Experts discuss ways to transform education at NPSC meet
The 47th annual conference of NPSC was held at India International Centre on February 11 and 12. The theme was centred on “Winds of Change: Reshaping the Landscape of Education” wherein various engrossing sessions were taken up by eminent speakers all of whom are contributing positively to the field of education with immense experience and practical knowledge.
The pre-conference session, for the same, began with Dastan-e-Mahabharata, a retelling of the eternal epic by Fouzia Dastango and Firoz Khan. Dr Akhil Katyal enthralled the audience with his dynamic odyssey of poetic excellence.
The inaugural session on February 11 began with the lighting of the lamp and the presence of the Almighty was invoked by the students of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan’s Mehta Vidyalaya followed by a welcome address by Malini Narayanan, chairperson NPSC and principal, Army Public School, Shankar Vihar, New Delhi. She reiterated the motto of NPSC: Quality, Commitment and Excellence. The chief guest was His Excellency Dr Tariq Mohammad Saleh AL Gurg, CEO, Dubai Cares. He spoke on the topic “Towards an Equitable Society: Education for All.” His emphasis was on teacher training programmes to bring about a comprehensive change in the pedagogy of teaching. All children, irrespective of gender, disability or religion, should have access to education. Education is at the core of sustainable development.
The guest of honor was His Excellency Dr Ahmed Albanna, ambassador of UAE to India. Among other dignitaries were Vineet Joshi, director general, National Testing Agency and the keynote speaker was Rajiv Chandran, National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan.
Rajeev Chandran elaborated upon the need to provide multi-cultural affordable education in a global environment for lifelong learning in his keynote address on the topic “Intercultural education for a globalised world”. The plenary speaker for the conference Vineet Joshi elucidated on the topic Redefining possibilities and Leading Transformation.
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of UN and engagement with NPSC schools in development of sustainable goals for one and a half decades, the UN NPSC calendar featuring the winning entries of a doodle competition titled “UN & Me” was released. The release of books featuring winning entries of NPSC Annual Essay Writing competition for teachers titled “Leading the change within” and a compilation of case studies titled “Learning Platform” was done by the dignitaries.
The first day had four sessions in which eminent speakers participated. Kamla Bhasin, advisor Sangat and Swami Chidrupananda Acharya, Chinmaya Mission, brought out importance of beautiful thinking and wholesome play of mind, body and soul to counter the stress and struggle of a student’s life. Gaurav Shorey, founder and director, PSI, and Dr Kartik Ganesan, research fellow, CEEW spoke on Bulwark Gaia: Crusades against climate change. They talked of a “Green curriculum” to promote community participation in the implementation of sustainable and effective practice for utilisation of limited natural resources.
Marie Elangovan, choreographer and Bharatnatyam dancer practically proved that art integration can break barriers and make learning interesting and experiential.
Dr Prathap Rao, social instructor and researcher and Shridhar Venkat, CEO, Akshaya Patra Foundation explained why it is important for an education policy to blend missionary spirit and professionalism to deliver value.
The second day of the conference commenced with an invocation to the strength and courage within us which helps us to overcome all barriers. This was presented by Bal Bharati Public School, Noida.
Rocky Singh, a motivational speaker, spoke about the significance of “Do what you love or love what you do” for a happy and fulfilling life. Dr K P Krishnan, former secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and entrepreneurship spoke on integrating skill with education on TVET policy (i.e. Technical, Vocational, Education, Training) for metamorphic change in education.
Bikram Singh Bedi, president, Grofers India and Dr Vinnie Jauhari, director, Education Advocacy, Microsoft India, spoke on “Evolving Algorithms: What lies beyond- Leveraging Technologies.” The world of puppetry was brought alive by Sangya Ojha and Hashim Haider, co-founders, The Puppetarians. They demonstrated how arts can break prevailing barriers of ignorance, intolerance and indifference and can help in communicating in a universal language.
Prof Namita Ranganathan and Prof Shyam B Menon from the department of education, University of Delhi elaborated on an educational model that facilitates critical thinking focusing on key concepts in their talk “Visible learning for an evolving future.”
Jo Chopra Mc Gowan, co-founder and executive director, Latika Roy Foundation and Dr Sudesh Mukhopadhyay, former chairperson, Rehabilitation Council of India, spoke on helping students to become empowered individuals.
Pinky Anand, additional solicitor general of India, Supreme Court of Inida, presented politico legal aspects in developing new partnerships and models to encourage equity oriented education policy.
The valedictory session started with an invocation by students of Birla Vidya Niketan, Puhp Vihar. The chief guest was Dr Satbir Bedi, IAS, chairperson, NCTE. She said that under her guidance, teacher training programmes are being developed in which stress will be laid on mentoring teachers to bring passion and happiness in a teacher’s personality.
The vote of thanks was given by Asha Prabhakar, joint secretary, NPSC and principal, Bal Bharati Public School, Noida. An overview of the conference was given by Aditi Mishra, joint secretary, NPSC, director principal, DPS Sector-45 Gurugram.
The two-day session came to an end with the hope that the mutual passion for transformation of education would help society to come together to achieve the above mentioned goals and to open new doors in the lives of youth to unlock their potential.