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GenNext’s biggest strength is their comfort with technology

By HT Correspondent,

Sarita Singh, Head of School, Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Delhi, talks about the importance of technology in education.

According to Sarita Singh (above), education has to be all about unlearning and learning new skills.

Various factors are changing the landscape of education. While the influence of media and money-oriented notion of success is changing the way we look at education, emergence of technology has added a whole new dimension to it, necessitating a greater focus on on teacher training. In an interview with HT School, Sarita Singh, Head of School, Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Delhi, talks about the importance of technology in education, obsession with success teacher training and much more.

What, in your view, is GenNext’s biggest strength? Which are the key areas of improvement?
The GenNext’s biggest strength is their comfort with technology. They have been born in the age of technology and are ready to learn new things. The way modern world is changing the job market and the jobs are going to be very different from what they are today. So education has to be all about unlearning and learning new skills, every few years. I think Gen Y has that. They have been born in this technological age and they are not afraid of it. They have this skill to learn and unlearn. What they can improve is their patience level. Since technology has speeded up a lot of things, Gen Y wants to do everything instantly. They need to realize and learn the value of patience. Some things grow and mature with time only.

Success has become an obsession with people of all ages nowadays. What is your opinion on this?
I am really bothered by the way success is now being defined in terms of how much money a person makes. Success is more about how contented a person is in life. Already, the youngsters today are under pressure due to the ever shining constantly happy images uploaded on social media by their peers, defining success in terms of money. It is leading to a lot of frustration among them. It is leading to an erosion of basic values like honest hard work. We need to change this trend.

What according to you is the role of media in education?
Media is one the most influencing factors in the world of today’s youngsters but it is a double-edged sword. If it can influence positively then it has negative influence also. Newspapers like the HT bring a lot of informative and educational resource for the students but we should be cautious about negative aspects of media that we need. Social media has a lot of pitfalls and we do workshops and lectures in our school to make the students aware about them.

With their vast experience and wisdom, how can the elderly contribute to students’ all-round growth and development?
It is very important to maintain the connect between the older and younger generations because experience is one’s biggest teacher and the elderly with their experience of the world can teach the youngsters, what probably no one can. The insights that the elderly can offer can truly benefit the young minds of students. To encourage this, we run many outreach programmes in our school where we invite industry leaders, professors or elders from community who talk to the youngsters and share their wisdom.

Given the diverse needs of today’s youngsters, what emphasis do you put on teacher training?
Teaching is all about evolving and that is what I emphasise about in teacher trainings. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the teachers had to switch to online platforms almost overnight, but they did it and that I think it is quite an achievement. Our teachers are also Covid warriors. They may not have been fighting the pandemic in hospitals but they are definitely working on war footing to make sure that the studies of the students are not affected.

Once a teacher, always a teacher. Do you agree?
Teaching is not a profession but a calling. It is a lifetime of dedication. The welfare of my students remains foremost in my mind 24x7. Whenever my students are faced with problems, I do everything to find solution for their issues. Also this is a teacher’s biggest reward. Any where you go, you come across your former students. When they come up to you and share their success stories, it is the most beautiful experience.

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