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Empowering Educators, Inspiring Excellence: A Journey with NPSK

A brief history of the school

Founded in 1959, the National Public School (NPS) began its journey under the visionary leadership of its Founder Chairman, Dr. K P Gopal Krishna. Known for its academic excellence, discipline, and ethical practices, NPS now has more than 40 branches worldwide. It was in 2014, that National Public School Kengeri (NPSK) joined this esteemed group of institutions, under the guidance of the Honourable Secretary, Mrs. Divya B S, and the capable leadership of the Principal, Mrs. Geeta Dikshit.

NPS Kengeri envisions the all-round development of students in line with a holistic approach to education. Therefore, it has done away with the artificial boundary between co-curricular and curricular domains. The curriculum considers individual learning propensities and aims to explore students' potential in acquiring knowledge and skills. By placing a strong emphasis on orientation and research skills in core areas of education, students evolve into judicious young adults with a true sense of self-esteem, values, and principles.

At NPSK, we prioritize constructivism over rote learning. Every endeavour is competency-based, encouraging the application of knowledge and skills needed in real life. Students graduate from the school as confident, assured young citizens, ready to face life's challenges and equipped with enduring values to venture into the real world.

People who inspired me in this journey as a leader and an educator

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been guided by Dr. Gopal Krishna throughout my journey as the founding Principal of NPSK. He is not only a great visionary but also an exceptional mentor who has had a profound influence on my career. His strategic goal of nurturing culturally responsive students, who can flourish in an ever-changing global community has been a constant source of inspiration for me at every juncture. This vision encourages me to actively adapt and advocate for change within the educational landscape.

Mentoring the mentors: how to guide teachers

Encouraging and empowering individuals in their professional growth is crucial. This involves fostering an environment that nurtures the development of new skills while enhancing existing ones. Through my journey as a leader, I've realized the significance of providing constructive criticism and valuable insights aimed at achieving tangible results and fostering meaningful progress in guiding educators along their professional paths. It's essential to inspire them to actively share their knowledge, skills, and experiences with others, as it contributes to their own growth and the advancement of their peers.

Continuous learning process: initiatives to build new skills among teachers

The professional world is highly competitive and constantly evolving. Continuous learning has become more crucial now than perceived earlier. It is imperative for individuals to invest in continual learning to succeed and achieve their career goals. Building new skills and gaining experience are vital for career growth, especially given the changing trends in education today.

With the goal of keeping our teachers and students ahead of the ever-changing educational trends, I have conducted training sessions for both students and teachers and represented CBSE as a CBP Resource Person. Additionally, our school was recognized as an Active HUB School for the year 2021-22 and awarded Outstanding School of the year 2022-23 for Cultural Repository by K12 ACADEMIC INSIGHT. My dynamic leadership has been acknowledged, and I was featured in an interview published in the popular magazine, ‘Teachers’ Tribe’.

For teachers, we provide CBP and In-House orientation training regularly. NPSK is proactive in implementing the unanimously accepted NEP 2020. In our initial steps, we organized workshops and orientations for teachers and parents to ensure their mental preparedness to embrace this policy. 

Here are some of the workshops we hosted to equip our educators with the necessary knowledge and skills:

'The Future of Learning, NEP, and NCF': Mr. Giri Balasubramanian popularly known as ‘Pick Brain’ and Mr. G Balasubramanian, Former Director of CBSE, briefed teachers about NEP 2020, its implications, and potential impacts on the education system.

'Managing Diversity in the Classroom': Ms. Anvesha and Ms. Vinutha from “Drishti” emphasized embracing diversity in the classroom.

'Passion Chasers': Resource Person Mr. Mayank Solanki and Ms. Ruchitha trained teachers to design curriculum and lesson plans aligned with their passions and interests, enhancing the learning experience for students.

'Competency-Based Teaching and Learning': Ms. Remya Muralitharan, Principal Academic Consultant at Educational Initiatives (Ei), highlighted various assessment strategies and methods effective in evaluating student competencies.

Focus “students”: programmes for the all-round development of students

At our school, we have introduced several programs aimed at ensuring the all-round development of students:

  • SEWA (Service Education for Welfare and Awareness): SEWA is a comprehensive program designed to build a sense of social responsibility and empathy in students.SEWA encourages student engagement in diverse community service initiatives, including volunteering at local shelters, organizing donation drives for underprivileged communities, and participating in environmental conservation projects. The program is designed to foster compassion, develop leadership skills, and deepen students' understanding of societal issues.

  • Apollo Shine Health Card:  At NPSK, we believe health is an integral part of the overall development of a student. The Apollo Shine Health Card program provides students access to healthcare services and resources. Under this initiative, students receive a personalized health card that grants them access to medical consultations, preventive screenings, and health education workshops. By prioritizing students' physical and mental well-being, the Apollo Shine Health Card program aims to promote a healthy lifestyle and empower students to take charge of their health. I believe the program becomes especially important for teenagers as they navigate through puberty. It provides them with opportunities to interact with doctors and health professionals who can offer proper education and guidance during this critical stage of development.

  • Drishti Counselling: Drishti is a mental health organisation with a dedicated counselling program aimed at supporting students' emotional and psychological well-being. Trained counsellors offer confidential counselling sessions to students, addressing a range of issues including stress, anxiety, peer pressure, and personal challenges. Through Drishti counselling, students receive guidance, support, and coping strategies to navigate life's challenges effectively and develop resilience. With an increasing number of students succumbing to depression and resorting to suicide due to the pressures of education, I strongly believe that implementing such a program would be especially essential for my students at NPSK.

  • Career Guidance Programme: Effective career guidance in school empowers students to explore career pathways, set goals, and make informed decisions about their future through personalized guidance and exposure to opportunities in different career domains. The Career Guidance Programme assists students in exploring career pathways, setting goals, and making informed decisions about their future. Through workshops, career assessments, and one-on-one counselling sessions, students receive personalized guidance and mentorship to identify their interests, strengths, and career aspirations. The program also facilitates exposure to various industries, internships, and networking opportunities to help students make informed choices about their educational and career paths.

  • Special Experts: In response to the diverse backgrounds and resources of students, it is essential to provide specialized support. The Special Expert program provides specialized support and resources for students with diverse learning needs and abilities. Special experts work closely with students, teachers, and parents to develop individualized education plans (IEPs) tailored to each student's unique strengths and challenges. Through differentiated instruction, accommodations, and assistive technologies, special educators ensure that all students have equitable access to educational opportunities and achieve their full potential academically, socially, and emotionally. 

The implementation of such initiatives would help provide comprehensive support and guidance to students in various aspects of their personal and academic growth. These initiatives have had a positive impact on the students of NPSK.

Fostering positive school culture: integrating community service as part of the curriculum

As a school, we are dedicated to involving students in community service because we believe it will help build a sense of empathy and social responsibility. As part of their community service, NPSK students participate in a charitable event every year. This year, students visited two orphanages, "Kala Jyoti" in Kengeri and "Sukhanksha" in Basaveshwaranagar, and distributed a variety of essential items to the children, including biscuits, chocolates, dry fruits, and Nutri bars. The aim was not only to provide treats but also to ensure that the children received nutritious snacks. Through this initiative, we hope to cultivate meaningful connections that positively impact students' lives, promoting greater self-awareness.

During this year's reflection session, following the distribution activities, students who visited orphanages shared their heartfelt thoughts and experiences with their peers in the assembly. This aspect of the programme allows them to reflect on the impact of their actions, fostering a deeper sense of empathy and understanding for others.

Ensuring the best outcome for students and teachers

In NPSK, a specific set of skills and values across domains is identified for integration and incorporation at each stage of learning, from preschool to higher education.

SMART Goals-oriented Lesson Plans have been adopted to propel students' development in all capacities, including social, theoretical, intellectual, emotional, and moral aspects, in an integrated manner. To ensure consistent advancement in learning outcomes in the classroom, competency-based question papers have been introduced from the primary level, which encourages students to develop higher-order skills such as analysis, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

For the overall development of the students, we offer various programmes to hone talents in areas such as visual and performing arts, sports and games, and life skills. Our consistent efforts to provide the best education and learning opportunities to the 21st-century learner are the result of input from all stakeholders at the school.

Challenges of a leader

Teaching is already a challenging endeavour, but being a leader in a school adds even more complexity. Balancing the management of both teachers and students while ensuring smooth administration is no small feat. Daily, we grapple with financial constraints, parental expectations, and various pressures. Amidst these challenges, it's crucial to stay focused on our ultimate goal: educating students to become better individuals. Keeping this objective in mind, some of the challenges we face include:

  • Dealing with students from diverse backgrounds requires careful consideration and proactive measures to ensure equitable opportunities for all learners.

  • Accelerating shifts in technology demand continuous adaptation and innovation to keep pace with evolving educational tools and platforms. Equipping the institution with the proper technology, such as smart classrooms, becomes crucial.

  • Addressing equity and inclusion is essential for creating an environment where every student feels valued and supported in their learning journey. We will need to prioritize students who require more academic attention from us, potentially tailoring their learning experiences to meet their individual needs and address this issue effectively.

  • Collaboration and communication are fundamental skills that foster a cohesive and inclusive learning community, promoting teamwork and mutual understanding.

These challenges help you reflect on the importance of prioritization and task delegation to make informed choices at the right time.

How to prepare for the future of education

Online learning, although existing for years, significantly surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, compelling many schools and universities to adopt it. This trend in education is likely to continue in the future.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already reshaping education and this trend is set to continue. Hence, it becomes imperative for us to adapt and embrace this change, while also learning how to seamlessly integrate AI into our everyday educational practices. AI can streamline mundane and administrative duties like grading, allowing educators to dedicate more time to more meaningful tasks. Moreover, it can also be used to tailor learning experiences by analyzing student performance data and offering personalized feedback and recommendations. 

These are some of the changes in the field of education I look forward to as they hold the potential to make education more accessible and universal if implemented effectively.

The journey of National Public School (NPS) Kengeri reflects innovative thinking in the field of education. NPSK has embraced a holistic approach to education. By prioritizing students' individual needs and leveraging technology and career guidance, NPSK has redefined traditional education paradigms, ensuring a dynamic and inclusive learning environment. This forward-thinking approach I believe, promises a brighter future for both students and educators.

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