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Helping Children Become Lifelong Learners : Sita Umamaheshwaran, PSBB Millennium School,Chennai, India

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Sita Umamaheshwaran
Principal, PSBB Millennium School, Chennai

Our curriculum follows the principle of subject integration with  topics lending to each other irrespective of the Subject

What is your vision for quality education in PSBB Millennium School?

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We firmly believe that as an institution dedicated to the cause of education, we must passionately help children to  recognise their true potential and shape them into confident, responsible, and multifaceted individuals; Become lifelong learners and globally competitive citizens with firm rooting in Indian values; and inculcate in them the need to achieve human excellence.

Please tell us about the curriculum and learning methodology followed in your school.

The PSBB Millennium School follows the curriculum guidelines and syllabus laid down by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Our syllabus is built on a rich foundation of reading, writing, and arithmetic, which is then layered with history, science, music, geography, and the arts to ensure there are no gaps in instruction. Our curriculum follows the principle of subject integration with topics lending to each other irrespective of the Subject. This develops higher order thinking skills and promotes content mastery.

What initiatives have been undertaken by your school for integrating ICT in school education?

Ever since its inception four years ago, ICT has played a major role in our school. The Smart Class modules are used for set induction, driving home of a concept to give greater clarity, and as an instant quiz for gathering the level of assimilation among children.  This instant feedback helps her either proceed further or stop for another strengthening of the concept.  This also saves time for the teacher as they do not have to wait for the evaluation exam at a later date.

What major challenges did you come across in integrating ICT in your school?

Initially, in any institution the first year of implementation is always the toughest.  The institution needs not only the complete support of the management, but also a conviction of the teachers actually using the technology. Untrained teachers need to be given specific training and a lot of hand-holding.

How do you build teachers` capacity in rendering technology mediated education?

Initially the teachers have to be taken through the entire process of going through the methodology of using technology mediated education. This is done at our School through a series of workshops by Educomp Solutions especially designed to equip the teachers with the knowledge of handling the modules and making them comfortable. The next stage is to help them plan their lessons.  Ultimately it is the teachers creativity and interest that helps her graduate from a good teacher to an effective teacher.

How would you rate the role of Public  Private Partnership in enhancing proper use of technologies in school education?

Considering the fact that public schools or government schools are actually trying to come forward in making the teaching learning process as effective as is being done in the private sector, it would be really nice if companies came forward to help the government run schools and train the government teachers.  Once this is in place the great divide will become narrower and children will have the opportunity to shine and excel no matter what background they come from.

What are the future initiatives/plans for integrating ICT in school education in the coming years?

The PSBB Millennium is already three steps ahead of other institutions as we have done away with the chalk and talk method.  Interactive-Digiboards and LCD projectors complement what the teachers teach.  The inclusion of One-on-One (O3) computing where every child from Class 3 to 7 has been given Intel`s CMPC (Classmate PC) has made the classroom even more exciting and also helped in inculcating a sense of confidence. Going forward we intend to make classroom learning a more vivid experience, proving that the world has indeed shrunk and that seamless learning can happen anywhere.

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