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It's difficult to run residential schools now: Dr. Ashok Pandey

By HT School Web Desk,

In this interview, Dr. Ashok Pandey, Director, Ahlcon Group of Schools, Delhi, talks about residential schooling in India.

"A different kind of teacher training is necessary for residential schools," says Dr. Ashok Pandey.

Residential schooling was very popular in our country in the 20th century. This idea originated from our age-old Gurukul system. However, with modernisation and the increasing aspiration of parents, the purpose of education shifted from wholesome personality development to obtaining good marks and good percentages. So, residential schooling is losing its shine as a system. But the contribution of these schools in the formation of our country’s human capital is undeniable. In this interview, Dr. Ashok Pandey, Director, Ahlcon Group of Schools, Delhi, talks about the current scenario of residential schooling in India and the growing popularity of day schools. 

How have residential schools contributed to the Indian education system? 
Residential schools have played a pivotal role in producing achievers as well as men and women of character. Their contribution in India’s human capital formation from all the walks of life is also undeniable. 

Why are we seeing lesser number of residential schools in India? 
Presently, what I sense is that it is increasingly difficult to run a residential school in India because you need teachers with a different kind of attitude and orientation. In fact, a different kind of teacher training is necessary for these schools. It is not easy to devote 24/7 to a group of children in a school. You actually need to make a lot of personal and family sacrifices. Therefore, as someone who has worked for residential schools, day schools and day boarding schools, I would feel a little sad that that we are not getting many men and women who can come and work for residential schools with the same zeal as it used to happen a few decades ago. However, it is not to say these schools will be wiped away from the canvas of schooling in this country.  

What is the reason behind the growing popularity of day schools? 
All across the world, the trend is towards day schools as they are also improving their profile. They are working day and night to bring in softer skills, sports and all the elements of residential schooling minus the stay.