Interview – Ms Manisha Anthwal, Principal Delhi Public School, Gomti Nagar Ext. Lucknow
Questions & Answers:
- My first question to you what steps are you undertaking in your school to develop these basic skills. Example: Language is a basic skill. We are not delivering it. Most of the Students in middle school don’t know how to write proper statements, punctuations like period or comma are missing & Teachers accept their work… How do you ensure this does not happen in your school? Since you also have this rule that you cannot hold any child till grade 5. What checks have you created as a school head to ensure children don’t keep moving up without learning these basic skills?
Developing all the basic skills is not just a pen and paper activity. One needs to keep in mind that for child’s overall development we need to ensure his interest is maintained so that he can concentrate on the various activities happening in classroom and learning objectives are achieved.
Every activity planned for classroom goes through concrete thinking so that teachers are clear as to what they want to achieve at the end of the class. Plus the element of fun and competition is also retained while developing the activities.
A simple story writing/ creative writing session is converted into an activity called Spin a Yarn. Children give out words and try to evolve a story around the words every student has contributed. In this way new vocabulary is developed and their creative thinking and communication skills are developed together. We have various competitions both inter class & house where students get to hone their skills on both creative and communication skills. These activities start from the early years itself to develop the confidence in the child.
School calendar showcases the creative work of the children which again encourages students to give in their best.
To ensure that all these activities do not get lost, one activity per week is integrated to the F.A so that students as well as teachers learn the application of these activities and also get monitored & evaluated in the process.
- Secondly, how are you developing attitudes & values among students in your school? Are you sure you are developing connect between above mentioned four things- Knowledge- Skills- Attitudes – Values. Values can be developed only when you believe in what you are learning. Is that happening in your school? Illustrate with example?
Technology has brought in change at an unprecedented rate and this has led to rapid cultural change. But what remain with us always are skills and values we have learned as kids. Therefore at School we need to continue building and developing those skills and values among children so that they can keep pace with the cultural change happening in their surroundings and still remain rooted to their value system. The best way is to connect the students with the community. We believe in integrating school lessons with community drives where students involve in various aspects of community like creating awareness with street plays on tree plantations followed with gifting of saplings to the community to remind them of the continuity required changing our attitudes to solve any problem plaguing us. Another important aspect about education is learning to value the heritage which we have inherited from the previous generations. To inculcate this value we aligned with ASI, Lucknow to make our student learn to respect the historical monuments in Lucknow. A day project was developed where students went to Residency and were trained by ASI officials on Heritage Management which involves selling tickets to attending visitors and keeping the monument clean. Next academic session we are exploring the possibility of adopting a Monument where children of class 8 & 9 will be managing the site and looking after its cleanliness for a full year. Thus giving them the chance to understand the process of valuing what we have inherited.
Another such program which we have created to develop the skills among students when under crisis is Disaster Management Camp which is an overnight camping activity where all students and teachers stay in the camps which are pitched in School campus and children are trained by experts on various activities they should follow if they are ever stuck in this kind of situation. The activities involve evacuation drill, fly fox, and crawl out from a building and other social activities to make the camp a fun filled place beyond learning how to manage in a crisis.
- What steps you are taking in the direction towards developing knowledge, skills, attitudes & values in a student in the right proportion without making schooling just a set of another non exciting activities which don’t relate with each other and end up burdening the teachers & students likewise.
We have introduced Buddy Programs where senior students are sent to the class rooms for junior classes. This helps the senior kids to clear their concepts and builds in confidence in them. We are planning to extend this buddy program to the neighbouring slum children. The kids from slum areas will come to school and senior students will be paired with them to teach.
This helps students to learn the importance of sharing and giving it back to the society. We are starting various clubs in the school in the current academic session which will be focusing on various social initiatives and will be involving all school children.
- If you are the monitoring agency and you have the target of reaching ESD by 2030, your school is the total population you have to make compliant to ESD by 2030, what are the challenges you will be facing to implement ESD in true sense. You have fifteen years with you; illustrate the steps you would take in to get the best results in this transition phase. We are looking at what will be your starting point. What & where will you make a change so that everything falls in line accordingly?
For any work/ project to culminate we need to make sure we have followed the a few cardinal steps:
- Planning is very important tool and resource well planned is work half done.
- Integration of Activities with the curriculum.
- Monitoring to check how we are reaching in the achieving the goals in hand.
Life skill training is already happening in our school, because the objective of education is to lead a life with good values. Education is all about preparing for a diversified life. To give an example, we have introduced animation classes into the curriculum so that children can get a view into the various professional arenas they can make careers in and live with the values they learned in school all through their adult life. In the end it all boils down to one point- “Only a person who has had a happy childhood can add value to the Society.”
This article was first published on http://elna.co.in/esd-interview-series-dps-gomti-nagar-ext-lucknow/