Hands-on Learning, Outside Classroom
Sasmita Mohanty, Director, Sanjay Ghodawat International School, on how the residential school has been practising NEP’s core values for 30 years
Sanjay Ghodawat International (SGI) School enrolls about 4,500 students and around 600 faculty members. It welcomes both boarding and day scholars on its campus and offers CBSE, Cambridge and International Baccalaureate boards. Sasmita Mohanty joined the residential school in 2012 when the school had just begun its affiliation with the CBSE and was beginning the Cambridge curriculum. Mohanty has watched the school expand to offer more opportunities to students and open a branch in Karnataka.
Mohanty claims that while the National Education Policy (NEP) was introduced in 2020, the school has already been practicing many of its core values for the last 30 years. Mohanty states, “We give equal importance to extracurricular activities and academics.” She adds, “As an educator, I believe students learn many values and develop their personalities outside of the classrooms. So, we maintain a balance in that and we give a lot of hands-on experience.”
The biggest challenge for a residential school is nurturing and taking on the responsibility of a diverse group of children full-time. “Children come from different emotional & social backgrounds and they're away from their families and homes,” explains Mohanty. Therefore, teachers need to 'take on the role of parent'. Mohanty stresses the importance of teachers being committed to the children, practising empathy and making sure their emotional needs are being met. Teachers need to be employed with care and provided constant training to be able to adapt to a boarding school environment.
Extracurricular and holistic education
SGI School prides itself on its strong sports infrastructure and employing professional coaches to ensure quality education and training for its students. Sports facilities include stadiums for football and cricket, along with a shooting range, horse riding, archery and table tennis.
The focus of the school is on the holistic development of children. They have a daily routine that makes time for classes, studying, sports and any other activity students may want to pursue. Mohanty stresses the importance of caring for the mental health and wellbeing through meditation and good nutrition. “We focus on the development of moral values because we feel that creating global citizens with human heart is important,” states Mohanty.
When a group of children are together and have nothing to do, “they are definitely going to create some kind of destructive situation", says Mohanty. The key is to keep a structured, organised daily routine that engages and improves children at the same time. A method to address their progress and share it with the parents is also necessary.
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