff members bring extra chappatis which are collected and distributed in the nearby slums.

Initiatives schools should take to help students develop an interest in science, mathematics, humanities or research?

Focus should be problem solving, creativity and critical thinking. Students should be encouraged for innovations and experiential learning. Those scoring high marks with rote learning cannot sustain.

At what age do youngsters start firming up career plans? What should schools do to encourage them to explore newer or offbeat avenues?

At Darshan Academy, we start exposing students to different career options from Class 6. Subject teachers talk about different options in each field. By the time the students reach Class 8, career counselling starts in a professional way so that they can make informed choices after Class 10.

Do teachers have to double up as counsellors for personal and academic advice to students? What are the most common complaints that you have addressed and how?

Teachers are the best guides. If teachers share a good rapport with students, they can easily sense whenever anything goes wrong. A vigilant teacher can help a student keep focused. Being the head of a co-educational school, the common complaints are related to teenage issue such as excessive use of social media.

Does your school have any unique programme for all-round holistic development of students? If yes, please elaborate

Darshan Education Foundation has developed a unique spiritual curriculum for classes Nursery to 12. It has been developed by an international team of educators incorporating the best practices and latest research in education. Each day begins with a ten-minute meditation period.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 11:38 IST