Interview with Mr. C. Rajesh Nair, man behind Category 3 winners in Indian School Mega Arts Fest 2016.
Q8india.com, the community portal for the Indians living in Kuwait recently arranged an interview with Mr. C. Rajesh Nair, the well known Principal of Indian Community School, Kuwait (ICSK), Amman Branch and man behind Category 3 winners in Indian School Mega Arts Fest 2016.
Mr. C. Rajesh Nair has been in the field of education for the past two and half decades maintaining educational upliftment of students and professional development of teachers by developing and implementing policies, programs and curriculum plans and setting an environment conducive to effective learning atmosphere. He is a dedicated and motivated educational, administrative professional with a proven track record for implementing successful programs that produced lasting result. He is very active in supporting and motivating staff to try new creative techniques to improve teaching skills. Mr. Rajesh Nair is a Post Gradute in English with M.Phil and B.Ed in the same subject. He has got Post Graduate Diploma in School Leadership Management (PGDSLM). He has undertaken many tasks assigned by CBSE, Delhi such as Convenor of school Inspection Committee for Affiliation, Centre Superintendant of All India Engineering Entrance Examination, Teacher Trainer in CCE…..etc. He has conducted many orientation programmes for students, teachers and parents. He was the Academic Counsellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University. He was also a member in School Inspection Committee, Text Book Selection Committee and Interview Board of a reputed Educational Society which runs 35 CBSE Schools in India. Mr. Nair being an innovative educationalist shared his treasures of experiences in the educational field during the interview which would be beneficial to our communities and the society. Q: Please give us some background information to introduce us yourself and ICSK Amman branch. I am a Keralite, who came to Kuwait on 21st April 2012 as the Principal of ICSK, Amman. I have been in the field of education right from 1992. I became Vice Principal in 2000 and Principal in 2002. As for ICSK Amman, it is the youngest of all 4 branches and the biggest by the number of students and staff. This branch was started in 18th December 2000 and still marching ahead as a prestigious and prominent educational institution in Kuwait. Q: How do you describe your leadership style as a Principal or school head? As a Principal, I try to do maximum justice to my post. I don’t believe in one man show. I delegate the responsibilities to my staff and students and take them to confidence. We try our level best to grow our children up by inculcating some values and life skills. Here we give equal importance to character along with the academic excellence. Q: Is Kuwait your first experience in Arab world? Yes. Kuwait is the first Arab country where I work. Q: How does you tackle the barriers of communication with Arabs? Do you know Arabic? As an Indian school, we always interact with non-Arabs. But of course, outside the school we have to communicate in Arabic. Luckily I know the language Arabic, though the spoken Arabic is different from what Arabic language I learned. Meanwhile for your information, I studied Arabic and with my qualification in Arabic, I can be appointed as an Arabic teacher up to upper primary classes in the schools under Government of Kerala. I passed my Class X from Oriental High School where Arabic was taught as a major language. I was the only non- Muslim student in that school. I learned Quran and Hadith. Even I won many prizes for ‘Quirath’ competitions in my school and still many ‘Sooras’ are by heart to me including ‘Fatiha.’ I can read and write Arabic well. But spoken Arabic is little bit difficult. Still I read ‘Holy Quran’. Q: ICSK is a community school. How do you feel ICSK Amman contributes to the community? Helping the children to grow up as the true and desirous citizens is the main contribution of the school. For this we do a lot to make the children aware of their duties and responsibilities to the society. We include all our children in charity activities. We made charity shows, collected money and helped the poor and needy. When some major disasters hit India like Uttaranchal flood or at the time of raising a fund to help the bereaving family of the Jawans who lost their life, our children collected huge amount and it was handed over through the Embassy of India to Kuwait. The school management has a huge endowment fund, which helps a lot of economically challenged students to continue their studies. In such many ways we contribute a lot to the community. Q: With the increased exposure to internet and cell phone, what are the moral challenges faced by the teachers. This is really a problem faced by all the parents and teachers these days. It has both good and bad effects. We constantly give awareness to parents and students about the negative aspect of internet. We banned mobile phones in the campus. The moral challenge we face is that at least some children are addicted to it and spending a lot of time for it and it will affect their studies adversely. Q: What would be your ideal school environment, and how would you encourage such culture in the schools? What is your philosophy of education and have you done recently anything innovative in educational strategies in the schools? An ideal school environment is the one which produced academic and moral excellence which make the child very strong to face the challenges of life. I strongly believe that the end of education is character. I personally believe that each child has a spark of something in him. If the child is not very good in academics, he will be very good in many other things. We try to find out in what area he is good. A lot of different opportunities are given to them to build up their confidence. We have started a lot of innovative things in our school like monthly magazines, different type of competitions, different clubs and recently a radio station has been started in our school. The children are running it in a highly professional way. Q: How do you normally communicate with the teachers, students and parents and how do you deal with them in difficult situations? Proper communication is very important in the day today running of the school. I am very particular to communicate everything very clearly to all. We have various facilities such as Morning Assembly and Public Speaking System to communicate to the students. I often visit classes and interacts with students. If a new concept is to be introduced, that will be very clearly communicated to all. I personally meet parents in my office on all working day evenings. So far by the grace of God, I could overcome difficult situations successfully. We have also placed a suggestion box inside the school, where the students can drop in any complaints, confidential in nature or any other suggestions which will be opened and read only by the Principal. Q: Please describe the techniques you undertake to motivate the students, teachers, parents and the staff. Motivation is the fuel for effective work. You can motivate anybody if you have taken them into confidence. If you build up love and faith, it is very easy. Q: We are a community growing with diversity. Please explain how you would reach out to people from various demographics to ensure all students and community members are included in the learning process? Here in the school we believe or our slogan is “There is only one caste, the caste of humanity There is only one religion, the religion of love There is only one language, the language of the heart There is only one God, He is Omnipresent.” I hope this gives the answer for this question. We respect all and give equal importance to all . We celebrate all festivals equally and we never hurt anybody’s feeling. Q: Principal position requires immense time management. Please give us examples how you organize you day to meet the various demands and commitments required as a School Principal? Time management is very important for all. My schedule is very hectic as it is a very big school which functions in two shifts. I try to plan everything properly by priority. Even I don’t mind working off time also. My staff, both teaching and non-teaching help me a lot in this. Q: Conflict resolution and communication are important parts of school leadership. Can you give examples of how you have successfully managed difficult situations at the school? We call it crises management and it is very important as far as the profession of a principal is concerned. Presence of mind is an essential part to overcome a crisis. Taking a matured and wise decision without getting swept by tension and emotion is the basic step. Q: How would you build a positive school culture, please give example how you do that in ICSK Amman. In this modern world, there are a lot of negativities. I always tell my students and staff to be very positive in between all these negativities. We encourage our students also to be filled with positive energy. Continuous awareness is given to them always. Q: How do you empower teachers to be leaders? And how do you discipline students to be good citizens? ‘A good leader is the one who makes many leaders’ – I believe this saying. As I told earlier I delegate a lot of responsibilities to all my teachers and students. They have been given a lot of trainings and workshops inside as well outside the school. Above all we develop a kind of belongingness. The students and staff believe that the school is theirs and each one take a lead for the development of school. Q: What is your approach to classroom management and student discipline? What is your hardest part of being a principal? I don’t think a classroom should be quite always. It should be interactive. Both the teacher and the learner should have active participation in the process of learning. Doing should be a part of learning. Of course, discipline is very important and we maintain it effectively. If you love your profession, nothing will be hard. You may have many difficulties, but if you have a positive attitude, you can succeed. Q: What do you feel about Kuwait as a country? Tell us 3 most +ve aspect of Kuwait as a country for Expats I love Kuwait as my foster land. It is very nice to live here. I like its rich and unique tradition and culture. I like the law and order of the country which makes our life safe. I also like the facilities offered by the country such as medical facilities etc which promote healthy life. Q: Is there anything you want the community to know which we have not asked with your good self?
I have shared a lot about me and my school. Thank you very much Q8 India Community portal for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. Let me also thank the Management, staff, students and parents of the Indian Community School, Kuwait for their co-operation and concerns.
By: Hasan Yusuf
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