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‘Focus shouldn’t be on getting high marks only, conceptual clarity is more important’

By HT School,

The primary goal should be towards holistic development of children.

I feel that the toughest challenge is to provide shape to the ideas of future leaders and make them responsible ,says principal Neeraj Awasthy

In the modern education system, emphasis is often given more on achieving high marks, rather than gaining proper knowledge. Addressing this issue, Neeraj Awasthy, Principal of the Modern School, S-1, Sector-11, Noida shares his views with HT School about how the focus should shift from marks-oriented teaching-learning methods to conceptual clarity of students.

‘In these politically volatile times, should students be insulated from political upheavals? How do you inform/educate them about the changing scenario?

India is a democratic country and it is the duty of each individual to guide the students/young minds about the political sphere, people associated with it, their role and impact of politics on country and countrymen. In my view, the students shouldn’t be insulated from this and they should have a fair idea about politics. We should discuss all the pros and cons of politics not only of our country but should also impart knowledge about the same for other countries as well. This shall help them understand the world and they may plan accordingly for their future roles/ destinations.

How do you motivate children to be ‘Green Citizens’?

In recent years, a lot of attention has been given to environmental awareness and people are continually talking about conservation and environmental protection issues. We are also witnessing that everything is becoming digital. It is the right time we all must focus on building a generation that is considerate to environment and takes responsibility for their actions to care for the world. We ensure to organise a plantation drive every year to create awareness in students. This year we celebrated a virtual plantation drive in which the students were asked to plant a tree/sapling in their neighbourhood.

Our PM Narendra Modi, in his annual Pariksha Pe Chracha speech, repeatedly motivated the students by saying that they shouldn’t just strive for high marks. Do you say the same to your students?

Yes, the focus shouldn’t be on getting high marks but it should be on getting clarity in concepts. The students should know the application of their knowledge in the real scenario. We guide our students by conducting workshops for them and their parents to help them to be more focussed on foundation. High grades are great but they are not the sole bearers of happiness . Each individual is different and inherited with different talents. We believe in holistic development of the child.

Pedagogy is changing by leaps and bounds every year. How do you keep pace with it?

These two years have brought a massive change in all spheres of the world. Keeping today’s condition in mind, we are more focussed on arranging the training sessions for our teachers so that they can update themselves with the changes and impart quality education. These sessions have helped them overcome challenges. Teachers have become more creative these days and are trying their best to incorporate new methodologies and tools to make teaching more interesting & effective.

How do you motivate students to take up sports as it is a vital part of school education these days?

Physical development plays an important role in one’s life. During these unprecedented Covid-19 times when the children are confined to the four walls it has become challenging to keep them physically fit. We never stopped our sports classes and have ensured the children must enjoy their online sports the way they enjoy physically. We have very good infrastructure for sports . We organise different competitions, which provide a platform to young sports persons to test their skills. School is equipped with basketball, lawn tennis , volleyball and badminton courts, besides cricket pitch, Judo mat and indoor swimming pool.

Where do you see your students/school 10 years from now?

The school is progressing day by day with the grace of god. Our students are also winning laurels in every field -- be it a scholastic area or a co-scholastic area. Every year many of our students are joining reputed and top ranked engineering colleges, universities and other professional colleges. In addition, they are excelling in the inter-school competitions also. This year also Modernites took part in inter-school contests , Olympiads and MUN activities. In the coming 10 years we are going to create more leaders and balanced citizens.

Your profession has many challenges. What, in your opinion, is the toughest?

I feel that the toughest challenge is to provide shape to the ideas of future leaders and make them responsible. Today’s generation is coming up with great and practical ideas on a daily basis and as a mentor it sometimes becomes difficult to guide them with the right path, keeping them balanced emotionally as competition is very high these days.

Would you inspire your own children to take up this profession?

Yes, I will surely inspire my children to join this profession if they have a passion to become a teacher. I think an individual can become a great teacher if he/she has a passion to opt this profession. Teachers not only guide students for academics/ extracurricular activities but also are also responsible for shaping their future, making them better human beings which leads to a foundation of good society and a strong nation. A passionate teaching can surely inspire a young mind to become a teacher.

Are you still in touch with your teachers?

Yes, I am still in touch with my teachers.

Three inspiring words for your students?

Strive for knowledge, ready to accept challenges and always be confident that you are a leader.

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