Sambhav Kataria, the Head Boy of Emerald Heights International School, Indore wants to pursue Materials Science and Engineering in the future. Having a passion for Debate, Drums, and Theatre, Kataria wants to pursue his graduation from a foreign university. Head Girl Sienna Chambial on the other hand has a huge interest in Mathematics and wants to take up a major in the same. She too wants to pursue her graduation from the United States and loves to read, paint, sing and play basketball. Her love for public speaking too fits completely with her role at the school.
EducationWorld talks to Sambhav and Sienna in its next story of the Students’ Corner series which puts special emphasis on students and their views.
The Students council representative is a coveted position. How do you carry out your responsibilities and studies together?
Sambhav: The Emerald Heights International School, since its foundation, has had the mission of providing the country’s youth with an opportunity to acquire an all-round education. I strongly believe that this is the very outcome of what we have been learning in the environment of achievements and excellence. Positions in the student council, in fact, present a certain responsibility and a bar that needs to be raised and paced with in terms of academics and the primary focus of a classroom. And I think that’s when we realize how with great representation comes great responsibilities. The best way to manage studies which such responsibilities are to make yourself understand that academics itself is a responsibility that indeed has equal aspects as duties, extra-curricular, and sports combined. This is how we, the students at The Emerald Heights International School guarantee a holistic approach to different elements of schooling.
Sienna: I believe that the key to doing justice to such a coveted position is understanding the importance of the responsibility placed on my shoulders and ensuring that I do not let it affect my studies or other duties as a student. Managing to do this was very difficult in my initial weeks. But with time, I learned to adapt and work better. I firmly believe that effective time management has helped me find the perfect balance. Prioritizing tasks efficiently and changing these priorities based on immediate requirements has been integral in this process. Being the head girl means students of all grades look up to me. Hence, I need to set a good example for them, academically and otherwise. This thought is my biggest source of motivation that helps me manage my studies and responsibilities simultaneously.
Q- Mention the challenges that come alongside this post.
Sambhav: I strongly believe that being the head of the council is looking at everything as a fruitful challenge, wherein even the cons would look as if they are an opportunity to train yourself to all kinds of situations. Everyday challenges include spontaneous management or coordination activities, impromptu sessions, certain responsibilities with specific expectations from both the faculty and the students, and leading the whole team of council members while making all of them come to one table.
Sienna: The biggest challenge that came alongside this post was to unite the student council and ensure that it worked as a cohesive unit. It was difficult to manage such a large chunk of the student body and ensure that everyone performed their duties effectively. There were a few instances of miscommunication and mismanagement, but everything fell into place through persistent efforts.
Working as the Head Boy/Head Girl has its own pros and cons. Friends have their umpteen demands on you. How do you maintain the same? How do you deal with your friends?
Sambhav: The council works in such a way that makes the students practice real-world democracy at a very young age. Every council member who has been elected has to fundamentally practice the essence of democracy, leaving their friends and their umpteen demands. Another wonderful thing that one can observe is the level of understanding amongst students, where it is justifiable to friends or to any other student, what the duties of the council members are. This practice not only follows discipline but also looks out for a student’s friendship.
Sienna: Fortunately, I have not had any issues with friends making unreasonable demands and asking me to misuse my post. I have held a few leadership positions throughout my school life, and the early exposure that Emerald Heights provided me has prepared me to deal with such demands. This exposure has helped me a lot.
How long do you spend on social media? If yes, how does it help you in life or how does it distract you in life? (Whichever is applicable for you)
Sambhav: I strongly believe that it’s not about how long or how much time one spends on social media but rather how exactly that time is being utilized to contribute to the community. Our shift from offline learning to online learning and then back again to offline learning was a drastic one, despite that, we have students working on their own start-ups, volunteer projects, organizations, community groups, and in fact as interns which is how our school makes us understand about the bridge of communication that is essential these days and this is why we have different panels of our clubs, projects, and conferences that we host to update the world about how we’re the best school in the world. But all of this is only applicable when social media is used in the right and ethical manner.
Sienna: On average, I spend about an hour and a half daily on social media. Personally, it has been a blessing for me, especially since covid, as it has helped me stay in touch with my friends who live in different cities across the world. In addition, social media helps keep me updated about current affairs and news of national and international importance and also acts as a source of my daily entertainment. I admit that it can sometimes get distracting, with catchy reels and memes keeping me glued to my screen for a considerable amount of time. But I have learned to fight this urge with time.
Q- Have you understood the National Education Policy 2020’s takeaways?
Sambhav: In my viewpoint, the National Education Policy introduced in the year 2020 is an exceptional way to guide young minds in the right direction. I think the pursuits of what our government is asking us to preach, is what we are already planning with our students. For example, We have 16 different clubs for students, from cooking to climate science, from economics to entrepreneurship, from public speaking to public affairs, and various others that plan to cope with the new education policy which enhances and furnishes the child to become industry-ready.
Sienna: Yes, I have understood the takeaways of the National Education Policy 2020. I believe that it is a well-thought, strategic, and visionary policy which, if executed properly, would do wonders for future generations. Not only will it help generate academically proficient youth, but it will also train them vocationally from a young age. I am very hopeful for the future of the Indian education system. The only downside is that I will not get to experience this policy’s implementation while I am in school.
Q- Do you think this post of the Head Boy/Head Girl helps you develop your soft skills and makes you industry-ready? Or is this very much related to school activities only, and the industry is way different? Your views.
Sambhav: “OM TAT SAT”, ‘Om’ is the devotion of eternal height and ‘Tat-Sat’ states that the true achievements lie in it. This is the motto of our school, which we wear with pride and stand true to. These achievements are not just a school affair, they are in fact a part of the process where we get to know how we are preparing ourselves to become industry-ready. I am realizing how every skill is crucial, and in my opinion, there is no such word called illiterate in current times, one is either academically literate or ‘skilled’ literate. Skill of any kind has perhaps given me the balance of an industry’s demographics. This balance is perhaps a soft skill, in my opinion, a necessary soft skill that puts you out of your comfort zone and poses challenges that are only meant for the easy world. At The Emerald Heights International School, we prepare ourselves for things that even the industry would find new, unique and inquisitive and I think that is what gets us ready for actual fieldwork from regular school work.
Sienna: Absolutely! This post has helped me develop soft skills integral to the contemporary world. Being the head girl means that I have to be a good leader and a team player. And to effectively lead a team so big, I need to be a good listener and communicator. I have to be empathetic and understanding towards other students, creative and analytical in my approach to problems, and spontaneous in managing unexpected situations that may show up. All of this has made me industry-ready because these skills are expected of future leaders, and mastering them will undeniably help me in the professional sphere of my life.
Also Read: Students’ Corner: Kriti Garg, SAI International School