Dr. Neeta Bali, the Director of GD Goenka World School, gives insight into the secret to the success of International curriculum schools. She tells us how parents, teachers, and the National curriculum can improve to help students in a better way.
Journey to Today :
Dr. Neeta Bali is an extremely experienced educationalist, who has been in this field for about 38 years. She feels that she was always meant to be in this field. The journey, from being a Teacher to a Director, was replete with a lot of hurdles, but with her efforts and skills, she surpassed all of them. During her journey, she taught at various schools across the country. Dr. Bali believes she has learned some things from each of these institutions and carries them forward to the present day. She learnt about professionalism, conducting herself as an administrator, running a good residential school, international education, etc. All this in turn makes her a better educationalist and helps her to contribute more in her profession.
Failure is not the end of the road, rather it is an indication to change direction
She requests everyone to not see life as a ‘good or bad phase’. But, to see the totality of life in itself. Any phase, good or bad, is completely temporary. But, at the end of it, if you are happy with your journey that is what counts. A person might fail or fall down in life, but what is important is to have the strength rise from it like a Pheonix.
The Secret to the Success of International Curriculum Schools:
Currently, Dr. Bali is the director of a school that follows an international curriculum. She was kind enough to share with us the secret to the success of International curriculum schools.
She feels the main difference between National and Internation curriculum schools is their area of focus. International Schools are more inclined towards skill-based learning. National Schools are however still stuck with concept-based learning.
At International curriculum schools, students are introduced to concepts like referencing, recitation, writing ability, plagiarism, and so on. This helps students to excel in life, and are not just do good at school. There is a world out there for students to explore, outside of just getting good grades.
The International Education system does not believe in compartmentalization. Students have the flexibility to study anything and everything they want. And are not limited to specific fields. Students can explore various grounds and hence, be open to more opportunities. International Schools have a more holistic outlook on education, giving their students better exposure. With NEP, this will be addressed greatly.
Advice to Teachers:
Dr. Neeta Bali believes that a teacher’s influence can last an infinity. They have the power to make or break a life. All teachers should understand and acknowledge the power they have and use it wisely.
She advises the teachers to accept the fact that ‘every child is unique.’ Some children might be late bloomers, but it is important to always motivate them. And make them feel someone believes in them no matter what. Teachers should encourage every career aspect and guide students to the field they are interested in.
Teachers should always keep in mind that handling ’emotional distress’, matters more than getting good grades.
In this segment, we asked Dr. Bali a few questions which are frequently asked by parents and we got her opinions on them.
- How can you help a child who has stage fright?
Dr. Bali feels everyone has stage fright, even adults. Parents should not be very ambitious and must help their children take one step at a time. Let children start with reading one sentence in their class assembly, then increase the pace gradually with each day.
2. How to provide a psychologically safe environment to a child?
The key to this is being non-judgemental. Dr. Neeta Bali feels children might have a lot of things to say which parents won’t be fully able to understand. But, they have to be patient and non-judgmental about it. They have to overcome their own prejudices and listen to what the child has to say all the way through. Children should feel heard and safe, and that has to start from home.
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