“I Love to be a Principal”

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“Our School began its journey with the vision of creating a social culture where every child is educated with a concrete  set of values for intellectual, scientific and spiritual  development of our nation,” says Niyas Chirakkara, Principal,  Progressive English School, Kannur, Kerala, in conversation with Amriteshwar Pathak

How has your journey been as a Principal?
Even though the job of a principal is challenging, I really enjoy it. It has been three years since I have become a principal. When I compare the other positions I have handled I can say without doubt I love to be a principal. As a principal you have to take care of many children. You have to manage the teachers and you are also involved in many other matters. In a CBSE affiliated school the principal has to deliver very high standards of work. You need enough training to be a better principal. I am trying my best to be a better one.

What are your views on the new evaluation practices like Continuous and comprehensive evaluation of children over the traditional practices?
I have no difficulty in empathising with CCE. It is the best practice available to help students achieve a lot. The problem
is that many of the teachers do not use CCE properly. If it is used properly, it will bring great benefits. I know from personal experience that students are in favour of CCE. They can show whatever abilities they have through this. Moreover they will benefit by getting extra grades based on their performance in co-scholastic areas. The most important thing is that class 10 has become less tensed now.

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How do you see the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in pedagogy and administration?
Information and Communication Technology has an eminent role to play in the field of education. With the advent of digital classroom, schooling has become more interesting for students. The students now live in a world of technology. They like it very much. So if the teachers are not able to use ICT in their classroom, the students may consider them to be outdated. Moreover, it will be easy for a teacher to help their students’ internalise difficult concepts through ICT. ICT
can also bring about a positive revolution in school administration.

How has training being imparted to the teachers on a continuous basis?
We provide training to staff on specific issues that they may face when they teach students. In the beginning of the academic session there will be a week’s rigorous training for all teachers. That helps teachers get updated with the current trends and developments in the field of education. We have a system of evaluating teachers systematically. After the evaluation, if any area is found weak we provide specific training. Now we have finished two full-day workshops for math teachers at different venues on different days. Next week we are planning to take the entire K G teacher to one other place for whole day training. This process goes on throughout the year.

How do you see the proposal of open-book examination system in Standards X and XII in Central
Board of Secondary Examination?
If it is practiced positively, it will cater to the concepts of exam. But open book exam will be more difficult for students to answer because they will have to be very clear about all the concepts and theories they have been taught. Getting all questions and answers will not be enough for students.

Please share the innovations planned by the school in the coming years.
This is my fourth year in this school. We have prepared a priority list for 2017. By 2017 we have decided to reach international standards. The priority of this year is on academic excellence. We plan to reach our students to the top positions in the country. The project will officially start by the end of October 2012.

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