Interview with Mrs. Sherly Dennis, Head of Indian School of Excellence, The well-known news portal in Kuwait recently had the pleasure of having a chat with Mrs. Sherly Dennis, Head of Indian School of Excellence, a new school with a difference from ICSK. She spoke about her journey in Kuwait and the steps ICSK has taken to establish its new school, Indian School of Excellence, Kuwait.

Q. Tell us something about you and your family.
A. I am from Kerala, I did my graduation there &did triple post-graduation and worked in various states of India. I have been a learner all through.

My husband works in a shipping firm. We have three children; two sons and a daughter in law who is like my daughter. Both my sons are engineers and my daughter is a doctor. I am happy to share that she completed her MD course securing first rank.

Q. How long have you been in ICSK?
A. I came from Gujarat and settled here in Kuwait in the year 2008. I joined ICSK as a teacher, and went on to become the Vice Principal and next, the Principal of ICSK Junior and now heading this dream project, Indian School of Excellence, Kuwait.       

Q. Brief us on ICSK, its vision & how different it is from other schools?A. 
A. ICSK is the first Indian school that started in the year 1959 and has a long legacy of 61 years in Kuwait. It has the distinction of being the school, exclusively for Indian nationals. 

We at ICSK believe in a philosophy where we do not want to deprive any child of opportunity & right to education, hence you see students from all walks of life in our school. 

Q. Could you please brief us about the students that are helped each year?
Every year we offer free-ship to more than 100 students from the funds collected through ICSK Carnival & we were lucky to continue the facility even in the pandemic situation as well, thanks to few kind-hearted people, our staff members &the management who have come forward to extend a helping hand.

Seeing our work in this area, many parents came forward with their contributions. These funds have helped us to pay partial fees if not in full.

Q. Tell us about your activities during the pandemic situation.
A. ICSK is the only school which started classes on time in April first week, we distributed the text books to student’s door steps. We were the first to conduct Virtual Art fest. Also, ICSK is the first school in the entire GCC that conducted virtual summer camp.

Q. At ICSK, how did you cope with the challenges of these COVID times?
A. We were in a board meeting on 25th February when we first got to know about the lockdown and our first priority was to conduct the exams as we were in our 3rd term. Thanks to our digital platform, we conducted online examination & announced results.                 

The next priority was to streamline the process of textbooks distribution for the new academic year. With the help of parents, teachers & support staff, we delivered the books to the students at their homes.                                                                                                                                         

Next big challenge was to get teachers acclimatized to the new medium of teaching that is, the online classes. I must applaud for our sincere hardworking teachers that not just adapted the new way of teaching but crossed all boundaries in ensuring teaching goes on as usual.
We prepared a schedule keeping in mind the suitable timings for working parents and through personal interaction with parents, we made them comfortable in the panic situation we all faced & continued the education process.  

Also, ICSK is the first school to declare a 10% discount on school fee and when official announcements came in, we extended it to the declared 25%. 

Q. Also, we have heard about ICSK opening doors for charity, offering their school premises to be used as warehouses.
A. Yes, ICSK senior school branch was open for various organizations including the Indian Embassy and was used as a warehouse to store relief material. We responded on the spot with whatever we could do. These are challenging times& we hope things will be back to normal next year.

Q. Tell us about the new school, Indian School of Excellence. 
A. We believe in taking challenges and this is the next challenge we have taken. First outstanding feature in this school is the total strength in a class, which will be 30 students per class. There will be extended school timings till 3 O’ clock to cater to working parents and the students can stay back in the school completing their homework and learning new activities.

Every classroom is fitted with a projector & computer making it a smart classroom. It’s going to be an activity-based learning module that will be adopted with Math’s lab, language lab along with computer lab, library etc. 

In Indian School of Excellence, latest in the technologies like AI, Robotics, coding will be integrated into the curriculum. A separate lab for robotics will ensure next generation skills are taught to our students. We want to indulge our young talents into experiential learning with the help of different labs. We have ample space for the children to play, we are giving physical activities great importance. Then there are other activities like evening dance classes, karate classes, football, public speaking and badminton.

Q. How unique is the school compared to other ICSK branches?

A. As I told, the school will have extended hours along with Digital Learning Suite allowing us to limit carrying of books, lesser homework for higher classes and no homework up to class 3. Personal attention with limited strength in each classroom will be our core focus. Most of the books will be kept in the school giving a sigh of relief to the children for getting rid of heavy bags. ICSK is well known for the high standards in providing best education and that will be continued here at ISEK as well. The main intention is to teach the students for knowledge sake not for the sake of examination. We want to teach them to be best prepared for life ahead and teach them life skills that are the need of the hour.


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