Co-founder, DPS Bangalore & School of India
Mansoor Ali Khan is co-founder/director of five K-12 DPS schools in Bengaluru and Mysuru (Karnataka), franchised by Delhi Public School Society (estb.1949). The first DPS, Bangalore South was promoted in 2001, followed by DPS, Bangalore North (2002), DPS, Bangalore East (2007), DPS, Mysore (2012), DPS, Electronic City and School of India, Bangalore (2014). Currently, the DPS schools host an aggregate 28,000 students and 2,000 teachers.
How satisfied are you with your schools’ switch to the online mode of learning during the pandemic?
To say I’m satisfied would be an understatement. Our smooth transition to virtual learning has been extraordinary, made possible by our hardworking and resilient teachers — converts to digitally-enabled blended education, now the new normal. From providing online classroom lessons to proctoring students’ assessment, organising online competitions and coding classes; from online parent-teacher meetings to delivering one-on-one remedial classes for lagging children, our teachers have outdone themselves. They often stumbled but came back stronger and unstoppable.
What are the major factors that enabled the smooth switch of your DPS schools to online learning?
Our first priority was to safeguard the health and well-being of our teachers and staff. Therefore, right from April 2020, we started Covid testing all staff and their families, and have vaccinated all of them. Second, we focused on preparing, planning and implementing our online learning programmes on a war footing to maintain our students’ learning continuity. Third, we paid close attention to complying with ever-changing government rules and regulations. Moreover, we resolved to be gentle with teachers, parents, children and all stakeholders. We constantly remind ourselves that we are in the midst of an unprecedented health pandemic which is taking lives and livelihoods.
What are the major community service and student welfare programmes launched by your schools to aid others affected by the pandemic?
The DPS Bangalore/Mysore and School of India management, staff, parents, alumni and students have stepped forward to help each other and society through several social service initiatives. These include distribution of food rations, medicines, masks, PPE kits, sanitisers for healthcare workers across Bangalore and Karnataka; provision of daily meals to families in quarantine identified by apps created by students. DPS alumni are also working as volunteers to help Covid-19 patients access hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, and our teachers are providing tele-counselling services in vernacular languages. Moreover, we have given financial relief and fee waivers to our parents who have suffered job losses.
Should schools be reopened now? Are your schools ready for in-person classes?
Yes, schools should reopen now. All our DPS schools and School of India are fully compliant with government mandated Covid-19 safety protocols. Thorough safety audits have been conducted to ensure preparedness for reopening all our schools. Moreover, all teachers and staff have been vaccinated.
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