Glimpse of Journey Back to School-Gwalior 2018
The tag line said, 'Journey back to school.' So what started as a journey for the Principals & School leaders became a nostalgic trip of their own student's life.
The Day one began with a session with the ever-charming Prof. Harish Chaudhry. He answered questions from infrastructure to assessment to declining morals with the IITian's acumen and a school teacher's insight.
There were school heads from as diverse as Panchkula to Vapi. Add in an international flavor of Kuwait and local culture of Itawa. The team was all set to visit the grand fort called The Scindia School. Spread over 165 acres, the participants were all set with skechers & umbrellas. The overcast clouds could hardly dampen the spirits.
Meeting the energetic Vishesh who teaches Economics but is actually more of a mentor to his houses. From cycling to mountain climbing, he is pretty much a student leader. No wonder his students love him and this love has lasted for 18 years now. Well, The Scindia school has 8 houses, neatly divided into equal number of senior & junior. The artful master Mustaq who teaches world of colours to those who are symbolically colour blind. Art transcends beyond paints but is actually more of a skill.
Teachers listen to the witty and candid principal Mr. Saraswat. 'A school is selfish for its student,'was his honest and assertive summary. The McKinsey led vision statement of global perspective with Indian ethos was evident in the students' behaviors.
An average retention for the senior teacher was about 12 years with Mr. Bakshi scoring a neat three decades with the school. No wonder, they said, Rome was not build in a day, nor was The Scindia school.
Day three was a promising day with the visit to the Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya. We were greeted with singing and dancing peacocks. Perhaps the most handsome males on the all girls campus! A graceful choir and a disciplined assembly welcomed the school leaders from Eduexcellence.
The Principal Ms. Nisha Mishra shared her insights of the school's legacy and rich history. You could almost see the glow in her eyes, when she shared the much popular (& deservedly so) Sankalp program at school.
Sankalp is the original Pad-man (well, pad-woman!), which started as a an ordinary school initiative of producing economically viable sanitary napkins. One thing led to another, and soon Sankalp become a community project, branching to disaster relief programs across Kashmir and Nepal.
'What really constitutes a school's heritage?'was the question answered dilligently by Dr. Jyotsna Brar. Filled with personal anecdotes and intelligent definitions, she answered the participants unanswered questions.
As we reflect, our own journey back to school, we learned just as much from each other as from the guided school tours. Like the light & sound show, we attended as the Gwalior fort, every school and every school head, have their own moments of dark shadows (fear, challenges) and spots of bright illumination.
It's about time, we take these bright candles back to our schools again.
Special gratitude to team Eduexcellence for this wonderful program and our mentor Prof Harish for being the person he is.
Author : Mr. Dawood Vaid