Guruvani:Principal of St Soldier school Amritsar shares her challenges

This forum provides school principals/teachers a chance to share their views and insights on a wide range of subjects with students.
Seema, principal, St Soldier Elite Convent School, Majitha, Amritsar.(HT)
Seema, principal, St Soldier Elite Convent School, Majitha, Amritsar.(HT)
Updated on Oct 16, 2019 12:49 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent

Your most interesting moment as the principal of St Soldier Elite Convent School and biggest challenges?

Today, the role of a school is not limited to academic excellence. It should also motivate and empower its students to be lifelong learners, critical thinkers and productive members of an ever-changing society. At St Soldier, we aim to provide an atmosphere for multifaceted development where an individual is encouraged to channelise his or her potential and pursue excellence. I think the biggest challenge is the fight to eradicate inequity. Since two centuries, same standardised tests are being used to differentiate between children. We try to reform this system and make sure that no child is left behind.

What helps you identify a talented student or leadership material?

We organise various activities throughout the year which allows us to identify talented students in various fields. After identifying their interests, we guide them and hone their skills.

Do you believe a student should be labelled ‘mediocre’ or ‘average’?

All individuals are unique. In my opinion, tagging students disgraces them and their qualities. Instead of labelling, we should help them excel in their field of interest.

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

Our institute makes efforts regularly to apprise the students of this social stigma by inculcating moral values. We tell them about the health hazards with the help of activities such as plays and debates.

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

We follow the practice of learning by experiment. Our institute has arranged various types of apparatuses and smart classes so that the pupils can understand the concepts. There are also well-equipped science and math labs to maximise their learning.

One school community outreach project that you are proud of?

I feel proud to announce that our school has taken a pledge to keep our surroundings green. We have solar panels and our students are encouraged to utilise renewable energy resources to take care of the environment.

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

We organise several seminars for students to explore courses and programmes so that they can make up their mind at an early stage. This helps them to form a clear vision about their career.

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

Today, just teaching does not suffice. It is the responsibility of teachers to help students resolve their personal problems. Parents generally complain about the excessive use of electronic gadgets.

Does your school have any unique programme for holistic development of students?

The teachers of our school encourage the students to excel in studies and at the same time help them develop an association with their environment. They are also encouraged to participate in various co-curricular and cultural activities.

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