“When we talk about creativity & innovation, we don’t bring it to the classroom. For example: History happens to be one of my favorite subjects but I studied History only after I went to College /University. For me school history ended at 1947, what happened after 1947 was not history. No one talked about 1971 or 1965 and no one talked about Kargil. But we were expected to know all this come examination time. Somewhere there has been a discord in our set up and as well as what the expectations are,” said Kanak Gupta, Vice President, Seth M R Jaipuria Group of Schools.
He was among the key speakers at 11th School Leadership Summit, Chandigarh, which was held on April 12, 2019. Gupta inaugurated the summit along with other key dignitaries present at the event.
Further elaborating his vision on the matter, Gupta said, “So when we talk about creativity and innovation, we don’t do that in real sense, in the classroom. We don’t even talk about the real issues in the classroom. I support a social cause. It’s called ‘My Right To Breathe’. It’s one of the largest air pollution movements there in the country. You know one thing we found from My Right to Breathe is that nobody wants to do anything about air pollution. We don’t want our kids to actually understand the harms of air pollution.”
Giving the example of his own school chain, Gupta shared why change in mindset and curriculum is the need of the hour.
“When we started our venture, the first thing that we started was that we introspected. And we said let us see what we are doing and what needs to be done. The first though that collectively came to us – what Dr. Manna was talking about – the mindset and curriculum change is required. And that’s what we did. The reason for that is we are still living in the past, we are still talking about the curriculum that we have 60-70 years ago. This is not our legacy, this legacy has come from outside. And we say that, we need to break this, we need to go back to our roots,” he stated.
Underlining the role of educationists in the present day education scenario, Gupta said, “We need to make this change. Today, we as educationist when come to these platforms, I think we need to learn from each other. I think we need to discuss more. Pick up best practices. I strongly believe every institute has its own character.
“I strongly believe every college and every school will build its own personality. Copy pasting doesn’t works; what works is trying to understand and internalize processes. So when we come to platforms like these, I strongly recommend as an educationist that we shall talk to each other about best practices in schools. We talk to each other what’s working well in your school and try to make that difference to the society,” he added.
Rooting for the need for a massive change, Gupta concluded saying, “This is not just once school or one city or district that we talk about. It is the country that we are talking about. And we are talking about a massive change. Slowly but surely, we as educationist would be able to make that change. Because we are preparing the kids for a generation that we don’t know of. For jobs and businesses that have yet not been created. But they will be facing the world for sure and we cannot depend on the education system that came from 70 years back”.