“Excellence in education has become a buzzword today, and is very often
used in clichéd terms. But I think excellence is an overall package of character building with focus on values, and the final summit is that of creating a good human being,” said Gowri Ishwaran, CEO, The Global Education & Leadership Foundation, during a roundtable discussion at the third edition of World Education Summit 2013.
Speaking about current schooling systems, Col V K Gaur, Advisor, anav Rachna Educational Institutions said, “Nowadays, schools have become factories that are more concerned about how many of their students have been selected for the IITs or IIMs. Excellence for them only means what converts into money. This is the state of affairs at the highest level in the country. Sadly, India only has two percent of skilled workforce.”
“Excellence will be there if we focus on Adhyayan (study), Adhyaapan (teaching), Abhayaas (practice), and Vyavahaar (behaviour),” Col Gaur added.
Elaborating upon the distinctive approach towards educating young minds, Steven Rudolph, Director, Jiva Education said, “Every morning in our school we give 15 minutes to what we call SOESelf Others Environment, and we do swadhyaya (self-study). Every student talks to the other student about what good deeds he has done, and what problems he is facing.”
Pointing towards the need for increased partnership between educators and parents to promote excellence in schools Rudolph added, “My belief on how we get excellence is through finding out what is the nature of the child, analysing it over the years, making him reflect with his parents, and setting him on the right path.”
Kavita Das, Principal, St John’s High School, Chandigarh, spoke about the importance of bridging the rich-poor divide in education, “We should not forget that there are millions out there who are very poor and who need to be educated. We have to start bringing them in our schools, and start integrating them rather than treating them as separate members of the society. The schools need to start widening their perspectives and not only cater to the haves of the society, but should also start looking at the have-nots.”
Muhammad Husain Zulqarnain from The Knowledge Bridges International Schools, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia added, “Einstein once said that it is not intellect but character that makes great scientists. If you are not imbibing character among students in schools, they will not get to learn it elsewhere.” Discussion also highlighted the need of having gurus. “Are we having teachers or gurus, because there is a difference between the two. If we have good gurus then we are actually going to do good to the society. Nowadays, moral values have gone down, and schools need to nclude moral lessons and personality development classes. It is not only about teaching,” said one of the participants. Summing up the session, Anirudh Gupta, CEO, DCM Group of Schools said, “Generally K-12 is referred to as 15 years of school education. If we substract whatever syllabi or curriculum taught in all those 15 years from the child’s personality, then whatever is left with the child is what the holistic education means.”
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