Hailing from a family of award-winning and innovative teachers, Dr. Kusum D’sa, the current Principal of Vibgyor School, Kulur, Mangalore, has had a career spanning over 26 years in the education sector.
Dr. Kusum D’sa began her career as an English language teacher in undergraduate Degree colleges for 13 years and went on to be awarded a fellow by Manipal University in 1998 for an interdisciplinary research project. A part of the core team of Manipal k12 Education Company as Regional Academic Head, Karnataka & Kerala, in 2009, Dr. D’sa revived sick schools, took up total governance of existing schools and started new Greenfield schools. It was here that she was able to independently set up 3 green field schools and revive a 50 year old school to its former glory. Post this worked as consultant to Gurukula School, Kundapura. Later, founded The Cambridge International School in Mangalore till 2018.
In 2018, she moved to VIBGYOR group and is currently the Principal of yet another Greenfield school in Kulur, Mangalore. VIBGYOR schools began in 2004 with 1 school in Mumbai and today they are 33 schools spread across 8 States.
Dr. Kusum D’sa shares her thoughts about the education sector today…
What is the importance of studying a language and literature at the school level?
Language and literature is part of our culture. It represents the entire labyrinth of a society. It is very important our children learn the language and the culture it brings with it.
Is the English language more important in this century? Why?
English has become the language of communication and interestingly, a vehicle to climb the socioeconomic ladder! Those who do not know English are unfortunately left behind in race of development.
What is your opinion on coaching institutes which mainly focus on preparing students for competitive exams? Are they redefining the education system in India?
Coaching institutions are the result of the fear psyche that is cleverly built on the parents over the years in the market. A child should be guided to choose a career that he/she is passionate to pursue and not be forced into the rigmarole rat race of so called careers that everyone takes! There are some schools in our country that are successful in cashing such sentiments and run coaching shops instead of happy schools!
According to me such schools definitely do not redefine the education system, but they certainly cater to the section of society who has outsourced their responsibilities to a service provider!
What is the teacher’s feedback to you when you using newer mediums like smartboard in classrooms versus the traditional textbook and blackboard? Do you think students are more interested or learn better with technology?
When smart board was introduced initially my teachers struggled to learn the technology. Few teachers mastered the technology and used it as a tool to enhance teaching. Smart board works well when a smart teacher knows how to use it! When it is used interestingly and in right doses the students will definitely be benefitted. I have seen many children who are visual and auditory learners enjoy learning through smart boards.
How do you manage the overall demand for good teachers at your school, as supply remains an issue?
Trying to build a good team of teachers is a perennial issue for me! However, identifying, grooming, guiding and nurturing talent is very crucial. Over the years I have developed my own strategy in retaining talent by touching the core of the teacher and being empathetic. There are many instances where the leader moves with her/his followers!
Any advice you would like to give the students or parents?
For parents: Please involve in your child’s life! Spend quality time and walk with them as a friend in the journey of life.
For Students: Learn to accept failures, respect and practice gratitude. Try and find purpose if not goal in life!
School contact details:
BEHIND DELTA HOUSE