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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Speaking about her challenges principal, Ritu Sarvahi shares her experience

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

mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2019 11:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Ritu Sarvahi, principal, Tree House High School, Kalyan
Ritu Sarvahi, principal, Tree House High School, Kalyan(HT PHOTO)
         
Speaking about her challenges as a principal, Ritu Sarvahi, principal, Tree House High School, Kalyan, says that identifying each child’s talent, and nurturing and grooming it are few of the challenges she faces. Talking about the life-long role of a teacher, she says that it is fun and challenging and keeps her motivated. Individual material success, she says, doesn’t mean much in the long term. She says achieving peace, harmony, a world with greenery and natural equilibrium is the true success of a society. She says that today, a teacher’s role is more of a facilitator. She says teachers need to be equipped with the latest technology as knowledge is now available in abundance due to the advent of the Internet.
What is the biggest professional challenge that you face in your role as a principal?

It is a challenge to identify talent. Not all students are the same; every student has a unique mindset with a different set of interests. If properly identified, these students will excel in their respective fields and do wonders in society. Identifying each child’s talent, and nurturing and grooming it are few of the challenges I face as a principal.

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

A teacher has to learn throughout his or her life. It is fun and challenging. It keeps you motivated. I still love to teach and discuss various topics with children. They in return give me a very unique perspective on life. I love being a teacher.

Success has become an obsession with people of all ages nowadays. Your comments?

It depends on your definition of success. If you mean individual material success, it doesn’t mean much in the long term. It is short-lived and less gratifying for me. I think achieving peace, harmony, a world with greenery and natural equilibrium is the true success of a society. I always teach my students to think of the society above the individual.

What emphasis do you put on teacher training?

The world is changing at a rapid pace and we need to keep track of it. A school’s product/output is nothing but training. Today, a teacher’s role is more of a facilitator. They need to be equipped with the latest technology and life skills because now knowledge is available in abundance due to the advent of the Internet. However, what is more important is the guidance and utilisation of that knowledge and information for progress.

Here, we need good teachers with these skills. We lay great emphasis and budgetary allocation on training our teachers. We conduct various faculty improvement programs, which includes myriad of topics related to professionalism, classroom management, communication skills, technology-related the workshop and subject up-gradation workshops, among others.

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

On the bright side, children today are fearless to express themselves, they think rationally and are more independent than the older generations. Children nowadays are difficult to be influenced as before reaching any conclusion they analyse the issue and verify it with various sources. Also, children are more aware and sensitive to environmental issues. However, they are hooked on to the Internet, social media and games for most of their waking hours. I think they should play more and make more friends.

How can the elderly contribute to a student’s growth?

In today’s world, where both parents work, the elderly have an important role to play. They can imbibe their experience and knowledge to the children. Working parents can’t spend time with their children. This void can be filled up to a certain level by grandparents. Also, I have seen many elderly people who are doing social work, teaching children and helping people who require help. As we all know, children give a lot of hope and love in return.

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

The greatest strength of today’s world is information at the click. The world has shrunk because of the Internet and other mediums. Children can learn from a variety of sources at their own pace and style. Lectures, books, and simulations of various subject concepts are now available on the Internet. This is a boon.

Students and teachers can exchange their ideas, coordinate and have virtual classes from any part of the world. At present, I think print media is also doing a wonderful job.

However, the use of media, TV, and the Internet requires a lot of monitoring as well. We need to sieve the information before making it available. Many children are shunning physical activities for TV and internet games. A large part of their day is being spent watching TV or on the mobile or on social media. This needs to change quickly.

The results otherwise shall be crippling to society. We need to devise enterprising and fun ways to keep children engrossed in curriculum and various activities.