Gokul Global School at Sidhpur, Gujarat has been enjoying the governance of Dr.Sudhir Hadke since 2016 and has witnessed many achievements. An able administrator, motivator, sportsman, teachers’ trainer, World Career Counselor and child psychologist,Dr.Sudhir Hadke has about 18 years of experience in various roles at reputed educational institutions.
Qualities of a Good School Principal
Dr.Sudhir sums up the task of being a school principal as both rewarding and challenging and a tough job. He specifies certain qualities to meet the challenges of the post.
• Leadership: A principal should be a good leader to be responsible for both success and failure of the school. He must always look forward to improving the school even if it is a difficult task. The success of the educational institution lies in the leadership.
• Rapport with others: As a principal, one should be able to maintain contact with everyone he meets on a daily basis and thus win their trust. Each group of people that he comes across will require varied approaches and he should be able to deal with the situations and emotions and make them understand that he cares for them and will make their situation better.
• Appreciating and reprimanding: The principal should set high goals and never let people get away with mediocrity. In case of failure, he may have to reprimand which may hurt their feelings but it is needed if the school has to be a success. He must also know when to appreciate and praise such teachers who are doing an outstanding job. Similarly, students who excel in various areas should also be appreciated.
• Consistency: When a principal is not consistent, his credibility is at stake and he needs to think well before handling situations to continue on the same track. In particular, when disciplining students, they may compare different cases. When the principal is not consistent, it will affect him. All decisions have to be thoroughly analyzed, documented for the reasons, and he must be prepared to defend his decisions when someone questions the same.
• Preparedness: The principal will face plenty of challenges every day and he should be prepared and organized to meet such issues. Such preparedness and organization will reduce stress in case of tough situations.
• Listening: As a principal, one may have to face an upset teacher or a dissatisfied parent or a disturbed student on many days. To handle such a situation, the principal has to be an exceptional listener. He can diffuse such scenarios if he can prove that he cares for their problems and is ready to listen to them.
• Aspirations: Since the field of education is constantly undergoing transformations, the principal should look for the best for his school which is an on-going process. He should strive to improve the overall quality of the school.
Handling Troublesome Students
Dr.Sudhir thinks that no child is troublesome but only seeks attention due to some problem. To solve the same, one should stay calm, use humour, and appreciate when he or she expresses in a positive way. He should ensure that the child’s problem has been understood properly. If the student is usually normal, his shrugs, bored looks or raised eyes can be ignored.
Repeating a Grade
Dr.Sudhir is of the firm opinion that repeating a grade has not been helpful to the students. A recent study shows that such students have shown poorer academic achievements compared to the others and that makesmatters worse.
• Affects psyche: The self-esteem of the students takes a huge hit when they are made to repeat a grade and develop an inferiority complex resulting in behavioural problems.
• Vulnerability: Such retained students fall easy prey to bullying and suffer physical and psychological torture leading to behavioural issues.
• Attrition: The retained students do not feel at home in schools and tend to drop out and stop education than face the humiliation and disgrace.
Importance of Extracurricular Activities
Dr.Sudhir asserts that extracurricular activities are as important as academics for overall growth. Teachers have to convince parents to permit children to take part in these activities as parents feel that children may be distracted from studies.
Extracurricular activities, in fact, complement with studies to make a student an all-rounder.
He lists the benefits of extracurricular activities as:
• It improves the academic performance of students
• The child learns better time management skill
• Learn new and useful skills
• Develops a sense of commitment
• Develops a sense of responsibility
• Makes new friends/improves social behaviour
• Learns new activities
• Creates more opportunities in future
Advantages of Boarding School System
• Dr.Sudhir feels that boarding schools are advantageous for students in many ways and pay off in the long term. He himself is an outcome of the boarding life at Don Bosco, Lonavla, where he has developed the talents of music, drama, sports and many more leadership qualities which made him an outstandingleader.
• The activities, challenges and programs teach students to live in a community and achieve personal growth.
• They learn to work on programs and activities, make lots of friends and celebrate success.
• They learn to be independent and parents need not be overly vigilant about them.
Competition in Schools and Coaching Centers
• Since the roots of education lie in competition, the learning process helps the child develop skills and knowledge by participating in competitions.
• Competitions in schools help in the development of educational skills. A student has to compete with others for securing admission in the schools. Many such competitions improve the skills and knowledge of the students. Even the exams are competitive as the student has to surpass others.
• Dr.Sudhiralso points out that though competitions are necessary, they should not pressurize the students and take a toll on their lives or individual growth.
The extent of competition among students is such that they want to excel and beat other students and expectation from parents and peers is also a major factor in this. Without realizing the capacity of the student, parents expect their children to top in everything and the mushrooming coaching centres take advantage of this.Some students who are intelligent and ambitious are benefitted by these coaching centres as there is no pressure from parents.But in the case of students who join such coaching classes due to pressure from parents, it backfires as students avoid these classes and waste time and money.
Though teachers in schools do a very good job, students join coaching classes to get the extra knowledge to compete with others at a broader level.The present world is full of heavy competition and corruption resulting in students opting for coaching classes.Sudhir firmly believes that coaching classes expose the pathetic education system prevailing in India.
Recognition and Awards
To make the teachers and non-teaching staff realize their work is appreciated by others, recognition programs and awards are essential. They get satisfied and improve their productivity and good work.
Dr.Sudhir lists his achievements as:
• 1997, he has been awarded as ‘The Best Goal Keeper”at Nashik Division football tournament.
• In the year2013, on the teachers day, he was honoured by a joint venture of Raisoni group of institution, Nagpur & Lokshahi Warta newspaper for his excellent contribution towards the field of education. Also received appreciation letter from HRD ministry in 2015.
• “Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Outstanding Principal Award-2016” at Kanyakumari during the 7th International conference.
• In the year 2017, he received the “Hundred Outstanding Principals Award”at New Delhi.
• In the year 2018, received “ Leading educationist of India” and “ Bharat Excellence Award”, at New Delhi.
• 2018 received honorary doctorate award from University of South America.
Dr. Sudhir D. Hadke