Jeanie N Aibara
Principal, Hillgrove Public School
Jeanie N Aibara, Principal, Hillgrove Public School has an experience of twenty seven years as a teacher and administrator.
The passion for excellence in the field of education is imbibed in her, since she belongs to the family of educationists. Her vision is to nurture students to become global citizens, who follow their dreams through the highest standards of education and ethics. In a tete-a-tete with Pragya Gupta, she highlights her perspective on education in India
How do you see school education evolving in India with respect to the global scenario?
Many Indian schools offer world class education and our school and college graduates are sought around the globe as their rigorous and disciplined education prepares them to compete and succeed in the global arena. Whether it is IT companies or manufacturing industries, entertainment and the arts, our graduates excel due to the solid educational foundations established through our K-12 school system.
While we have made great leaps into bringing some students into the 21st century, as a democratic country offering equal opportunities to every student, we have a lot to do. There are schools that do not have an adequate building, little resources, ill-equipped classrooms, and teachers who are qualified but do not have the much-needed professional development to keep pace with the digital times. Hence many of our children remain underserved.
What is the role of ICT in universalising school education? Shed some light on ICT adoption in your school?
In the digital world, multimedia has revolutionised how we communicate, work, play, shop, research; indeed, how we teach and learn. We live in digital times and that is the direction to go. All schools, teachers, and students must be e-Literate to succeed in today’s world. As administrators we must take advantage of the radical ways multimedia can be used in the classroom. The role of e-Learning is limitless as it provides a universal tool for teaching and learning so that we can actually envision a global curriculum rather than a local, state, or national curriculum.
The school is focusing on enhancing ICT. A lot needs to be done before we are ready to say that we have brought about a change.
How do you rate the policy initiatives taken up by governments in the last ten years? What do you suggest for the 12th Plan?
The state and central government have taken very good initiatives. The education sector has seen a steady change for the better. The mindset of the educationaist and the general public has undergone a sea change.
I have two suggestions for the 12th Five Year Plan. One is, that every child in every school in India has access to quality education which means qualified e-trained teachers, adequate school resources for equal educational opportunity, and a 21st century computer on every desk. There is a requirement for more on-line and digital classes for students who are unable to attend school for various reasons.
What are the key challenges in front of school education?
Some of the key challenges in front are bringing all schools at a world class level so that every child in India has the best education.
There is an inescapable need for on-going professional development for all teachers every year so that we are aware of the latest development and innovation in teaching and learning.
One of the important challenges is how to have a competitive global curriculum where learning is an ongoing process rather than focusing on standardised tests as the marker of school success.
What is your message to the community?
The digital world has revolutionalised education. It is time to join hands as educators to give every child in India equal opportunity for academic success. As educators, we owe it to our children, our profession and ourselves.