“Empower children rather than making them dependent on support at all times.”

Conversation with Mrs Damayanti Bhattacharya and The Curious Times

Education is an integral part of a child’s upbringing. We, at Curious Times, have made it our aim to ensure that we also play an active role in imparting the right knowledge to all the Curious children. As such, we also try to ensure that we are always in touch with the leaders in education today and learning from them. After all, it is important to learn from the best.

So, today, we present to you a one-on-one conversation with Mrs. Damayanti Bhattacharya. She is the Principal of Jasudben M.L. School and Bloomindgales Pre-Primary, Mumbai. The school aims to fill a niche in the education system which provides a good blend between academics, and skill-building, whilst inculcating in students, both traditional values and contemporary thought.

When did you decide to step into the world of education? What motivated you to become an Educator? I decided to step into the world of education when I realised that I enjoyed reading, teaching and interacting with youngsters.
Finding that I fitted into this world quite easily and effortlessly was what gave me great motivation.

Share some of the challenges you have faced in your career journey. How did you convert those challenges into the pillars of success? For me, the biggest challenge was to sustain the interest of my students. I slowly started realising that children need to feel that they are a part of the class — not just faces in the classroom. I started to interact and engage with children based on their personalities. Some wanted to talk, to be included, to be addressed all the time. Others wanted space. I realised that I couldn’t expect the same responses from all my students. I respected them for what they are. For the most part, this worked. I was able to bond with my students and then teaching and holding the interest of the children was a cakewalk! As I grew in my job, I was able to leverage this realisation and used the same tactic to involve the teachers, engage them and interact with them. It worked for me!

What are the changes have you observed over the years in the field of education? Are you happy with these changes? For the most part, I am happy with the changes– interactive learning, experiential learning, use of digital platforms, tools. But somewhere along the way, in an effort to make everything easily understandable & child friendly, we are perhaps failing to focus on basic learning skills such as Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Rigour is important as is healthy competition. I wish we could use the modern tools and retain the rigour.

What changes would you like to see in the field of Education? What role can the various stakeholders like the government, teachers, students and parents play in this? The government must be proactive and introduce changes in the system that will ensure education reaches ALL the children in the country. They must ensure that the teachers are well paid, qualified and dedicated. We need to be a bit choosy about who we give this job to.
It is NECESSARY for teachers to improve and upgrade methods of teaching, assessing, create an atmosphere of learning instead of just teaching the text.
Parents must support their children without becoming their crutches. Empower them rather than making them dependent on support at all times.

This article appeared in

The Curious Times – Grand Teacher’s Day 2021 edition https://bit.ly/3jLkrkg



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