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'Encouraging kids to ask questions and think out of the box'

Monday, January 07, 2019

Archana Goenka
Academic Director and Trustee, C. P Goenka International School

Archana Goenka is the Academic Director and Trustee for Goenka Group of Schools since the year 2000. Post the completion of her high school, she did her graduation in Commerce and a Diploma in Fashion Designing simultaneously. Inquisitive psyche and an ardent personality are the two words that best defines Goenka as her inclination towards ‘Human Behaviour made her pursue a course in Human Resources and certificate course in Personal Counselling.

Being a veteran in this industry, her understanding, creativity and endeavour to bring in a positive wave of transformation in the education system has been quite fruitful. She believes that schools are not just about textbooks and teachers but a world in itself. Taking that into consideration, she has always come forward to inject dynamism, innovation and recreation to the academic cycle with aim to defy the cliché that ‘Schools are Dull and Tedious’. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Archana says, “There is a quantum leap in the pattern of education, because of which the professionals or educators are constantly on their toes to keep up with the modern-day academic mechanisms to serve the best to the pupils.”

Tell us a few words about C.P. Goenka International School?
C P Goenka International School has had a long journey and has been in existence as a franchise school for 15 years before floating its own brand, “CP Goenka International School”. Our long existence in the education space has helped us be part of the dynamic changes that we have seen in this sector. It has been a major contributor towards the same too. With over 10 schools as part of the group and 2 Franchise schools, we have had an exponential growth.

How are you different from other schools?
Its USP is the personal connect that it has with every child and parent and is a very child centric school. Innovation and staying ahead of its time have been our trademark. We want to ensure children enter their professional spaces empowered with all the skill sets that they may require to be successful. Our teacher student ratio ensures the we are able to give individual attention to every child thus enabling the teacher to know the strengths and weaknesses and help them overcome the same. The involvement of the management ensures that there is no compromise on the quality. We have a very rich co curricula curriculum. Along with our Design Club that keeps students abreast with the latest advancements in technology.

How does the school aim to fire the imagination of children?
We have a very approachable attitude with the children and the teachers always encourage them to ask questions and think out of the box. Our methodology ensures that the child is exposed to concepts beyond the classroom and application of knowledge learnt is emphasized upon. Children are not asked to produce from memory and are taught that everything learnt in class should be related to real life.

What are some of the challenges that you face?
Whilst the intentions are always in the interest of the child there are several challenges that we face at school. Getting good teachers who can stay on for long periods of time has become a huge challenge, as there are several new schools coming up every day. This means that the demand for teachers has grown exponentially. The parents are also more demanding which is a great scenario but can get difficult when they have unreasonable demands. The government norms again are sometimes very one sided and we as school find it challenging then to work within those parameters.

What are the latest trends in the education sector?
The latest trend in the education sector is the leap in the use of technology to impart classroom teaching. The latest being VR and AR. This literally brings to life any concept being taught in a class without requiring the students to step out. Various careers are now being given importance and it is on longer just about being a doctor or engineer. Celebrity chefs, celebrity management, You Tube bloggers etc. are also given importance. This is a great change for children as they can pursue their passion without being judged and do what they like. Thus, ensuring they are successful.

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