Teachers’ Conclave @ Mumbai


Another grand session of The Progressive Teacher Conclave, was held at Mumbai, the ‘Bollywood City’. The event was hosted by New Saraswati House India Pvt. Ltd. on November 18, 2017 at Ramada Plaza Juhu, Mumbai. As always, the venue was full of enthusiastic teachers, principals and various other educationists.

The Progressive Teacher Conclave in Mumbai kicked off with a lamp lighting ceremony and later a welcome note by Rita Wilson, Editor, The Progressive Teacher Magazine.She touched upon the meaning and elements of Quality in Education while sharing her fortysix years of teaching experience.

According to her, Quality in Education means that in educational institutions, the focus is on learning which strengthens the capacities of children to act progressively through the acquisition of relevant knowledge, useful skills and appropriate attitudes; and which creates for children, and helps them create for themselves and others, places of safety, security, peace and healthy interaction. The terms efficiency, effectiveness, equity and quality have often been used synonymously.

The term quality includes:

Learners: healthy, ready to participate and learn and supported by families and communities.

Environment: healthy, safe, protective, gender sensitive, with adequate resources, and facilities.

Content: relevant curricula, materials for the acquisition of basic skills in literacy, numeracy, skills for life, and knowledge in areas such as gender, health, nutrition, prevention of diseases and peace.

Post her speech, the chief guest and keynote speaker of the ceremony, Dr Indu Shahani (President and Chair: ISDI/WPP and ISME), Founding Dean- ISME, delivered her keynote address on the topic ‘Significance and Importance of digital learning in education’. She talked about:

a. The Learning Avtaar.
b. Inquiry skills drives learning and needs to be reinforced.
c. Independent thinking, which comes with four capacities:

  • Communication.
  • Creativity/ Critical thinking.
  • Collaboration.
  • Compassion.

d. Importance of teachers as mentors (Inventors).
e. Importance of board rooms for students.
f. Policy makers should co-ordinate with schools.

After Dr Shahani’s address, Shammi Manik, Business Head, New Saraswati House gave a presentation on the role of educational publishers in the current education system. He briefed the audience about the contribution by New Saraswati House to the schools in terms of user friendly and updated books both for CBSE and ICSE,digital content in the form of CDs with a number of series, enabling multidisciplinary approach through various study materials, and support system through empowering teachers by conducting workshops. Shammi also showcased a number of new titles launched last year for ELT, Maths and Science by the organisation like The English Circle, The Grammar Train, Dashboard, etc. through his presentation.

There were a few panel discussions at the event. These included:

Panel Discussion 1-
Sustaining curiosity and improving the learning ability of students

Raunak Kapoor, Revathi Sriniwasan, Nirmal Waddan, Savita Venkat
Raunak Kapoor, Revathi Sriniwasan, Nirmal Waddan, Savita Venkat

This session was moderated by Raunak Kapoor, while the speakers included Revathi Sriniwasan, Principal, Sulochna Devi Singhania School, Thane; Nirmal Waddan, Principal, The Kalyani School, Pune; and Savita Venkat, Chief Executive Officer, Bombay Cambridge International School Gurukul, Mumbai.
During the discussion, the panelists and audience converged on the following points:

  • Curiosity and learning ability of students.
  • Fun elements in the learning process.
  • Teachers should not kill curiosity in children.
  • Curiosity begins from the womb.

The discussion progressively added points on how curiosity should be nurtured. All the three panelists put forward their views about the same.Later questions were asked by teachers to clarify the points discussed.
After the discussion, new products were launched which included: Bhasha Tarini- Hindi Series (IGCSE) released by Savita Venkat; The English Circle- ELT Series (ICSE) released by Revathi Sriniwasan; and Science Orbit- Science Series (ICSE) released by Nirmal Waddan. While, Vimal Kohli felicitated all the speakers.

Panel Discussion 2- Changing the learning path:
Using digital technology in education to teach Gen ‘Y’

Raunak Kapoor, Kavita Sanghvi, Willibrord George, Dr Ritu Narang
Raunak Kapoor, Kavita Sanghvi, Willibrord George, Dr Ritu Narang

This session was moderated by Raunak Kapoor, while the speakers included Kavita Sanghvi, Principal, MET Rishikul Vidyalaya, Bandra (MRV); Willibrord George, Principal and Chief Education Officer, St. Willibrord School; Prasanna Prabhakar Kelkar, HOD (Computer Department), St. Peter’s School, Panchgani; and Dr Ritu Narang, Head Digital & Training, NSHILP.

The Panelists discussed the following topics:

  • What age should technology be applied?
  • Change awakening path. Education has to change.
  • Change is happening but are we ready for that change.
  • Mobiles to be used by children in schools.Right now laptops are allowed.
  • SIMR discussed (Substitution, Implementation, Modification and Reading).
  • How we use technology?
  • Make it a gaming process to go to different levels.
  • Willibrord did an activity with the teachers on a smart phone highlighting the importance of technology in the field of sports. All the teachers present at the Conclave participated enthusiastically.
  • Engage with children and embrace technology.
  • Students to be taught how to blog, post and tweet.
  • Teachers put up questions to the panelists and a very interesting, interactive session followed.

After the discussion amongst the panelists, there were interesting questions raised by the audience. A few of the questions were- How far we are killing critical thinking when we focus on digitization and smart classes? To this the answer from the panelists was that we can in fact develop critical thinking amongst learners by using digitization;it’s just that we have to maintain an appropriate balance between the two. Also there were questions like all students are not the same; so how to cope with students with different abilities? To this, the answer was that we have to maintain a balance between the different mental levels of children,and different learning styles have to be used with children with different capabilities.
Shammi Manik felicitated all the guests including Raunak Kapoor.
The Conclave was very well organised by the Sales Team of New Saraswati House at Mumbai headed by Vimal Kohli, Viral Upadhayaand the Marketing Head, Dr Nisha Singh. It comprised interactive and knowledgeable sessions with everyone looking forward for more such events. Candy Dubey thanked all the participants whole-heartedly for their wonderful contribution in making the event successful.