Educators Need Flexibility and liberty to plan!
Keeping in view the cultural, social and economic diversity of India, it is difficult to have a rigid set of rules and regulations for education administration as the human and material resources available is sure to vary from situation to situation and region to region. So, educators must be given the liberty and flexibility to plan programs and activities, make changes in the curriculum, decide the method of teaching considering the human resources available and their socio-economic background.
The journey towards seeking excellence in education is full of challenges but school management and educators are trying their best. Here, Sangeeta Hajela, Principal, DPS Indirapuram shares her views on the need for freedom for school management.
TPS: Do you think it is proper to have a set of rules and regulations for the entire country for educational administration especially in the context of cultural, social and economic diversities that exist in the country?
Sangeeta: It is quite apparent that education administration needs integration and coordination of all the physical and human resources and educational elements. Besides this, it requires human sympathy, understanding, knowledge and skill. Keeping in view the cultural, social and economic diversity of India, it is difficult to have a rigid set of rules and regulations for education administration as the human and material resources available is sure to vary from situation to situation and region to region, for example the needs and circumstances of a learner in the remote highlands of Ladakh will naturally be different from those living in coastal areas. In my opinion, the different processes in education administration like, planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, evaluating etc. can be defined, but educators must be given the liberty and flexibility to plan programs and activities, make changes in the curriculum, decide the method of teaching considering the human resources available and their socio-economic background.
The prime responsibility of all schools is to nurture the children in its care, to evolve them into academically sound and good human beings, ready to take on the world as ‘Global Citizens’ and most schools would be working towards this.
TPS: Do you think that schools and educational institutes have adequate freedom to manage their schools to infuse creativity, innovation and novelty? If yes, how do you think this is implemented? If not, what steps should be taken by the schools to address the area?
Sangeeta: It is true that schools have a regulated environment in the Indian Educational System. But even within the limits imposed by the system, a lot can be achieved through optimum utilization of all resources, human and otherwise. I am really filled with awe and admiration for the things this younger generation is capable of doing and at our school we bring out the best in each one by giving them an environment that lets them experiment, innovate and learn to manage things hands-on. The establishment of various clubs and societies in schools is a step in that direction. At DPS Indirapuram, we have always realised and acknowledged individual differences and we appreciate and nurture people with different attitudes and attributes.
TPS: What kind of roadblocks are created by educational administrators in terms of regulations to hinder the growth of an educational institution? How can these be managed?
Sangeeta: The journey towards seeking excellence in education will surely be full of challenges and it is perhaps these, that make it even more exciting. Certain regulations defined by education administrators, especially the structural pattern of the curriculum may straight jacket the system, but these cannot be considered as major roadblocks that hinder the growth of educational institutions. It is for ‘us’ as educators, to devise innovative ways to weave creativity in the fabric of the present curriculum and I can vouchsafe that there is enough scope for it, if one has the passion to make a difference. Moreover we must keep in mind that the educational administrators and leaders have a long term vision and the regulations devised by them focuses on the larger picture which implies quantitative expansion and quantitative improvement of education.
TPS: Do you think ‘mistrust’ is one of the key factors in administration, which calls for continuous policing of the educational institutions? How far the schools themselves are responsible for this kind of a situation?
Sangeeta: Every educational organization has certain goals or vision to fulfil and in order to achieve it, the various programs and activities are conceived and planned in accordance with the national curriculum framework, with the involvement of the Management and all stakeholders. When the deliverable is so important, ‘Trust’ is the key element which binds the various stakeholders in this system.
There is no scope of ‘mistrust’ and the consequent ‘policing’. As education is primarily a social enterprise, the society keeps a close watch . May be some ailing institutions are the reason why many more are seen as not trustworthy !
TPS: How can schools which misuse the provisions of the rules be made to fall in line? Are there other methods of streamlining their functions?
Sangeeta: The prime responsibility of all schools is to nurture the children in its care, to evolve them into academically sound and good human beings, ready to take on the world as ‘Global Citizens’ and most schools would be working towards this, so somehow l do not agree with the concept of making schools ‘fall in line.’ Education administration aims to ensure qualitative improvement in education by integrating the appropriate human and material resources through a number of processes. The schools must streamline their functions to fit the given framework but to enable them to adapt to the guidelines it is very important to create the right kind of environment through motivation, encouragement and cooperation.
Sangeeta Hajela, Principal, DPS Indirapuram.