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Aug 01, 2017 at 14:52

Nestled in the comfort of the residential neighbourhood of Greater Kailash, K R Mangalam School has grown in leaps and bounds since the inception of its first branch many years ago. Talking to us about their journey and future goals, the principal of K R Mangalam World School GK II, Alka Awasthi

What was the idea behind the foundation of the school? And how has it grown to a group of prestigious schools?

A little over a decade ago, a small step was taken by K.R. Mangalam Group to bridge the gap to the extent possible between the actual need for schools and what we had. The small step – an initiative of a multi-dimensional, multi faceted group with its roots as deep as seven generations of entrepreneurial expertise, and a tradition of commitment and excellence– that we took, however, was to become a giant leap of commitment to the cause of education, in consonance with the emerging needs of the present. During these past 12 years, K.R Mangalam has created an environment and ambience that fosters learning, as it provides the students with opportunities to explore and grow.

K.R.Mangalam Group comprising of seven institutions and a sprawling university, stands today as institutions of all-round learning that can be compared with the best in the country. The unprecedented growth of K.R. Mangalam World School has something for everyone and it has been our earnest effort to build a global image.

How would you describe the educational philosophy of the school?

The concept of ‘Our World’ forms the basis of K.R.Mangalam World School, GK-II. Learning, irrespective of the source, is learning we would derive from the world over, to educate and inspire children towards achievement.

The school aims to equip the students with the skills and competencies required in the 21st century.

We envisage learning as a natural process, value questions above answers, creativity above fact, individuality above conformity and excellence above performance. By giving wings to the students’ imagination and ideas, we endeavour to nurture global citizens who would emerge as World Leaders of Tomorrow.

Our focus on inclusive education lays special emphasis on the holistic development of our students irrespective of their academic calibre.

‘Together Towards Tomorrow ‘, our motto, symbolizes and encompasses our vision of an integrated enlightened world, a world that fosters unity yet celebrates the uniqueness of each individual.

You did join the school as the Principal recently, how has your journey as an educator been?

As an educationist treading in classrooms for the past 19 years, leaves me with a sense of satisfaction in seeing one’s students grow and do well; and gratitude to all my students and mentors who have shaped my destiny. It has been one joyful voyage of discovery – for me and my students. After having taken over the helmsman ship of the school, I continue to remain a teacher at heart and a lifelong learner, too. All my decisions are student centric even today, though the perspectives have widened to ensure and aware sensitive global citizens with human values who churn out of my school.

Over the years, there has been a shift in my role, from being a teacher to a facilitator. With each stepping stone, the responsibilities have grown and so did the level of commitment.

With great power comes great responsibility, and with great responsibility comes even greater challenges. Being a catalyst to change and encourage learning and bringing a smile on my students’ faces has been my sole aim and will remain so forever.

How would you describe the educational philosophy of the school?

Achievements are a luminous reflection of the toil and sweat of all the members of the school. We, today, are a name in the education industry to reckon with and we are more than pleased to announce our global presence being felt most humbly at World’s stages. Yet, we take baby steps and are cautious of all miniscule details with which we intend to nurture our students associated with us.

Our school has produced All India CBSE toppers within a span of two years and has also brought laurels in prestigious competitions like Chess, Cookery and Squash at National Levels.

There are many Intra and Inter School Competitions which aim to bring out the best in the students. The school is a recipient of the prestigious ISA Awards given by The British Council of India. The school has also entered into collaborations with many schools across the world like Germany, Australia, U.K., Canada to help the students interact with students across the world. KRM has been instrumental in bringing up high values and morals in the students. Such students have gone ahead to make their mark in higher studies in the World’s Best Universities in Ohio, Berkeley, Milan and the list goes on. Around two hundred of our students have been awarded the scholarship by the Oxford University and 100 students have participated in the remarkable ‘Science event’ for Guinness Book of World Records. The school also hosted the All India CBSE Chess Championship.

As a teacher and then a Principal, how do you feel technology has seeped into the education system today?

Technology is the lens through which the GEN X views the World. It has become the wings that allow education to fly further than ever before. However, merely amassing information is not the focus of technical education but its goal is to integrate seamlessly so as to sieve and separate what’s credible, what’s relevant and when it’s useful for reference.

For a teacher, it has become easy to teach and communicate to parents and as the Principal, technology has helped to take the school to the next level. It is believed that a picture is worth thousand words. Animation adds spice to teaching.

Technological advancement has initiated the use of computers, thereby, helping the facilitators to save paper. The technological advancement has helped students to access sources of knowledge, interpret them, and create knowledge rather than be passive users. It also helps in promoting flexible models of curriculum transaction for the teachers. Technology helps to incorporate use of smart boards in the class and we, at K R Mangalam have digital classrooms.

How accessible is the school for the parents?

Interaction opens up new perspectives and our school bears testimony that the magical power of interaction can metamorphose the mundane to meaningful- the latent to laudable. KRM promotes education as a path for social mobility. We encourage the parents to help us continuously improve our systems rather than just listening to them and resolving their issues. Hence, we are an institution which makes the approach easy and transition, smooth. The school provides many formal and informal opportunities for parents to find out about their children’s progress at school.

We publish information for parents and the community to read. This publication is accessible on our school’s website. We provide information through our monthly newsletter about extracurricular activities, staff development priorities, initiatives, social climate of the school and strategies are used for involving parents in their child’s education. Parents contribute their skills and strengthen the resource pool of the school. Trust and positivity is mutually nurtured.

What is your vision and your goals that you have set for yourself in the coming future?

If I have to talk of my vision as the Principal and as an academician, I would like to see my children happy and become lifelong learners. I wish that my learners remain seekers of knowledge and motivated by curiosity with a growing sense of wonder to cultivate healthy attitude and traits in order to blossom in the air of trusted independence. I feel a powerful will and a positive attitude, with good planning and foresighted vision can take any educational establishment ahead, which is so pertinent in ‘Emerging India’.