‘I want my children to help build an India free from corruption,injustice and inequality’

Quest interviews Uma Basa,Principal,KEPS’s Jawaharlal English School & Junior College

Written by Express News Service | Published: July 30, 2013 2:56:47 am

Tell us a bit about the history of the school.

The school was established in 1962 after the flood in Pune,basically to cater to the needs of children belonging to the middle income group. Later,in 1975,the school was taken over by the Kerala People Education Society. At that point of time,this was the only school in the vicinity. I am a former student and teacher of this school.

At a time when there is a debate on which is the better board,CBSE or ICSE,how do you justify SSC board in your school?

We cater to children who belong to middle and lower rungs of the society. Our aim is to give these children the best education. Many of these students’ parents are illiterate. Even the homework given to them is not completed because their parents are unable to help them complete it. Hence,I think SSC board is the best for us. SSC board is easier for my children to understand. Plus,nowadays SSC syllabus is also moving towards NCERT syllabus. Hence,there is not much difference between the CBSE and state board syllabi. I do not think a particular syllabus can make much difference. What actually matters is how much the child understands of what he is taught. For a child who is ready to learn,and with good teachers,any syllabus is good enough.

Please tell us about the academic performance of your school this year.

We had 24 students this year who took the Class X exam. Out of them,nine students got distinction and 10 students secured first class. Four students got second class. Till last year,we had maintained 100 per cent pass percentage. The highest score in Class X was 88.55 per cent.

How much importance is given to sports in your school?

Our children play all kinds of field games. They play basketball,football,cricket and even have inter-house championships. We have a Sports Day where we make sure that all students participate. We also have a Road Safety Patrol (RSP) team in our school. We also got the best platoon prize in the RSP Parade conducted by the Pune Police Commissionerate at the Police Ground in 1999,2002,2003,2004,2005 and 2006. We have a karate and physical training teacher here in the school. We also have inter-class competitions for athletics,chess,sudoku etc. We have regular PT and sports periods. Our school believes in the policy that academics alone is not sufficient for the overall development of a child. Sports is very important because physical development is as important as mental development. The students need a medium to channelise all their energy and sports is the best option. Hence,we insist that all children participate in sport activities.

Please tell us about the cultural activities undertaken by your school.

We celebrate all our festivals and organise various cultural activities like dance and music shows on these days. We also invite the parents of our students to these events so that they can see their children perform. We have kite flying competitions and also kite exhibitions where the children make kites and display them. Apart from this,we have other competitions like elocution and debates. Teachers prepare the students for all these events. Our children also participate in scholarship exams and take lessons after school for an hour to complete the syllabus. They are given extra coaching for such exams.

Our students also participated in the Lifebuoy contest,and drawing and painting contest organised by Parle. Synergize conducted an activity on ‘Kill Malaria,Dengue’. Dell too conducted a demo on educational software. We also give computer education based on course content and the syllabus of NIIT.

What role can parents play in controlling aggression in the


Parents are very academics-oriented. This has to change. It is possible that the student may not do well in academics but he is good in sports. Since both parents are working,they have hardly any time for the children. What parents need to do is spend at least one hour every day with the children. They need to know what is bothering them and help them solve it. Otherwise,with all the media influence and lack of monitoring on internet usage,children are becoming increasingly violent and aggressive. Parental support is must for students. Children are reflection of parents. Hence,if a child is behaving badly,this means he is not getting enough time and counselling from parents. This needs to be addressed. Whenever a student behaves badly,we have counselling sessions for both parents and the students concerned.

But the positive influence of this internet era is that children have become aware of everything around. Just telling them that it happens like that is not enough. You have to tell them why it happens so. They ask for reasons for everything. Now,the teachers have to be always on their toes and keep on updating their knowledge because you never know what question the students may ask.

What would be that one quality in your children that will make them stand apart in a crowd?

Their character will make them stand apart in a crowd. They will always be ethically and morally right. They will be disciplined and always ready to help others in need. Our teachers are always behind them to see if they are behaving properly or not. They are constantly under supervision and are corrected whenever they go wrong.

What is your vision for your students and the school?

Nowadays our children are burdened with the load of books. What I want is technology-driven learning. In future,tablets should replace books and bags. E-learning is the way of the future. The children also understand better if they lean through activities and technology can help a lot in this. Students are the future citizens of the country. I hope they work hard in their life and contribute in the development of this country. I want them to help build an India that is free from corruption,injustice and inequality.

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