Anirudh Gupta, CEO, DCM Schools, shares how they are planning to deliver quality education even to the unrecognised rural India. In conversation with Sheena Joseph Cherian and Seema Gupta
Please share with us the vision of DCM School.
Our vision is to provide quality and affordable education in rural areas. The school was started in 1957 and has grown tremendously and carved a niche for itself in northern India.
What are your views on change in education?
A lot of changes are happening in pedagogy, assessment, usage and the integration of technology. CBSE has brought in a number of reforms in education and the government has also started making amendments in education. India has provided the world with many professionals because of the ethos and culture of its education system. While we want to change our education system, we have to retain our values too. The need is to make sure that these changes are integrated slowly into the system. If these changes are too quick, they would prove to be a double-edged weapon.
Do you have any plans for expansion?
DCM group is identifying places where schools are required for providing education, especially in rural India. The group is starting a new school which will be very close to the border of Pakistan in Ferozpur and another in Ludhiana. Thus, the group has a vision to bring quality school education to those parts which are unrepresented in rural India.
How are you using ICT in the school?
ICT plays an important role in the education system today. We have been using smart classes as a medium of education. The schools are technology-enabled. The teachers are motivated to use ICT tools by integrating them in their daily teaching and this helps the children in understanding the concepts better.
How have you designed your teacher-training programmes?
It has been a very challenging task to impart training to the teachers to incorporate ICT in their lessons. The group has a special proposal where the annual assessment of the teachers is based on the technological knowhow of the teacher. The teachers have to upgrade their knowledge in computers and its usage. The teachers have to take an exam based on IT literacy and these grades are used to give increments to teachers so that they are motivated to become computer literate.
Please tell us about your collaborations with schools abroad.
We have collaborated with a few schools in the UK. The management visits various schools in different countries to study their school education system, which helps it in knowing the practices followed in other schools. These best of these practices are used for enriching education in DCM schools. We are also taking up globaisation of education in a very calculated manner while also maintaining Indian cultural ethos.
What is unique about DCM Schools?
We have initiated the academic cell. The best of the teachers in all subjects are selected from various branches of DCM Schools. These teachers serve as the resource head and provide support to all the teachers in various branches in their respective subjects. Thus, uniformity and consistency is maintained in delivering education in various branches of DCM. We also have a mentor system where weak students are identified at the beginning of the academic year and mentors are assigned to help them. Quarterly review is done to evaluate the improvement in these children so that all children become equally enthusiastic about their studies by the end of the year.