Located in the very heart of the city, accessible from quite a few posh colonies, we had the chance to interact with the principal of Tagore International East of Kailash, Nandita Sahu
- What was the idea behind the foundation of the school?
Tagore International School was founded by Dr. Mrs. H. Sen in 1964 with the aim of creating a free atmosphere where children develop their personality to the fullest extent. Founded on the principles of Tagore’s educational philosophy, the school believes that ‘self-realization’ is the goal of education. Therefore, at TIS, the focus is on self–discovery through achievement, self-understanding and appreciation. The students are encouraged to strive for excellence and challenge their potential to bring out the best in them. Academic excellence is also a must-do on the priority list, while we encompass the core with a strong value system that shall sustain these youngsters in the journey of their lives. The school believes in inculcating the ethos of ‘Aham yogya asmi,’ i.e.,
‘I am worthy’ to its students who have proved to be great ambassadors of the motto by their sheer perseverance and diligence.
- How would you describe the educational philosophy of the school?
We are a progressive, innovative and change oriented school and we ensure that the teachers keep themselves abreast with the changing rules, pedagogy and objectives. The teachers are encouraged to participate in various faculty development programmes and workshops to update their knowledge and learning. The role of teachers at TIS is to guide students in the areas where they need guidance as innovators. Computers have become an essential ingredient in the recipe and technology plays a vital role. There is a transition from a heavy emphasis on teaching to a heavy emphasis on learning. Our teaching methodology is such that a student leaves this institution as a harmonious personality, not a trained specialist.
Emphasis is also laid on recognizing every individual’s special talent or interest. Structures within the school such as the house system and the tutor groups allow for much closer contact between the students and the staff, which enables recognition of both achievements and problems. The school believes in providing a nurturing environment where students are encouraged to participate in a number of sports and co-curricular activities, including Taekwondo, Aerobics and Yoga.
- How has the journey been for you, as a principal as well as an educator?
As an educator, I have always felt connected to the children. I strongly believe that a strong bond between the educator and the learner goes a long way in facilitating the teaching-learning process. As a principal, I feel a greater responsibility to ensure that the environment at school is conducive to learning for the students as well as the staff. I try my best to promote compassion and cultivate a collaborative environment.
- As a teacher and then a principal, how do you feel technology has seeped into the education system today?
Technology has permeated in every aspect of education. Teachers needn’t impart knowledge now as there are more sources than simply the book and the teacher. Hence, the ‘Google Generation’ has easy access to information, data, audios, videos and e-learning. Flipped classes, use of multimedia and audio-video learning aids have made the teaching learning process interesting and more effective. The role of a teacher has changed from a ‘sage on the stage’ to a ‘guide on the side’. Online assessments are also more reliable and impartial.
As a principal, I feel that the school must create a global platform for the students, to ensure they leverage technology for innovation and for mobilizing their creative impulse.
- Kindly talk us through some of the achievements of the school, esp in the recent years.
The school has been awarded ‘Samvedana’, the Health Educator Award and ‘Mahatma Gandhi Intergenerational Empowerment Award’, Instituted by Healthy Aging India in Association with Times Foundation and Community Ophthalmology Department of AIIMS, ‘Scholar’ School Award and ‘Cosmopolitan’ Award for the Best School In Student Exchange Programme & Cultural Activities. Apart from that, the school has been accredited International Felicitation for Clean and Green School Award 2015. Another feather to the cap was when the school won the Delhi Gaurav Award (DGA) in the Best international School category in 2015. The school was bestowed with the International School Award (ISA) 2014-17 by the British Council
The school has a national presence in the field of sports as the students have time and again brought laurels to the school and made a name for themselves. The girls’ football team in particular is the National U-19 national champion and Dalima Chibber, a school alumnus, even captained the National U-19 Team and represented the country in international matches. In co-curricular activities too, the students have made a name for themselves. The school is a place for budding debaters, poets, artists, musicians and dancers. The students are encouraged to participate in Inter school competitions to inculcate in them the zeal to excel and improve.
- How accessible is the school for the parents?
Once again, technology has made communication easier and faster. The curriculum for all scholastic & co-scholastic areas, details of events/ special assemblies at school, upcoming events, achievements & awards and the day-to-day circulars are easily available on the school website. The parents can also reach out to the respective teachers/ principal through online portal. In a special initiative, all class teachers have formed Whatsapp groups with the parents of their classes to ensure easy communication on day-to-day basis. Besides regular PTMs, parents can also meet the teachers and the principal within the specified time.
- What are some of the goals that you have set for yourself in the coming future?
My goal for the future is to expand the horizons of students by strengthening the global ties and provide better opportunities to each student to become conscientious, smart and confident citizens. I want my students to take a leap from materialism and emerge as compassionate individuals who contribute meaningfully to the society.