Dr. Skand Bali — Principal, Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet
An alum of Punjab University with 20 years experience in top-ranked schools (Army Public School, Dagshai, Doon School, Dehradun, G.D. Goenka World School, Gurgaon), Dr. Skand Bali is the high-profile principal of the CISCE-affiliated Hyderabad Public School (HPS), Begumpet, which has 3,600 students and 162 faculty on its muster rolls.
NEP 2020 overview. NEP 2020 delivers a strong message: Education must prepare children for life and not just careers. Among the policy’s noteworthy reform proposals are inclusion of skills-based vocational training in school curriculums, integration of technology, continuous professional development of teachers and universalisation of early childhood care and education. Although opposed by many, allowing multi-lingualism in classroom instruction is in my opinion, a positive step as I believe teaching-learning is a cognitive theory of concepts which happens best without language compulsion.
Switch of K-12 schools to online learning during the Covid-19 crisis. The online/ blended learning solution is specific to the Covid-19 crisis. This mode of learning certainly cannot replace face-to-face teaching that connects schools, teachers and students. I am a strong proponent of hands-on learning pedagogies as expounded by the great educationist John Dewey.
Government interference in fees and online education delivery of private schools. Government interference causes little damage to private schools run with the objective of providing quality education, as most regulations are in favour of children. However, I believe that the education ministry/department should consult with experienced educators before drafting rules and regulations.
HPS-Begumpet initiatives. We have designed an international curriculum and introduced agriculture and entrepreneurship development as subjects. The school’s department of progressive learning pedagogies is also working with teachers to continuously upgrade their skills and expertise using latest research in education.
Top 3 proposals for re-inventing K-12 education.
• Switch to child-centric skills-based education where learning is not only about acquiring knowledge, but life skills as well.
• Integrate technology as a pedagogical tool, so that learning is life-long and doesn’t stop.
• Reform the assessment system and appreciate children for their effort and not just exam scores.