Dr Seema Dutt – Principal – DAV Public School, Ambala Cantt.
Armed with a Doctorate degree in English, a master’s degree in Mathematics and 30 years of experience in the Education sector, Dr Seema Dutt is currently the Principal of DAV Public School,Ambala Cantt. Dr Dutt is also a master trainer of mathematics for CBSE and conducted many workshops for teachers and children across Haryana, Punjab, Himachal and Chandigarh apart from working as a Principal for the past 11 years.
D.A.V Public School, Ambala Cantt, established in 1988, is an English Medium Co-educational Senior Secondary School, affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi.
Role of Education
I believe the role of education is multifaceted. The primary aim of education is to prepare students for life and the basic ability to get a job. However, to maintain the job and to be an efficient worker, many factors come into play. A child should be confident,have sound values,have good command of communication skills,be proactive,have positive outlook,be willing to learn,unlearn or/and relearn depending on circumstances,be willing and open to criticism and be able to face setbacks and defeats without breaking and be able to get back up and try again. These are values that are more important in the long run. Hence, I believe that through education should help prepare students for a job, it must pay equal or more attention to the life skills needed to prepare them for life itself.
CBSE or IB?
The benefits of the IB board are in-depth knowledge of subjects, practicality and usefulness of knowledge and community service incorporated into the curriculum. It is particularly helpful if students plan to pursue their education aboard. Further, it has a bit of flexibility in terms of the capabilities of the child. It also encourages creative thinking and resource /research building capacity amongst students.
CBSE, however, has woken up to the changing needs of education and is currently in the process of incorporating the necessary changes needed to widen the scope of its educational practices and include more research-based and practical application of concepts. The quality of books, however, needs to be improved and updated to make this process more successful.
Technology as a teaching tool
Students nowadays are more tech savvy. Audio books are preferred over traditional books. Students watch YouTube videos, download various apps to understand topics better. But it is easier and faster to use a book than a tablet. However, if tabs are to be given to them, we need to teach them how to use it correctly and appropriately, without being distracted by countless entertainment applications like games, videos, emails etc. They need to be guided and monitored on its usage to ensure effectiveness and continuous use of tab may strain their eyes.
Challenges faced by teachers
Teaching is getting more and more complex and challenging these days. The patience level of students is decreasing while rudeness, argumentation, disobedience and short temperament is on the rise. No freedom of speech or expression, teachers efficiency is based on results, politics/backbiting among staff are few hindrances that take the joy out of being a teacher today.
Retaining Good Teachers
Recruitment and retaining bright teachers is one of the most important drivers of a well-functioning education system. Factors that help in recruiting and retaining good teachers are salaries, working conditions, professional collaboration, internal promotions, maintaining their respect and dignity before students and parents, shared decision making, accountability systems and resources for teaching-learning. Good teachers want to work in a productive environment where they are appreciated and allowed to grow. Continuous appraisal /feedback helps them to grow. The remuneration should be according to their experience and capabilities.
Influence of Coaching Centres
Coaching centres are just a trend in India in the field of education. Many students are not self-driven or self-motivated. Such coaching centres may help them. It might help them achieve their short term goals of getting into a college/institute /course. However, this can never replace the education system. Rather they have actually jeopardised the schooling culture. Many students are not attentive in classes and are irregular to school as they have coaching classes to teach them again. They are wasting resources and time in the process. It has to lead to a decrease in understanding of the subject as they are paying more attention to problem-solving than an understanding of concepts. There is no scope of inquisitiveness as students are encouraged to accept things given in the textbook.
Coaching centres are actually business centres generating huge turnovers. In my opinion, they don’t redefine educational systems as they exist but their increasing numbers showcase the need to change our society’s perspective about education and the future of our students. The entire system along with the stakeholders must realise the importance of school education system. We need to act and bring back confidence in our school education system. Schooling is a fundamental way of learning and we must curb another parallel system of private coaching which fails to deliver quality education.
Teaching as a profession today
It is unfortunate that the teaching profession in India is no longer considered an attractive career option by young bright people. So, the teachers of the next generation are going to be mediocre of today. In order to motivate the bright students for teaching as a profession, it is very important to restore the dignity to the teaching profession, strengthen teacher in educational institutions, link reward and career progression and create a more professional environment for teachers. Mediocre teachers at times prove to be more effective teachers. Just as they struggle to understand they can help those students who struggle too. Bright students might not empathize with weak students. However, each one is good at certain things and intelligence is just one factor. Teaching is more about the skill set needed to teach rather than pure intelligence.
For more details on the school, please visit http://davambalacantt.com
DAV Public School
Haryana – 133006