28 August 2013

Shree Krisnna Janmaashtami

Today is a very auspicious day for Hindus. This is the day (at around midnight) when Lord Shree Mahaa Vishnu took avataar as Shree Krishna in Dwaapara Yuga. I'll write more about it later when I find time and leave you for the time being, with Shree Krishna Janmaashtami Greetings.  

25 August 2013

Today there were two TV programs which I found interesting. The first one was about African restaurants in Australia; it contained a lot of interesting information about the diverse spectrum of food items in Ethiopia, Ghana etc. Ethiopian coffee and `Injera' (Ethiopian pancake) took me on a nostalgic journey to the Horn of Africa, down my memory lane. The second program was BBC's `Fast track'; it featured Vietnam (culture and traditions of which are somewhat similar to that of Cambodia). Such programs are not only interesting but also educative,    

12 August 2013

World of contrasts

Today we seem to live in a world of significant contrasts. This morning two very contrasting news reports caught my attention: one was how most of our private K-12 schools function and the other was how a good person and his mother serve children in the orphanages. (Any honest school education professional knows the level of corruption, nepotism etc in most private schools in India. However there are very good private schools as well, but their number seems to be too small). I tried to provide a link to the second news report mentioned above, but I can't, as I am unable to access it from the news items list on the newspaper's webpages (This shows how user friendly our newspapers are!)       

07 August 2013

Since this morning, I have been seeing ads at many places in my blog posts, though I never worked on my blog to add ads.  (When using IE instead of Google Chrome, I don't come across this problem. I have communicated via Google help team with a hope to get this problem sorted out. I am not sure as to whether the problem is with my browser settings or the computer system. Besides, according to the virus scan report, my PC is alright. I'm trying to resolve the issue with help of a qualified technician).   As this is something totally unexpected, I request all readers of my blog to ignore these ads.Thanks.

03 August 2013

School mapping

Whether it is `No Child Left Behind' in the U.S. or `Child Friendly Schools' Policy in many countries of the world, national governments seem to hope that all children are enrolled in schools. In countries with rural populations, achieving this aim becomes difficult due to economic and geographic constraints, which can be solved.

Any experienced education professional would know that the first step in handling the issue is to develop an effective, contextually relevant school mapping policy. It is important not only to develop a clear and transparent policy but also monitor its implementation at all levels so that the program is sustainable and economically viable to the main beneficiaries: children and their parents. (The saying `Well begun is half done' may probably be very applicable in this context). 

Last month, there was a novel initiative in New Zealand in this direction. Let me leave you with the related news paper report which you may find thought provoking.    
Though most K-12 teachers and school principals know the problems associated with running schools effectively, they cannot do any thing about it, as some of these problems (for instance heavily quantity oriented curriculum and parental obsession for their children's `first rank') are beyond their control.

Added to these, are problems due to school managements. Well, I do not certainly say that all schools are mismanaged. Although there are several excellent K-12 schools and school systems in India, these seem to be a minority, if we go by media reports.

From my own experience as school principal, I think that it is very important to have good stakeholder relationship in school systems not only between teachers, parents and children, but also between school managements and principals. It was interesting for me to read a news item this morning in an Auckland (New Zealand) based newspaper

It is very important that school teachers and principals are given due consideration in decision making processes and their points of view recognized in all areas of school education.   

About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a retired K-12 Education Management Professional. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.