ETTECHX – 05 – 06 – 07 December 2024 – Hyderabad – Telengana

Expert View

“In our quest to prepare students for the future, we’ve taken a holistic approach to education…”

In today’s rapidly evolving world, the pivotal role of education in preparing students for the demands of the 21st-century job market cannot be overstated. Mr. Siddharth Rajgarhia, Director of Delhi Public School, Nashik, Varanasi, Lava Nagpur, explains how his school, across all three campuses, is trying to effectively bridge the gap between education and employability in this era.

1. How does your school bridge the gap between traditional school education and the evolving demand for tech-driven education?

Our school is committed to bridging the gap between traditional education and the evolving demand for tech-driven education. We believe in leveraging technology to enhance learning and prepare our students for the future. Our programs are designed to integrate tech tools wherever they can augment learning. For example, we use GeoGebra and Desmos for mathematics, online simulators for science and Google Earth and the internet for research in social studies.

We are also focused on building a digital assessment infrastructure that will provide us with valuable data on student learning, enabling us to tailor our teaching methods more effectively. Robotics, coding, and hands-on activities in our tinkering lab are integral parts of our curriculum, ensuring that students gain practical experience with technology from an early age.

Furthermore, we have recently established collaborations with a tech learning company to continuously improve our programs. These partnerships allow us to stay at the forefront of educational technology and ensure that our students are well-equipped to thrive in a tech-driven world.

Overall, our approach is to seamlessly integrate technology into the learning process, making it a natural part of our students’ educational journey. This not only enhances their learning experience but also prepares them for the technological challenges of the future.

2. Can you elaborate on any specific curriculum enhancements or extracurricular activities aimed at fostering employability skills?

In our quest to prepare students for the future, we’ve taken a holistic approach to education that not only covers academic excellence but also places a strong emphasis on developing key employability skills. Recognizing the importance of entrepreneurship, leadership, and effective communication, we’ve integrated specific programs and activities throughout our curriculum.

  • Middle School Entrepreneurship Program: We introduce our middle school students to the world of entrepreneurship through a hands-on program where they conceptualize, develop, and run their own businesses. This initiative allows students to engage in selling products such as candles, soaps, and incense sticks over the course of a year. This practical experience not only nurtures their entrepreneurial spirit but also imparts critical skills like basic finance management, decision-making, and problem-solving.
  • Senior School Career Preparedness: As our students progress to senior school, we shift the focus towards career preparedness. Through dedicated sessions, students work on creating their CVs and engage in introspective activities to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and skills. This reflective practice is crucial in helping them understand their career inclinations and how to position themselves in the job market.
  • Leadership and Communication: From an early age, we emphasize student leadership by providing ample opportunities for voice, choice, and responsibility. This fosters a growth in confidence and leadership skills. Furthermore, our participation in programs like TED-Ed clubs enhances our ability to communicate effectively. We rigorously assess communication skills and critical thinking, ensuring that our students are well-prepared to articulate their ideas and lead with confidence.

These initiatives represent our commitment to not just academic instruction but to molding well-rounded individuals who are ready to tackle the challenges of tomorrow’s job market. Our students emerge not just as scholars, but as confident, skilled individuals ready to innovate and lead in their chosen fields.

3. How does the school promote critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability?

Our school promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability through various innovative approaches. One of our key initiatives is the Learning Expeditions program, a yearlong journey where students delve into the real world to explore and find answers to complex questions that intrigue them. This program positions our students as change agents, challenging them to devise innovative solutions to pressing issues. They employ our unique Possibility Framework to transform these ideas into actionable solutions, thereby making the seemingly impossible possible.

In addition to this, our math departments across all campuses engage students with a weekly problem-solving exercise that is age-appropriate and directly aimed at enhancing their problem-solving skills. This regular practice not only sharpens their mathematical acumen but also fosters a mindset geared toward tackling challenges effectively.

Furthermore, we emphasize the importance of learning from nature and real-life experiences. Our students are regularly encouraged to participate in excursions and treks, providing them with opportunities to observe, interact with, and learn from the natural environment. This hands-on approach not only nurtures their adaptability but also deepens their understanding of the world around them.

Through these diverse and dynamic learning experiences, we aim to equip our students with the skills and mindset necessary to navigate and thrive in an ever-changing world.

4. Are there any collaborations or partnerships with industries or organizations to provide students with exposure to real-world challenges?

Yes, our school, across all three campuses, has established several collaborations and partnerships with industries and organizations to provide our students with exposure to real-world challenges. Some of our key collaborations include:

  • Somaiya Institute: We collaborate with the Somaiya Institute to offer our students insights into higher education and research opportunities.
  • Young Indians: Our partnership with Young Indians allows students to engage in various entrepreneurial and leadership initiatives, fostering a spirit of innovation and social responsibility.
  • Manori Village Panchayat: We work closely with the Manori Village Panchayat to involve our students in community development projects, helping them understand the importance of civic engagement and rural development.
  • Nearby Government Schools: We collaborate with nearby government schools to promote educational equity, allowing our students to engage in peer learning and community service.
  • Balikashram: Our association with Balikashram provides our students with opportunities to volunteer and support underprivileged children, teaching them empathy and social awareness.
  • Old Age Homes and Orphanages: We encourage our students to visit and interact with residents of old age homes and orphanages, fostering intergenerational learning and compassion.
  • Industrial Speakers: We regularly invite speakers from various industries, such as ESDS, Banaras Beads, and Timus Bags, to share their expertise and insights with our students, broadening their understanding of different career paths and industry challenges.

Through these collaborations, our students gain hands-on experience and develop a deeper understanding of real-world issues, preparing them to become well-rounded and socially responsible individuals.

5. What role does career counseling or guidance play in helping students understand the connection between their education and future employability?                       

Career counseling is like a bridge that connects the world of education to the vast landscape of future careers. It’s not just about helping students pick a job; it’s about guiding them to discover who they are and what they love to do. Imagine a student who loves math but doesn’t see the point in studying it. Career counseling can show them how those numbers and formulas can turn into a thrilling career in engineering or finance. It’s also like having a personal career detective. Students get to explore different professions, uncovering the mysteries of what it takes to succeed in each one. This journey of discovery helps them see how their current classes are stepping stones to their dream jobs.

But it’s not all about the destination. Career counseling also focuses on the skills needed for the journey. It’s like packing a suitcase with essentials like critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. These are the tools that will help students navigate any career path they choose. And let’s not forget about setting the course. With career counseling, students learn to map out their goals and the steps to reach them. It’s like having a GPS for their educational journey, ensuring they stay on track toward their future careers. In essence, career counseling is an essential part of K-12 education. It lights the way for students, helping them connect the dots between their studies and their future success in the workforce. It’s not just about finding a job; it’s about finding their place in the world.

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