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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

Guruvani: ‘Finding good staff is a big challenge’

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

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2019 10:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Alka Kshatriya, principal, RD Rajpal School, Sector-9, Dwarka
Alka Kshatriya, principal, RD Rajpal School, Sector-9, Dwarka(HT)

What is the biggest professional challenge that you face in your role as a principal?

The topmost priority of an educational institution is to maximise student improvement. For achieving this, the biggest challenge faced by a principal is getting qualified and effective teachers who are ready to adapt themselves to the changing needs of the system. Providing an ideal ambience for learning, getting parental support and taking stringent measures for the safety of students are also huge challenges. Instilling discipline, maintaining almost 100% attendance and designing a curriculum that is customised and result-oriented are also crucial aspects.

Once a teacher, always a teacher. Do you agree?

Yes, I agree. Teaching is a great profession. The task of imparting knowledge to students who are the future of the nation is vital. A teacher’s job is not limited to classroom teaching. The habit of teaching continues for a lifetime. A teacher’s area of work may change but the desire for teaching remains unchanged. It is natural for a teacher to teach life skills like protecting the environment, observing cleanliness and respecting others.

Success has become an obsession with people of all ages nowadays. Comment.

The definition of success varies according to age. It is a relative term. For children, finishing their task to the satisfaction of their elders is success. For older ones, achieving targets and realising dreams is success. For adults, giving meaning to their life by acquiring basic necessities for comfortable living is success. For the elderly, having the satisfaction of fulfilling all responsibilities is success. Yes, the urge to do all these tasks perfectly acts as an obsession. It gives courage to start achieving tasks and surmount problems.

What in your view is GenNext’s biggest strength? Which are the key areas of improvement?

GenNext’s biggest strength is that they are the ones who started living in technologically advanced times. They know what to do when the technology-based mechanism breaks down. They are not limited by blind prejudices, they have the ability to accept diverse lifestyles and norms and become more efficient and productive. They are well-versed in making school projects online, work with students in other countries and make use of collaborative ideas.

Given the diverse needs of today’s youngsters, what emphasis do you put on teacher training?

Yes, the needs of today’s youngsters are varied. Their awareness of career options is high. So teachers have to be trained accordingly. Students are well-versed in acquiring learning through apps. They pose logical questions which the teacher has to answer. They are able to make proper decisions and choices. Teachers have to plan intelligent programmes and give personal attention. We take special care of this aspect at RD Rajpal School.

With their vast experience and wisdom, how can the elderly contribute to students’ all round development?

The elderly can boast of practical wisdom gained through experience. They understand the need for time management and discipline. They know the need for personality development that implies academic brilliance, physical fitness and ability to make a mark in society.

What according to you is the role of media in education?

The media plays a significant role in education. Print media like newspapers, journals and magazines are time-tested storehouses of information. It is true that mass media have been able to bring the world to the classroom. The scope of distance learning has increased. Networking, generating knowledge and content have provided maximum scope for learning. Web usage and interaction with teachers can be turned into excellent opportunities in higher education.

Tell us about your leisure activities and how you spend time with family and friends.

Reading fascinates me, satisfying my critical mind. Listening to semi-classical music is soothing. Gardening is an exciting activity which becomes more adorable when my grandchildren join me. Excursions with family members provide relaxation.