‘Gurukul for Gurus’, vows that "the best of India will reach out to the rest of India" - IIM Kozhikode

 | February 02,2013 02:03 pm IST

Teachers, principals, educationists from across India participated in the three day Teacher Empowerment Workshop – ‘Leading Schools’ – at Park Hyatt, Hyderabad.
This workshop has been conceptualised and directed by Professor Debashis Chatterjee, Director of IIM Kozhikode and has benefited more than ten thousand teachers and school principals in the last decade.

For the first time, a major corporate - Malabar Gold & Diamonds is sponsoring 200 scholarships and 4 Gold Medals for the promotion of excellence in school education in India for school teachers and institutional leaders.

With a vision to fundamentally transform the education sector in India, the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK), organized a three days workshop (Jan 29–31) – Leading Schools - for school teachers, principals and educationists in Hyderabad. On this occasion, Kerala’s leading business group, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, announced 200 scholarships and 4 gold medals for school teachers. The objective of Leading Schools programme is to familiarize Indian educational leaders with the world's best practices in creating centers of excellence; understanding self to enhance effectiveness; broadening the horizon of perception and nurturing effective learning in the classrooms.

Inspired by the vision of its Director, Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, that "the best of India must take care of the rest of India", IIMK aspired to fundamentally mould education policies that opens the door of education excellence to the underprivileged and un-reached communities. This is the third of the series of workshops, sponsored by Malabar Gold & Diamonds to fulfill their share of what Prof. Chatterjee describes as ‘Corporate Educational Responsibility’. This is an example worth emulating by other corporate houses through public private partnerships.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, Director of IIMK who has designed and taught this workshop around the world said, “This workshop is a demonstration of the fact that the destiny of our country is being shaped in our classrooms. Our workshop is a commitment to reinventing teaching and learning excellence by encouraging schools to move away from the old-fashioned approach of teaching to a text toward learning in context. You can teach a child what is far only when he learns what is near. Technology is fast changing the way the younger generation receives information and teacher’s today have to adapt to their new learning environment. Teachers need to be oriented towards the realization that India is emerging as a global power, and the future generation and leaders are under their stewardship in the classrooms of today.”

Sharing his thoughts on the importance of school education and teachers, Mr. Asher, Group Executive Director, Malabar Group said, “Excellent school education creates a foundation for further studies. We believe in equal education available to all through our sustained support for academic excellence”.

The Institute propagates a bottom up approach rather than a top down approach to building excellence in schools. Some interesting facts and issues that emerged in this workshop, Gurukul for Gurus are given below:
• Most teachers in India are resistant to required change. Evaluation and learning methods are still primitive. The schools have made a mockery of the Comprehensive and Cumulative Evaluation Methods. The Bachelor of Education courses have not been upgraded for decades.
• The Right to Education has done something for inclusion and equity but has not assured excellence in the school system.
• The Central Education Boards are obsessed with imitating and buying education methods and technologies from countries as far as Australia without paying enough attention to the wealth of knowledge that already exists in the works of Indian gurus such as Tagore, Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda.
• 58% of school children in India are under-nourished. Children are eating a lot of processed food and are not given food on time by their parents. This affects their learning and stunts their growth as human beings.
• 8-10% of any classroom in India will have special education needs for children with cognitive, motor and communication disorders.
• Alcohol addiction of parents are causing foetal alcohol related problem for children in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
• Stress levels of children going up because of parental neglect and indiscriminate exposure to entertainment.
• Using mobile phones even when their motor skills are not formed and rapid eye movements because of excessive cartoon watching are significantly damaging their learning capability.
• How technology needs to be integrated with learning and teaching along with 'chalk and talk' method.