The National Progressive Schools’ Conference ( NPSC)

Posted by on Mar 18, 2019 in School News | Comments Off

The 46th Annual Conference of the NPSC was held on 12 and 13 February, 2019 at the IIC on the topic ‘Reading between the Lines: Defining the ‘Progressive’. The workshop was attended by two of our teachers, Ms. Deepa Chugh and Dr. Shikha Sharma.

NPSC is an association of senior secondary schools across the country and has 177 leading private schools under its umbrella. Known for its collaborative work in teaching- learning practices, policy making, scholastic and co-scholastic initiatives and reforms in education, members of the NPSC work in collaboration with government organisations.

The conference started with the registration of participants, followed by an invocation song sung by the students of Springdales School, Pusa Road. The welcome address by Ms. Sadhna Bhalla, Chairperson, NPSC and Principal of Mira Model School was followed by the presentation of the annual report by Ms. Malini Narayanan, Secretary NPSC and Principal of Army Public School, Shankar Vihar. The latter shared the numerous activities planned in various schools for students as well as principals and mentioned the highlight of the year was ‘Conversations’, the monthly lecture series at the INTACH Auditorium.

NPSC members offered their schools as venues for the various Capacity Building workshops of the CBSE, where teachers of various schools participated in the second essay writing competition. Such essays were compiled as a book titled, ‘Epigenetics of Shame-positivity begets positivity.’ This was followed by the announcement of the third essay writing competition on the topic ‘Reflections of Effective Teachers’.

Mr. Ravi Chandran, National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan released the UN-NPSC calendar. Mr. Pavan Verma, former Member of Parliament, diplomat and author, presented the keynote address, emphasising upon the need to teach students to respect dissent and to be observant.

Chief Guest, Dr. Anantha Duraiappah, Director of UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, addressed the gathering. He spoke on the need for developing emotional intelligence, building self-awareness and empathy amongst students. He talked about learning to deal with an overload of information available on the internet and suggested games for learning to make compassion and empathy a habit.

Life members and and honorary members were felicitated and new members were introduced and awarded certificates. ‘Book of essays 2018’ was released by Mr. S.K.Bhattacharya, and Mr. Suraj Prakash, Life Members of NPSC. Teachers who had written outstanding essays were honoured by Mr. S.L. Jain, Dr. Usha Ram and Dr. Jyoti Bose, Honorary Members of NPSC. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Rajesh Hasija, Vice-Chairperson, NPSC and Principal of Indraprastha International School, Dwarka

Session 1: Mr. Mahesh Rangarajan ( Dean of Academic Affairs, Ashoka University)
Title: A common future? A habitable earth for all in this new century. Mr Rangarajan shared instances from history and talked about establishing a connection between them and the current times. He insisted upon teachers sharing the information in the form of stories so that it becomes easier for students to relate to them.
Session 2: Mr. Gurcharan Das, author and commentator
Title: ‘Making a living versus making a life’-
Mr. Das talked about his book and the importance of fulfilling one’s aspirations and desires. He also mentioned how one should work in a specific direction to keep oneself above everything and be happy.
Sessions 3: Ms. Vanita Uppal OBE, Director, The British School, New Delhi
Title: If you want to fly, give up the things that weigh you down. Engage, Enrich and Empower!
Ms. Uppal’s session was very interactive as she asked us various questions and allowed us to discuss and ponder about what our school is best at, what would we as teachers like to do in a classroom situation, etc. She
urged us to think of something which we can stop immediately. She talked about the wasting of time while changing and shifting from one idea to another and suggested that we should reflect upon what we are already doing and try to improve on that rather than always trying to test different ideas. She suggested that we as teachers need to loosen ourselves of the burden that weighs us down and be more confident and raise the bar for ourselves and our students.
Session 4: Ameen Haque, Story coach, innovation consultant and diversity champion
Title: Better together: fostering collaboration
Mr. Haque commenced his session by telling us a story which engaged the audience. By making us a part of it he clearly conveyed the importance of storytelling. He threw light on the crisis of language that our students are facing as they are not in a habit of reading and lack expressions in Hindi and English. He suggested that school libraries should be scrutinised as there are lots of old books that need to be discarded and more realistic stories added for the students to relate in the present times. He shared a self-composed poem which encouraged everybody to allow a child to speak his/ her thoughts.
Day 2 began with a song sung by the students of Sanskriti School.
Session 5: Ms. Yasmin Kidwai, Film director
started with the screening of the movie: A Sticky Wicket, which is about a group of girls
trained by an NGO to play cricket. All the girls belong to an area called Shahbad Dairy and are victims of gender discrimination. In order to help these girls earn respect for themselves, it was felt that they should be trained in some sport. Their teacher, Mr. Sant Lal, started a project and began training the girls. Now, under his project he has more than 75 girls learning various sports. Many girls from the movie have been shortlisted to represent various teams. For his outstanding work, Mr. Lal was awarded the Rajeev Gandhi Sadbhawna award for Best Teacher. The movie shared the views, feelings and apprehensions of the girls’ parents. We got the opportunity to talk to the film’s director and municipal councillor, Ms. Kidwai.
Session 6: Mr. Mohit Satyanand, Chairman, Teamwork Arts, education consultant, economist and entrepreneur
Title: Education is not a linear form
Mr. Satyanand talked about business and the importance of teamwork for the success of any event or venture. He shared his life’s journey from being a part of an MNC to launching ‘Crax’. He spoke on how after having been a consultant he shifted gears and started working with Barry John and Mira Nair. He mentioned he was always interested in finding ways to groom learners to be more curious. He urged teachers to focus on preparing students for team work and becoming good team players.
Session 7: Padma shri Ms. Shovana Narayan, noted exponent of Kathak
Title: Embracing and celebrating diversity, nurturing creativity and oneness
Ms. Narayan showed us the similarities between different cultures, traditions, food habits, music etc. She shed light on the identity crisis that people face due to migration and integration. She said that we as citizens of a global nation need to be open and more adaptive.
Session 8: Mr. Anirban Ghosh, Managing Trustee, Aagaaz Theatre Trust, musician, organic agriculturist, arts entrepreneur
Title: Life’s journey through the lens of failure and learning from it
Mr. Ghosh talked about the importance of accepting failure gracefully. He said we need to prepare the present generation to accept failure as this generation is a very privileged one who gets anything and everything almost before they ask for it. He said failing was the most important aspect of life which prepares us for the future. He suggested that it is important to celebrate one’s failure.
Session 9: Mr. Anurag Kundu, Member DCPCR
Mr. Nicholas Shaw, Senior academic manager, British Council, India
Title: Leading effective and equitable teaching and learning
Mr. Kundu opined that schools should take more onus for what they do with the students. They need to be more responsible and all the stakeholders need to work together.
Mr. Shaw deliberated upon the various aspects of effective learning. He insisted on creating the right kind of environment for allowing effective teaching and learning. He also talked about what the school leaders could do in this direction.
Session 10: Prof. Nirmalya Sumanta, Department of English, Ramanujan College
Mr. Vivek Sharma, Programme Director, Gandhian Fellowship Programme at the Piramal School of Leadership, Rajasthan
Ms. Monal Jayaram Poduval, Programme Director, Piramal School of Leadership, Rajasthan
Title: Future of learning
Professor Nirmalya Sumanta emphasised learn- unlearn –relearn. This he said was the demand of the future and such skills need to be built in our students.
Mr. Vivek Sharma shared information about a 2 year course which is based on hands-on activities. This programme tries to develop empathy, listening skills, resilience in the students.
Ms. Monal Jayaram mentioned the kind of competencies required in 2030. She insisted on making the present classroom teaching more application- based.

Valedictory Session
A hindi song was presented by the students of Vidya Devi Jindal School, Hisar. The students laid importance on the need to eat good food and sing to be happy.
Valedictory Address: Are you conscious of your unconscious bias?
By: Ms. Smita Tharoor, Founder Tharoor Associates, motivational speaker, coach, mentor and mindfulness practitioner
She focused on how we become biased even without realizing that we are getting influenced. She said that the phrase ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated’ needs to be changed as every person has different needs, requirements, likes and dislikes. She discussed various kinds of biases that we tend to harbour.
Mr. Anurag Tripathi, CBSE, shared the latest developments in the CBSE and it has been closely working with school leaders to develop new curricula apt for the changing environment.
Felicitation was done by Dr. Rajesh Hasija, Vice-Chairperson, NPSC and Principal of Indraprastha International School, Dwarka.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Ms. Sudha Acharya, Joint Secretary, NPSC and Principal, ITL Public School, Dwarka.

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