Dr Padmavathy, Principal, Fusion International School, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, in conversation with Pragya Gupta, highlights importance of innovation that is on going in modern education
Recently Shri Ajay Maken, Sports Minister, released the report on National Physical Fitness Programme (NPFP), under which school children across the country get rated for physical fitness. What is your opinion of the role that sports and physical education play in the overall development of a child?
It is important to introduce physical education as a part of our curriculum. Fusion International School has already been doing this. We have a specific programme for physical education in our school. The height and weight chart is maintained for all the students and marked in the progress card. The obese students are given exercise schedule for a period of ten minutes during the lunch break. Healthy snack and lunch is advised and the Tiffin boxes are monitored. Parents have appreciated our programme and the 15 percent students have fallen in to the acceptable weight category weight within two months of time. The programme draft released by Shri Ajay Maken is very important and feasible enough to be included in the schedule. The term Physical Training is well to be replaced by the term Physical Education. There should not be a second thought about introducing this program into the curriculum.
In your opinion what are the advantages of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) over traditional practices?
This is an excellent way of evaluation, because it facilitates education through involvement of the child into the education process, rather memorising. Traditional practice allows a student to score better where he can memorise with ease. Memory plays a vital role in traditional processes of education, however, in CCE, an understanding of the subject is the key. Teachers have to ensure that their students are firmly grounded in the subject. To make the implementation happen, the leaders in schools have to play a vital role and guide the teachers in planning their work. Duplication of work
can be avoided if the teacher develops a format to grade the students. The lesson plans can suitably be prepared to give enough space for grading the students according to CCE.
How do you see the role of Information and communication technology (ICT) in pedagogy and administration?
Many students find it easier to understand their curriculum when they have access to technologies like Smart Boards, YouTube, and Internet. It is necessary that we adapt new technologies for better tomorrow. However, every field has a loophole. We must endeavour to make ICT user-friendly and a subordinate, rather than being a bad master.
For using a technology or a programme, the lesson plans should not become a mere paper work but reflect the teacher’s vision in the classroom.
What is the level of ICT implementation in the school?
There are smart boards, which facilitate better connectivity for the students and teachers. However, the smarts boards are only a teaching aid, they cannot be a substitute for teaching. When teachers are committed to their work, teaching becomes a great inspirer for students.
Great team work and planning is needed to club up the classes for a common module. Emails to the parents have always been there, but this has made the curriculum very transparent.
How has training being imparted to the teachers on a continuous basis?
Every Saturday, workshops are conducted on micro matters, like preparing the question papers, vetting them along with the teachers, guiding them while giving presentation to the parents during orientation programs. In line with CCE, teachers also have to continually upgrade their programmes and work.
What are the future plans of the school?
We see ourselves as a school of tomorrow. Our school has started implementing the Multiple Intelligence Theory. We are trying to understand the emotional aspect of content. We are constantly upgrading the ICT infrastructure at the school. Students will have access to a range of devices and systems for accessing knowledge and information from all parts of the
world. We wish to be the part of the creative world; we wish to have vibrant exchange programmes with students from other countries.