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We hand-picked few educational institutions that are doing remarkably well in imparting effective principals, in the latest edition of The Knowledge Review_ The 10 Most Effective Principals to Watch in 2021

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The 10 most effcetive principals to watch in 2021.

  1. 1. www.theknowledgereview.com 2021 VOL - 06 ISSUE - 01 Adventure Education Learning Through Escapades Essentials of a well-rounded early education The Development Perspective
  2. 2. EDITOR’S NOTE THE MENTOR, THE GUIDE, THE MASTER Sumita Sarkar sumita@theknowledgereview.com
  3. 3. I n India, teachers are revered like Gods - Guru, the dispeller of darkness. And the guru who leads the pack of gurus in a school is the principal. One of the toughest jobs is that of a principal. It is both rewarding and challenging, and it is worth it because an effective principal earns respect for life from loyal students, alumni, staff, and people in general. Principals are the leaders of not just the educational institution that they serve but also of the educational system. They are instrumental in the growth of the school, the teachers and the students. Principals must be visionaries and committed to their profession in bringing about reforms, maintain high standards of pedagogy and work towards the development of each student. They play a vital role in the growth of the school. And when they pass on their legacy it must be one that is worthy of worshipping and carrying forward. On them lies a gigantic responsibility of enlightening students and teachers and of making the school successful. They are looked up to by the management, staff, students, and parents as a solution to all the issues and the torchbearer for the development of the school and teachers. They are responsible for creating an environment that is hospitable for education. The biggest responsibility is of bringing reforms in the society for good. They help others reach their goals, prepare leaders, and build relationships with people. A principal is like the anchor of a ship. Bouquets and brickbats are all for them to face and they do that with grace. Introducing new methods of teaching, guiding and motivating teachers, principals must be excellent managers and need to strike a balance between love and discipline. It is very easy to create fear among others, but it is very difficult to earn respect. When you are respected people around you will fear to do anything wrong out of respect for you rather than for fear itself. They pass on the baton to the next generation of teachers and students to lead the light for a better world. And that is reason enough for them to never fail in the expectations everyone has of them. However, not everyone can be highly effective as a principal. As a mark of tribute to those who travelled that extra mile to bring about a difference in the society and to shape the lives of many, we at The Knowledge Review featured some extraordinary principals in our latest edition - The 10 Most Effective Principals to Watch in 2021. Our hearts well up with respect for such leaders of the society and we are sure yours will too as you read about the contribution of each of them. Have an enlightening read! T R
  4. 4. Ms. Nishi Rana 10 Dr. Reshma Ganesh An Inspiring Leader and an Educator who Cares C O N T E N T S 26 Paving the Way for a Better Future
  5. 5. 18 Vandana Arora Guiding The New Generation of Global Leaders by way of Teaching 24 CXO Mindfulness in Function Developing a Minded Leadership Essentials of a well-rounded early education The Development Perspective 14 30 Adventure Education Learning Through Escapades
  6. 6. JUNE, 2021 Copyright © 2021 Insights Success Media and Technology Pvt. Ltd., All rights reserved. The content and images used in this magazine should not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from Insights success. Reprint rights remain solely with Insights Success Media and Technology Pvt. Ltd. The Knowledge Review is powered by Insights Success Media and Technology Pvt. Ltd. CORPORATE OFFICE www.facebook.com/theknowledgereview/ twitter.com/theknowledgerv Follow us on: We are also available on: People behind this edition Editor-in-Chief Sumita Sarkar Co-designer Rahul Shinde Art & Picture Editor Priyanka Rajage Art & Design Head Asha Bange SME-SMO Executive Atul Dhoran Circulation Manager Tanaji Digital Marketing Manager Amol Wadekar Technical Specialist Pratiksha Patil Marketing Manager Ankush Patel Business Development Executives Priyanka Chaudhuri Operations Head Megha Mishra Managing Editor Aditya Umale Contributing Writer Darshan Parmar Quality Control Abhishaj Shjeev The Knowledge Review Off. No. 22 & 510, Rainbow Plaza, Shivar Chowk, Pimple Saudagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411017 Phone - India: +91 7410079881/ 82/ 83/ 84/ 85 Email: info@theknowledgereview.com For Subscription: theknowledgereview.com
  7. 7. Name of the Institution Brief Dr. Kavita Khullar From a dedicated and passionate teacher to an equally passionate administrator, Dr. Kavita Khullar is an educationist since 25 years now, and is currently the Principal of Doon International School. Dr. Reshma Ganesh Dr. Reshma Ganesh is the Founder Principal and Campus Director of Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir (SSRVM), Bangalore East, and has been with this institution right from its inception in 2001, where she has ensured that education is imparted in the right direction keeping at par with government norms and without deviation. Dr. Wilfred Walter Noronha Mrs. Pallavi Sharma Mrs. Ritu Kochhar Ritu Kochhar is an inspiring educationist who believes in empowering the facilitators of education and creating a lineage that will benet the future of our country. She has been the Principal of MD International School, Bijnor, since 2016. Mrs. Vandana Arora Ms. Meenakshi Zarabi Ms. Nishi Rana Ms. Deepa R Ms. Sharmila Chatterjee The Principal of St. Peter's School Panchgani, Dr. Wilfred Walter Noronha is an inspiring educationist who relishes simplicity and believes in doing whatever he likes. His motto is: "Whatever you do, do it in style". Ms. Vandana Arora has been shaping young minds for more than 23 years and championing the cause for relevant educational structure in the system. She is currently the Principal of the Nahar International School. Ms. Sharmila Chatterjee is the Principal of Billabong High International School, Noida, who has been leading the charge in inspiring young learners to "Become the next generation citizens of this great nation, therefore ensuring their empowerment with the knowledge of their higher potential and capabilities". Ms. Pallavi Sharma is the Principal of Mamta Modern Sr. Sec. School, where she leads a team of experienced teachers and a faculty imparting education to the students through the latest methods prescribed by the CBSE and the Education Department. Ms. Deepa R is the Principal of Amara Jyothi Public School- one of the best public schools of Karnataka, which aims to achieve specic, measurable, observable and quantiable results among all aspirants/students. Ms. Meenakshi Zarabi, the Executive Principal of ASPAM Scottish School, is an excellent resource manager and a strong and motivated individual who, along with her team, has modelled the curriculum to hone student's talent and skills with a global perspective. Ms. Nishi Rana is the kind of educator who aspires to bring about a real difference in her eld of work and strives to give students the opportunities to engage in the process of learning everywhere. She is currently the Principal of MODY SCHOOL, Lakshmangarh. T R
  8. 8. An Inspiring Leader and an Educator who Cares Aschool principal’s job hangs in balance between rewarding and challenging. It is a difficult job and like most other jobs, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. There are certain characteristics that define an effective principal which only a few people possess. These characteristics manifest themselves in the daily duties of a principal. These characteristics include – but are not limited to – leadership, austerity, adept at building relationships with people, balancing tough love with earned praise, fair and consistent, organised, and prepared, conscientious, excellent listener, and many other qualities. Fortunately, our next pick for ‘The 10 Most Effective Principals to Watch in 2021’ is a delightful mix of all these aforementioned features and more – Dr. Reshma Ganesh. Dr Reshma Ganesh is the Founder Principal and Campus Director of Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir (SSRVM), Bangalore East, and has been with this institution right from its inception in 2001. Previously, she was part of the core committee when the SSRVM Trust was established in the year 1999. She was a part of the team hunting for places and locations to set up a school under the trust. Dr. Reshma Ganesh has played a witness as well as an instrumental role in the growth of this institution right from the initial stage of acquiring the required documents, permissions, legal procedures, etc. as well as communicating and convincing parents about the methodology being implemented in the school as per the guidance of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar. Dr. Reshma Ganesh has also ensured that education is imparted in the right direction keeping at par with the government norms and without any deviation. “I have completely involved myself in assuring that the school is progressing and growing in the right direction,” she added. Inspirations for this Inspiring Personality Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. For Dr. Reshma Ganesh, the best source of inspiration was none other than her own father who was a doctor by profession. Dr. Reshma Ganesh I completely absorbed this principle and ensured that children are not restricted to only seeking knowledge but also are made emotionally strong to face any challenges thrown at them “ “ Dr Reshma Ganesh Founder Principal and Campus Director, Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir 10 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  9. 9. He was keen that she learned to grow individually as well as contributed to the society all along. He ensured that his children choose a profession where they can not only fulfil their goals but at the same time have a broader vision where they give back to the society. Once Dr. Reshma Ganesh moved to Bangalore after her marriage, she got associated with ‘The Art of Living’ foundation. With the blessings of Guruji (Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar), she further blossomed her vision. Guruji gave her ample opportunities to implement all that she could dream of, and that became instrumental in her growth. Dr. Reshma Ganesh further appraised about Guruji saying: “As a leader, he gave me full freedom to execute my ideas. I could not have aspired for a better leader or a role model like him. He inspired me to deal with people irrespective of their backgrounds without being prejudiced and biased. I learnt to interact with people, be it a gardener or security or a teacher, with the same respect in school.” The Illustrious School Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir (Bangalore East) is an initiative by The Art of Living Foundation. It is a renowned educational institution with the mission to Broaden the vision, Deepen the roots. Today’s education system is focussed entirely on child’s academic scores/performance on report card rather than their overall development, which in return has provided a generation with a lack of knowledge and values. Keeping this scenario in mind, Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar (Guruji) initiated a channelized educational platform- SSRVM to bridge the gap between modern education and the traditional, cultural values. A proper learning experience is to discover, create, solve, and apply through experiential learning as this describes the application of learned concepts into real-life keeping our values in mind. For SSRVM, the spine of this institution is its methodology which is designed keeping the five aspects which are as follows: • Concepts as solid as the earth. • Information like the air everywhere. • Attitude like water, which is formless and takes the shape of the container. • Imagination like the spark of fire that ignites. • Freedom is like an all-pervading space. This methodology helps to strengthen the body, mind, emotions and create a sense of belonging with the world. The lessons and activities are planned in a way such that children can co-relate the concepts easily with their daily life. To meet each child’s basic requirement of learning, staff members are trained to be compassionate and child- friendly which is essential in an education system where basic human values are being taught. Education is the Key Education is the first step towards empowerment and the most crucial factor in the overall development of the individuals, as well as a nation’s. As per Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji, education is not simply imparting information, but it is also a tool to develop one’s virtues and skills. I completely absorbed this principle and ensured that children are not restricted to only seeking knowledge but also are made emotionally strong to face any challenges thrown at them. To make this possible, children are taught to practice breathing techniques and meditation so that they remain calm and composed while encountering any untoward situation. They are made aware that life is not a smooth journey and every hump can be overcome with a poised composure. To The 10 Most Effective Principals to Watch in 2021 11 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  10. 10. empower them, to accept situations as they are instead of simply cribbing and blaming one’s fate regular counselling and mentoring sessions were arranged by the school during this unforeseen pandemic. Children were made to understand that problems are not to be considered as the end of the road but as a hump that can be crossed. At the end of every long tunnel, there is a ray of light awaiting them. Every cloud has a silver lining! Word to the Wise When one thinks of shaping their career in the field of education, most consider teacher as the obvious choice. However, there are lot many roles in the field of education which require different skills, said Dr. Reshma Ganesh. Let us try to elucidate on the different roles that we come across in the field of education. Someone interested to make his/her career as a teacher, then the foremost skill that they should possess is that he/she should be an ardent learner. Need not be a bookworm, but only a person who is ready to gain knowledge at every opportunity is surely going to become a successful teacher. Moreover, a teacher needs to have flexibility, compassion, be approachable, organised, etc. In addition to these, they should also possess conflict resolution skills specifically for secondary and higher secondary teachers. Since technology and social media have taken a prominent place, it’s very important that a teacher should be well versed with the latest developments. He/she should always keep himself upgraded with the changing trends. Other roles which are available in the education sector are related to leadership and education administration - for example admission officer, HR administrator, admin and training manager, content writer, academic heads/institutional heads, etc. For positions like admissions officer, HR manager, a person needs to have formal degree along with organisational and excellent communication skills. For content writing jobs, an individual needs to have strong expertise in their own subjects along with content writing tools. Every teacher who has the passion to pursue the leadership skills get the chance of becoming an eminent leader. T R Contributions of Dr Reshma Ganesh to the student and teacher community and as a whole to the society are countless: • Honoured with appreciation letter from Smriti Irani- HRD • Awarded with Vishalakshi Award for 2007, for rendering valiant service to society in the field of value-based education. • Awarded with ‘100 highly effective principal 2016’ by Alert Knowledge Services • Awarded with a certificate of Excellence for Inspiring Best Educationist Award 2017 by Global Leaders Foundation • Awarded with ‘Woman of Excellence Award’ 2017 by Indian Achievers Forum • Awarded with ‘Best District Principal Award’ by SOF. • Awarded and Recognized as a ‘Progressive Principal of India’ by Rethink India. • The SSRVM school received ‘Parent of Innovation Award 2017’ for the category of value education and received it from the Governor of Karnataka his excellency Sri Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala • Awarded with ‘Leadership in Action’ award by Spelling Bee International – 2017-18. • Awarded with honorary degree of Doctor of Letters(D.Litt.) by the Senate of The University of South America and by Dr S Radhakrishnan Research and Development Centre. • Awarded with ‘Visionary School Leader of India 2018’ by Rethink India. • Awarded with ‘Iconic School Leader’ award by Alert Knowledge Service • Awarded with ‘Excellence in School Education CBSE’ – for the contribution and achievement as the principal of institution” by Venus International Foundation(2019) • Awarded with ‘Accomplished Educationist of the Year’. 12 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  11. 11. CORPORATE OFFICE Check should be drawn in favor of : INSIGHTS SUCCESS MEDIA AND TECH PVT. LTD. SUBSCRIBE TO SUCCESS READ IT FIRST www.theknowledgereview.com Follow Us : Off. No. 22 & 510, Rainbow Plaza, Shivar Chowk, Pimple Saudagar, Pune, Maharashtra 411017 Phone - India: +91 7410079881/ 82/ 83/ 84/ 85 Email: info@knowledgereview.com For Subscription: www.theknowledgereview.com The Knowledge Review
  12. 12. 14 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  13. 13. Essentials of a well- rounded early EDUCATION The Development Perspective 15 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  14. 14. If we were to desire that our next generations are prepared for the real world and dynamics of the future, then a well-rounded early education would be the way to go. Although core subjects like English and Math are obviously important, students need more than just the basics to succeed in the real world. To facilitate the best chance of success in life, we need to make sure they get to study subjects like arts, vocations, sports, environment, and history from the youngest age possible. A well-rounded education, in its essence, is an education aimed at preparing students for life, and not just for tests. Rather than focusing on one discipline or skill set, it encourages students to expand out and test their boundaries. Educators enable pupils to keep all options open for an infinite future full of possibility by building an awareness of numerous topic areas. According to Dr. Reshma Ganesh, the Principal of Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir, “A well-rounded education is a type of education which caters to every need that a child requires to achieve success in life. It can be termed as a balanced diet of education. Science and Mathematics are considered as basic subjects for any education system and is being taught from early years but for the students to succeed in real life, they should be exposed to other areas also from early years as the world is an interdisciplinary reality which requires the integration of various skill sets.” “Quality is never an accident; it is always the outcome of honest effort, high aim, astute guidance, and deft execution,” said Ms. Nishi Rana, the Principal of Mody School (Lakshmangarh), in an interview with 'The Knowledge Review' magazine. “Education, according to Swami Vivekananda, is the essence of human perfection. We have the enviable task of identifying latent talents in children and giving them the tools they need to succeed later in life,” she added. In a study conducted by education experts at Columbia University, it was uncovered that pupils who had at least three years of art instruction in school had better developed creative thinking and had more positive attitudes toward school and learning. Creative thinking is certainly an important ability that should be nurtured from early on in life to persevere in life. Another study conducted by the Wolf Trap Foundation's AEMDD grant project, conclusively showed that students show better math skills when arts education is integrated into the curriculum. “A well-rounded education allows pupils to spread their wings and learn from a variety of sources and from different areas, keeping all options open. According to research, a child who had been exposed to art instruction at school throughout his early years acquired creative thinking as well as a favourable attitude toward school and community,” remarked Dr. Reshma Ganesh. She adds: “Today, every job requires interdisciplinary knowledge and out- of-the-box thinking, which can only be instilled through a well-rounded education. It helps in enhancing academic skills, develop self-esteem, makes them torch-bearers of adapting themselves to the changing trends, stifles creativity and makes them 'discoverer' to pursue their passions.” “The seeds of excellence are sown in the classrooms, the playgrounds, the labs, the field trips, and the day-to-day delivery of the curriculum, specially designed to achieve this end,” commented Ms. Nishi Rana. She concluded the interview by saying, “Classrooms become the ideal stage, a microcosm, so to speak, to practice and perfect mutual understanding among students and to prepare them for what they might encounter, later, as adults in society. A child's character is built and perfected in the school, and it becomes a very crucial responsibility of the entire academic fraternity to ensure that justice has been done!” At the end of the day, a well-rounded education is not merely a luxury for today's students, it is an absolute necessity if we want them to be head- strong, sufficiently proficient, and ready to brave the challenges of the world. And with the advent of blended modes of learning and more options available to students in terms of accurate information and different teaching styles, it is an exciting time in the world right now. - By Aditya Umale 16 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  15. 15. Guiding the New Generation of Global Leaders by way of Teaching Arora The 10 Most Effective Principals to Watch in 2021 True teachers are those who help us think for ourselves”, said Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, an advocate of teacher's role in educating the new generation. Today, teachers play a vital role, alongside the parents, in shaping the future of the youth of India. Teaching is all about building people and the opportunity of helping them realize their potential in the best possible manner. It is like knocking on the doors of the mind. As our Prime Minister Narendra Modi says “Teaching is not a profession but “Jeevan Dharm” (a way of life), a divine responsibility to guide and enlighten.” Teacher's determination and sincerity to teach will shape the destiny of the nation as they are laying the foundation and the building blocks of the society, says Modi. Teaching is giving of yourself to others, pouring out knowledge and wisdom, to be used up by inquisitive learners. Though most careers in the public sphere are service-oriented, some can be truly called community service and teaching is one such profession. Recognising this journey of shaping the young minds for more than 23 years and championing the cause for relevant educational structure in the system is Ms. Vandana Arora – Principal of the NAHAR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (NIS). A Fascinating Journey Ms. Arora began her teaching journey with CBSE curriculum in 1997, as a humanities teacher along with history, geography, and economics to higher grade students under the CBSE curriculum. “As a teacher, I always had the urge to impart the best teaching to the upcoming generation and accordingly kept on upskilling my teaching profession,” says Ms. Vandana Arora. “I learned a new system of education based on the Rudolf Steiner philosophy, which is based on the idea that a child's moral, spiritual and creative sides need as much attention as their intellect,” added Vandana. She moved to Mumbai and joined Tridha, a school based on the same Rudolf Steiner philosophy. Being the head of the school, Vandana immediately took the affiliation of the Cambridge board and aligned the teaching curriculum as per the Cambridge requirements. She continued teaching history, economics, geography, and a new subject called Global Politics as per the Cambridge curriculum requirements. There on, she developed an understanding of the comparatives between the Indian way of education and the international way of education. Nahar International School With the know-how of the Cambridge education system a curriculum set at par with global education standards and recognized by universities and employers worldwide, Ms. Vandana Arora joined the Nahar International School as Principal, having founded by Mr. Sukhraj Nahar, Founder and Managing Director of Nahar Group in 2014. He established the school intending to offer world-class education facilities to children from the Nahar's Amrit Shakti Township and neighbouring areas. Ms. Vandana took the baton from him to impart the philosophy of Mr. Nahar - a true believer in empowering children to become the best version of themselves. For Mr. Nahar, ‘Every Child Is A Star’, and it this through this value-based versatile education and learning Ms. Vandana ensured that this is made conducive for all types of learners. After, joining Nahar International School she immediately started work on getting the school acclaimed worldwide and got it associated with the Cambridge education system with its affiliation. NIS is now Cambridge-affiliated with her guidance to teach the international curriculum to all its students so that students of NIS can cope and compete in a global environment. Nahar International School is an accredited Cambridge International School, offering the Cambridge Assessment from early years to grade 12, and the IB curriculum at DP level. Vandana “ 18 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  16. 16. “ Ms. Vandana Arora Principal I got inspired by my young students, who I could see, were full of dreams and aspirations and also had the courage to fulfil them. I believe our students keep inspiring and motivating us The Group's ideology for Nahar International School is based on 'Learning by Doing', and it has created an infrastructure to make this possible, says Mr. Nahar. “The goal is not to establish just another school, but to envision life a decade from today, and prepare our students with the right skills and mindsets for it,” added Mr. Sukhraj Nahar. NIS was designed with an infrastructure under the guidance of the founder Mr. Nahar enabling the children to learn inside and outside classrooms through modern workshops, German-design science labs by Waldner, iMac computer studios, a vast digitized library, indoor play, performance conference rooms, an acoustically enhanced and performance-ready auditorium, and a large turf-based sports playground along with the large inviting library and research spaces. NIS believes that we can contribute a lot to the world, and we can learn a lot from the world. And an amalgamation of this is what NIS is all about, where they focus a lot on developing the right character, the right attitude in their students, as well as gaining a lot of new skills which are needed for their future growth. “ 19 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  17. 17. At NIS, the senior students are encouraged a lot of community service work. “Because we believe that our children who belong to certain socioeconomic strata have a lot of resources and strength at hand,” says Vandana. Therefore, they should be contributing more towards learning academics and in all possible directions. “Thus, we try providing them with as many opportunities as we can, for them to be exposed to the idea of difficulties in our country, the challenges in different areas, and how they can be a party to that in terms of contributing something,” added Vandana. The NIS students are largely involved in projects like a tree plantation drive, taking initiative towards underprivileged children, teaching the help-staff in the school to learn the English language. Additionally, they are encouraged towards putting forward their ideas of change into fruition. At NIS, the young learners are treated as the future leaders of the world. All those things become part of the curriculum apart from the basic academic, cognitive skills which are needed. The Times are Changing Being big believers of the ‘learning by doing’perspective of Nahar Group, Ms. Arora and the faculty of talented educators at Nahar International School have implemented this idea into the pedagogy in their schools. That's why the NIS children are exposed to a lot of nature, trips, meeting a lot of people, understanding from them. As the country's educators started accepting the importance of Information Technology (IT) in day-to-day life, so did NIS. “These all- IT platforms have given us a larger exposure bringing the entire world closer to us; where we can't go ourselves, we can use technology; where we want to learn something that is not available in our area, we can make use of technology,” says Ms. Vandana Arora, emphasizing how she and her team started integrating the changes as per the need of the hour. IT has made the big challenge concerning NIS simpler to make education available to every student at home. Now technology has taken over the physical and traditional methods of learning not practiced owing to the pandemic scenario in India and worldwide. Ms. Vandana is working towards making the online learning experience as engaging 20 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  18. 18. and enriching as possible with a rapid switch to online learning. NIS has identified new ways of engaging students, designing interesting online learning activities for the coming academic year, a learning experience through various online platforms. The school under her guidance ensured that the online teaching classes are on with the teaching fraternity conducting continuous collaborative online meetings to ensure homogenous lesson planning on student-friendly e-learning platforms. Understanding the present situation NIS, nonetheless, believes in regularly upgrading teachers' skillsets, hence, regularly organizes training sessions and professional development courses. “And if we can balance it that would be the ideal situation. I'm a big believer in balance in life.” Advice for Future Educators Ms. Arora has only one question for those who aspire to become teachers: why do you want to be a part of this job or this profession? Do you want to become a professional or do you want to contribute something to someone else's life? If you want to contribute to making someone else's life better, then it's a great profession to be in. But if you just want success for yourself or maybe want a good salary for yourself or maybe you want growth, then you might be disappointed with this profession. So, choose it right. Ask yourself that question. And once you get the answer that you want to contribute towards making the young generation achieve more, and you feel happy to see someone else grow, then education is a great profession to be in. 21 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  19. 19. DEVELOPING a Minded Leadership A senior professional with 36+ years of unblemished service as an officer with Indian Army, he has a rich experience in academics and HR management. He teaches HR related subjects at JK Business School, Gurugram. Brig. (Dr) Ajay Mehta, MMS (Osmania), PhD Professor and HOD-HR, JK Business School, Gurugram About the Author 24 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  20. 20. Mindfulness in Function Leadership is the most spoken word in any conversation and the least understood by many. The debate of its taxonomy whether it is a science, or an art is ad-nauseum and remains a moot issue for prognostics and discussion. The emphasis has always been on how Leaders should lead. The matter of fact is that leadership has been evolving over the centuries moving deftly between the maze of theories, be it the Trait theory, Transformational, Situational, Contingency et al, all only emphasizing one aspect of how to lead. Cataclysmic changes have taken place in this last century, with pronounced technological developments being given a disproportionate edge with the sinister efforts of marginalizing the role of a leader, who remains a person in flesh and bones, with a thinking mind and an emotional heart. Machines and technology are mere tools, severely limited to their designed functions operating in finite parameters, while the human mind has infinite capacity to postulate, appreciate various human angles before a decision is taken, a unique quality which a machine seriously lacks. Machines at best collate a plethora of information, but the decision to act on an option still remains with the mortal human. Decisions are taken with heads and hearts working in close synthesis. Machines fail to empathize, a quintessential facet in decision making. While the emphasis has largely been on leadership, which is a process, the man undertaking the process has not been given the due focus. Who is heading the herd is important? Is it a lion heading the herd of sheep or vice versa? History is replete with hair-raising examples of superb bravery and sterling leadership, where a handful of brave men led by a fearless motivated leader warded off repeated assaults by outnumbered hordes of pillagers. On a deeper study it was not the brawn alone, but an exceptionally strong mind, calm and unruffled. This brings us to ruminate on the importance of working on the Leader more than his styles. An evolved leader, in this context, is one who is mentally at peace, emotionally stable and composed. For too long we have rolled out reams gloating over the (IQ) Intelligence Quotient, and (PQ) Physical Quotient, of a leader. Santa Clara University and the Tom Peters Group have outlined the following Leadership qualities, some of which are, Honesty, Competency, Inspiring, Intelligence, Fair and Broad minded etc. EQ (Emotional Quotient) and SQ (Spiritual /Social Quotient), have obviously been considered less essential or assumed to be incorporated in the qualities above. Educational institutes are busy deliberating on the young minds how to manage wealth, businesses, funds etc. The important link of how to manage your mind is seriously missing. Confucius said, “Wars are won or lost in the minds of the warring factions; weapons only kill the mentally dead.” It very clearly highlights the importance of making our business leaders mentally tenacious. A leader who is strong at heart and head can exhort his team to do wonders. Elton Mayo, in his Hawthorne studies amply highlighted the importance of strong and willing minds as the great motivating factor over the hygiene factors. This is only possible if a leader has a balanced and composed mind. It will not only improve self-awareness but will also result in better understanding and managing social relationships with the followers and colleagues. Mind, Ego and Intellect are important facets of the human body. Interestingly, as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji says that “it is not the mind, which is inside the body, but the other way round. The body is like the wick of the candle and the mind is the glow”. This revelation supports the fact that the mind which is a traffic of thoughts has to be controlled well for good decision making. As Nityapragya ji from Art of Living in his book Celebrating Life, says “In a ruffled, restless scattered mind, cluttered with emotions and impressions, deeper realizations cannot happen.” A meditative mind experiences freedom from negative emotions, experiences instantaneous energy, profound peace at mental and emotional levels. As sleep is essential for resting the tired limbs, meditation (Dhyan) is the elixir for a fatigued mind. It helps in balancing the various energies flowing inside the body. Pranayam (skilful breathing), brings instant relief to the stirred-up emotions, placates a restive mind, besides energizing (raising the sattva) inside the body. Hence, while professional skills in handling business affairs are essential, a tacit handling of mind in unison with breath, will enhance the decision-making ability, without being too influenced by situations and emotions. Such leaders will maintain an enviable posture of unnerving calm, essential in crisis, which has become a rule rather than an exception. The age-old adage of the Army rings loud and clear “it's the man behind the gun that matters, and not the gun per-se.” Training young leaders to handle the mind with the same professional ease, as well, will result in a win-win situation for all. T R 25 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  21. 21. Paving the Way for a Better Future The leadership role of a school principal is of crucial importance. Expanding over a number of responsi- bilities, the role is said to assume professional, ethical, moral, legal, and supervisory responsibilities and accountability with the primary task being to create a school culture or environment in which children can achieve their full potential. The Principal of MODY SCHOOL, Lakshmangarh, Ms. Nishi Rana, encapsulates a brilliant mix of these ideals and attributes – redefining what responsible modern educators are all about. Weaponizing Ambition Nishi Rana is the kind of educator who aspires to bring about a real difference in her field of work. She began her exciting journey in South India where she received her early schooling. After earning a four-year Integrated BSc- B.Ed. (Bachelor of Science and Education) degree from the Regional Institute of Education in 1993 and her MSc in 1995. Ms. Rana taught in the same school in Goa from where she had completed her class 12 as gratitude and gave back to the alma mater and the community by volunteering to become a mentor. Later, she moved to Delhi and taught for many years and rose to the position of Vice-Principal from 2011 to 2016 in BRCM Public School, Bahal. She was promoted and held the post of Principal in the same institute from 2016 to 2018. Soon enough, she took over as the Principal of MODY SCHOOL, Lakshmangarh in 2018, a position she thrives on to date. For Ms. Rana, education is less a profession and more a vocation, where educators get to mould young minds to become part of the responsible citizenry of tomorrow. It is one of the noblest missions of great social significance. She has always been passionate about making a difference to society, and education is the one field where she felt, she could feed her passion in bringing about positive and constructive change. Mother Teresa, the selfless missionary, has been a great motivating figure throughout much of Ms. Rana’s growing- Nishi Rana We must, as educators, be passionate about making a difference to society, and this is one field where I feel, we can bring in positive and constructive change. “ “ 26 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  22. 22. up years. She instilled in her the values of courage and honesty in all endeavours. These qualities have carried Ms. Rana forward in the journey of her life. The MODY SCHOOL, Lakshmangarh MODY SCHOOL is the result of the lofty vision of Sh.Rajendra Prasadji Mody, the founding father of Mody Institute of Education and Research, Lakshmangarh, the foundation of which was laid in the year 1988. Since then, the institute has attained great heights and has transformed into a centre of higher learning. Being an English-medium residential school exclusively dedicated to the education of the girl child, the school has attained the highest standards of academic and administrative efficiency. Being ISO 14001:2004 certified is proof that love and awareness regarding the environment is a priority for all on the campus. It is affiliated to the CBSE and to the International Baccalaureate (IB) of Geneva, Switzerland. The IB Diploma Program is a two-year educational program for students aged 16-18 years. The MODY SCHOOL is also a member of the prestigious Indian Public Schools’ Conference (IPSC) and as such aims to teach its students the values of equality and camaraderie. It is a member of the International Round Square Organiza- tion and the centre for International Award for Young People program. The school also hosts and participates in Model United Nations Conferences, both at national and international levels. The students have brought laurels to their alma mater by qualifying through competitions to enter prestigious engineering, medical and law institutes, NIFT, NID, CPT, besides making a mark in several national-level sporting activities. Academic excellence is the target for Mody girls, and many have indeed proved it by scoring a perfect 100% in several subjects including maths, geography, social studies, and others. The school motto “तेज नावधीतम ु” which means ‘Strive for Excellence’ is not merely a motivational statement from the Upanishads, it is a way of life at MODY SCHOOL. Changing Tides The school management observes a paradigm shift in teaching and learning. “Today, we are constantly and irrevocably engaged in the business of optimal returns, so far as the learning of our students is concerned. E-learning or digital learning has become the mainstay for MODY SCHOOL, as it has for majority of academic institutes across the world. Once, it had been a tool to facilitate the instructor. In the months of lockdown, it became the only means of instruction!” they said. The 10 Most Effective Principals to Watch in 2021 27 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  23. 23. These digital platforms have been greatly supported by the MHRD and NCERT among several other departments, so there is wide acceptance of the idea of online education. Ms. Rana is of the opinion that it is the academic face of the future, enabling both the teacher and the students to learn. “Let's face it, the pandemic has compelled us, as academi- cians and educationists, to reinvent the traditional mediums of instruction and incorporate them with novel tools and methodologies,” says Nishi Rana. The idea is not to resist technology but to embrace it. The best thing is that new ways are frequently being discussed to make the entire process of teaching and learning more effective, more interactive, and more productive. The major challenge now is to turn the course of the teaching-learning process towards normalcy following the pandemic. Nishi Rana believes that several academic organizations across the world have confronted the issues of student absentee- ism, non-payment of fees, in many cases, fatigue that has been brought on by using only digital platforms of learning, measuring the extent of actual learning that has been achieved by scholars are only some of the tests that are being faced by principals and educators today. Education as a Tool for Empowerment Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru could not have better emphasized the need to empower the nation’s womanhood for a stronger and developed India. During Ms. Rana’s tenure as principal, the MODY SCHOOL has been able to introduce and implement several measures to ensure that the girls acquire the 21st century skills that will stand them in good stead to face the challenges of tomorrow. “We give them opportunities to engage in the process of learning everywhere - be it the play fields, the boarding houses, the refectory, or the scriptures dotting the campus,” added Ms. Rana. Facilitating them in this grand and uplifting venture is a committed and zealous group of teachers, their alumni, and parents. The cultural ethos of the school stands as an exemplar for girls of this school to imbibe and practice all that is good and noble around them. Awards and Accolades Throughout her illustrious career, Nishi Rana received many awards and accolades, some of them are as follows: 1. Best Teacher’s Award -1998 2. Appreciation for Academic Excellence in 2012 3. Academic Excellence Award in 2014 4. India Education Icon Award 2018 5. Received Award in the capacity of Principal for Outstanding Residential School of Rajasthan 2019 by CEGR (Centre for Education Growth and Research) 6. Leading Schools of the Country Award for the period 2019 - 2022 by Leading Schools Corp. USA 7. Certificate of Excellence among Top 50 Effective Principals 2019 by Education Today 8. Principal of the Year 2019 by Global Gurus Pragyaan Brahma at Chinmaya Mission in New Delhi 9. Received award in the capacity of Principal of MODY School for the Best Residential School for Girls in Rajasthan for 2018 in National Education Summit and Awards at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. 10. Received award in the capacity of Principal of MODY School for the Best Residential School for Girls in Rajasthan for 2019 in Asia Education Summit and Awards at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. 11. Received Uttrakhand Ratan Award 2021 under the aegis of The Principals Progressive Schools’Associa- tion (PPSA), Uttarakhand on 13 February 2021 at Dehradun. Aspiring to Make a Difference Ms. Rana reiterated noted American philosopher, William James, saying: “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.” Balancing the self and work has become imperative in the competition that abounds in the world today; multi-tasking is the name of the game. But Ms. Rana also believes, that if you love what you do, you will never be unhappy; emphasizing that the aspiration and final end of all work is to be a good human being—nothing more, nothing less. She adds, “We must, as educators, be passionate about making a difference to the society, and this is one field where I feel, we can bring in positive and constructive change.” No doubt, it is a difficult, an often challenging and time- consuming job, but it is an adventure itself to undertake such a task with aplomb. With the announcement of the new education policy (NEP), the citizens of this country are facing a whole new vista to radicalize classrooms and transform them into exciting hubs of learning. Innovation is the key to implementing, in spirit, the changes in the curriculum and enriching it by holding workshops and training sessions for the staff. Someone has rightly pointed out that teaching children is an accomplish- ment but getting them excited about learning is an achieve- ment. That is what Ms. Nishi Rana and the MODY SCHOOL are looking at!T R 28 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  24. 24. Adventure Education 30 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com
  25. 25. Learning through Escapades You must go on adventures to find out where you truly belong.” - Sue Fitzmaurice Children are inherently curious creatures who learn by observing and interacting with their surroundings. They are intrinsically drawn to animals, wildlife, the flora and fauna, and just about everything that nature has to offer. When a child's educational experience includes regular interaction with nature, their learning experience is elevated. Adventure Education is learning through adventure-centred experiences. It comprises of various activities like outdoor sports, excursions, explorations, events, and sometimes even indoor activities. This active process of learning demands active engagement. It incorporates all five senses within the experiences that heighten the opportunities of education and retaining information. The goal of adventure education is to increase the potentiality of human performance and capacity. Imagine careening down a zipline, or climbing a rock wall, or walking across an elevated wall like a tightrope walker. When you finally make it back to solid ground, you feel successful, triumphant, and empowered. Now further imagine your twelve-year-old child doing these activities during their regularly scheduled physical education class. This is the world of outdoor adventure education and it is slowly but surely making its way through India. Let’s look at some of the observed benefits of adventure education: 1. Risk Assessment Gauging risk and not shying away from it is an important life skill. Adventure education introduces risk assessment to pupils in a secure school environment. Then they incorporate these behaviours that will inevitably help them lead a productive and interesting life. One in which they are organised and flexible, willing to have a go and open to learning from their experiences. Today we live in a world that is safer than what the previous generations were living in. We are living in an increasingly risk-averse world. A child growing up in this world might think that “Risk is bad”. Many of the things that were discovered or invented which later became the glory of all humanity were because of the efforts of the risk- takers and adventurers of this world. We certainly do not want our children to think that all risk is bad. 2. Leadership skills Pupils who are relatively quite and cautious by nature, with the help of adventure educational activities, grow in confidence and are willing to take on new experiences. Those who you might not immediately think of as 'the outdoors type' demonstrate great resilience and good humour in the face of adversity. Pupils learn to be as concerned for others as they are for themselves, and the more confident ones learn to follow leadership before they are able to lead. Most importantly, they can admit and then correct their mistakes. Additionally, outdoor adventure education has been proven to: • Develop reflective and inquisitive thinking along with problem-solving approaches in 'real' situations. • Encourage holistic development • Develop resilience and adaptability in occasionally adverse circumstances • Allow children to become more able to identify hazards and risks • Develop a love, appreciation and respect for nature and all that is living • Develop collaborative working and communication skills • Provide positive health benefits – both physically and mentally – and assist gross and fine-motor development • Develop a lifelong love for the outdoors and exploration. While educational institutes across the world are shifting to practical aspects of learning instead of just the theoretical lessons, newer subjects are being introduced. Adventure education in India is still an alien concept. Many schools and organisations have started organising outdoor education tours and excursions for their students after realising the importance of life skills acquired through outdoor and adventure activities. “ - By Aditya Umale 31 | June 2021 | www.theknowledgereview.com

We hand-picked few educational institutions that are doing remarkably well in imparting effective principals, in the latest edition of The Knowledge Review_ The 10 Most Effective Principals to Watch in 2021

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