Rita Kaul, Director, The Millennium School, is a special educator and psychologist with 23 years of experience. She shares with Elets News Network (ENN) about the challenges in education, qualities of a best school, role of parents in school, unique proposition of The Millennium School and more
What do you see as the main challenges for school education today?
Today, the greatest challenge is to balance the information and knowledge we provide in school, with the harmony in life. Gone are the days when teachers would force the children to mug up and vomit out during examination. Thus, the first and foremost challenge is to train the teachers in a way that they can think of various strategies to engage the students in class. There is need to change the methodology of assessment and let the students enquire and discover the facts.
According to you, what are the qualities that defines a best school?
Being the head of a school, I interact with young parents of a nursery child as well as with a parent who is seeking admission of a child in grade XI. Their expectations vary from one stage to another. To sum up, basically a parent looks at the quality of academics i.e., the kind of curriculum adopted, physical school environment that is quality infrastructure and the psychological environment that is the attitude of all the stakeholders inside the school. A best school will certainly practice cultural values, have democratic approach, and engage qualified and passionate teachers who are well-versed in integrating technology to the curriculum. The environment in a quality school is student-centric. Parents as partners and freedom to students for research will also add on to the quality of school.
What makes your school sets apart from others?
The Millennium Schools across the country are based on developmental milestones and not on the chronological age of the students. Our curriculum, called The Millennium Learning System, is based on Piaget’s longitudinal and cross-sectional study of children across the world. The Millennium Learning System (MLS) is an age appropriate learning system that caters to the psychological, emotional and cognitive needs of the learner. It has different levels, based on developmental milestones and age appropriate pedagogy.
Integrating technology into the classroom is definitely a great way to reach diversity in learning styles
Every tangible for MLS has been developed at the R&D Division, with a focused outcome in mind. This outcome is clearly understood through our vision for every child who enters the system. Age appropriate, psychologically mapped and pedagogically apt tangibles are used at every level of the MLS. Some of these are the books, the assessment system and the lesson plans.
Positive parents involvement has a significant impact on student education. Do you agree? If yes, how?
To have positive and educated parents as partners is like having a mirror in front of us. Parents are our ambassadors. If they speak respectfully of our schools and are involved in certain decisionmaking stages, they have an ownership like a family member has in a family. The student feels confident when school and parents work together. When these parents believe in the system, they talk about it and give the schools an honest feedback and thus create opportunities for the schools to correct the course when they are perceived in a negative manner.
How technology is transforming the school education landscape?
Technology has become an intrinsic part of education and an important tool for teachers. Integrating technology into the classroom is definitely a great way to reach diversity in learning styles. It gives students the chance to interact with classmates more, by encouraging collaboration.
With technology, the teacher becomes the encourager, adviser and coach. Students can have access to digital textbooks that are constantly updated and often more vivid, helpful, and creative. Technological tools, like Fliplearn, help to communicate and enhance knowledge, and play a vital role in bringing the stakeholders closer and sharing of information. Technology also facilitated learning for the differently abled.