J. Soujanya

EducationWorld November 2018 | Education World

J. Soujanya, joint-secretary, Nagarjuna Group of Institutions, Bangalore

Where would you place education on your national list of priorities?
Education is given top priority in all civilised societies around the world. It’s useful to remember what the great freedom fighter and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela said:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

How best to upgrade government schools and colleges.
There is an urgent need to inculcate the competitive spirit among government-run education institutions. Moreover, government — Centre plus states — annual expenditure for education has to be raised to 6 percent of GDP. There should be a consensus across all political parties on this national priority issue.

Thinker/philosopher you admire most.
Stephen Hawking. This English physicist, cosmologist and author of several seminal science-related books was successful in explaining difficult scientific ideas to the world.

Your favourite Nobel laureate.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
Your leadership style.
I believe great leadership should be built on the pillars of openness, honesty, trust and integrity. A great leader invests discipline and perseverance into her organisation.

Your favourite book on education
Teacher Evaluation: Comprehensive Guide to New Directions and Practices by Kenneth D. Peterson and Out of our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Sir Ken Robinson.
For or against the RTE Act’s 25 percent reservation for underprivileged children in private schools.
If properly implemented, s.12 (1) (c) of the RTE Act will truly enable some underprivileged children to access high-quality private school education. But currently, there are too many flaws and loopholes…

Should the education outlay be doubled by cutting defence expenditure?
We need to negotiate peaceful boundaries by improving relations with our neighbouring countries before reducing defence expenditure.

How satisfied are you with the growth and development of the Nagarjuna Group of Institutions?
Very satisfied. For 23 years, we have been engaged in serving society by shaping and preparing students for the 21st century.

Pessimistic or optimistic about the future of education in India?
Very optimistic.

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