Sangeeta Puri, Principal of the primary section of Children's Academy, Thakur Complex branch has too much fondness for education as a whole. After spending 30 years in this field, she like to call herself an 'educationalist' rather than a mere teacher! That apart, she sheds some light on the difference between state board and ICSE board and also about her views on life, dreams, passion, journey and destination in a conversation with Aishwarya Iyer of Afternoon D&C.
“Teaching is in my genes”
By ‘genes’, she doesn't mean it literally. Puri from her childhood was too fond of studies and especially teaching that she use to pull out her mother's saree and pretend to be a teacher. So the love for teaching build up very early in her, that she feels teaching lies in her genes. Unlike other teaching-passionates, Puri did not wanted to teach in conventional private schools, instead she wanted to teach in government schools in some rural area. "Understanding the situation in rural areas, I wanted to desperately go there but, sadly, it never happened for some reason. Later, soon after my teacher's training course, I started my teaching along with my rest of the studies," shared Puri, who did her post graduation in Education Management from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS). Her first break through in teaching was from St. John's High School in Malwani, were she took up as a teacher for some years. Later, when Children's Academy started their new branch in Kandivili in the year 2003, Puri grabbed the opportunity and she was designated as teacher and the head of the primary department.
One impressive thing about this Principal is that she is strictly against wasting her time traveling. In a city like Mumbai, were you have to travel - be it local train or taxi/autos - Puri stands out as she feels its a 'waste of time and energy'. "When I join any organisation, I make sure that it is near my house so I would give equal time to my work, family, friends and myself instead of wasting it behind just traveling," she said. "One more important reason why I choose Children's Academy is that it is in Kandivili and I reside in Borivali, so it is just one station away and by road it is very easy," she added. Smart Principal, isn't she?
It's about the journey, not destination!
After spending 30 years in this field, we asked her about her overall journey and what she feels about her moves. To which, the Principal replied, "I am a very satisfied person and I am very happy wherever I am today. For me, my destination is not important, it is about the journey I cover! About my journey, I feel there is much more to do in the field of education however that don't mean I only work. If I work hard, I party harder!"
State board Vs ICSE
Children's Academy was under the State Board until 2014 but because of parents pressure, it was converted to Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE). Experiencing both the boards, Puri is the best person from whom we can know how different both the board is. According to her, State Board is assigned in a format where the entire Maharashtra is taken into consideration. However, she feels that the students in cities like Mumbai, Pune or Nashik has different mind state than the rural area students. Adding to it, she feels it is very rigid and has many restrictions. But one good thing about Puri's views about State Board is, she adds, "Instead of cribbing about how bad any board is, it is better you change it!" Talking about ICSE, she feels it has freedom and flexibility. She continues, "ICSE includes lot of activities, practicals, explanations which is very good for a student."