Dr Dinesh Sabnis: Instilling the Sporting in the Field of Education
Dr Dinesh Sabnis

One of the best leadership qualities is usually found in a true sportsman, which is valid to quite an extent. It is quite observable how different and charismatic the sports personalities are, and one might even call it a stereotype, but then, are there any stereotypes without a little trace of truth to them?

Looking at the athletes like Sachin Tendulkar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Virat Kolhi, Magnus Carlsen, and Lewis Hamilton, the things commonly found in them, apart from their love for sports, are their dedication, determination, and spirit of leading. These are the qualities of true leaders, which very naturally are rubbed onto the hands they hold. One such hand-held by the 1983 World Cup Team Hero, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, is Dr Dinesh Sabnis, who was earlier trained and groomed by a lost gem of Indian cricket, Eknath Solkar.

Trained under some of the most amazing sportsmen and cricketers of all time, Dr Dinesh Sabnis is a sportsman at heart and educator by profession. His love for education has brought him to the field, and like a true sportsman, he has achieved his set goals and looks further to giving more sixes to his field!

Let’s have an insightful look at this amazing personality and learn more about him.

Beginning of Sparks

Believing that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world, Dr Dinesh Sabnis has always been dedicated to his field of work.

From childhood, Dr Sabnis was passionate about teaching and learning concepts and contributing to society in some way or the other. His mother being in the education field, was his first inspiration, making him choose education as a career later. With the firm belief that education has been a vital tool in building a well-developed society, he ventured into educational societies with grace.

He believes education has always been an evolving field with various concepts of the learning process. Moreover, it has also been an essential and vibrant field for many generations in India and at the global level. Good education inspires individuals and builds self-esteem and overall quality of life.

On the Verge of Fire

Dr Sabnis started his career as an Indian Customs official. As a passionate Sports person, he represented Ranji Trophy (National Level) for the Mumbai Team at a young age, where he was trained under the leadership of senior players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sanjay Manjrekar, and Coach Balwinder Singh Sandhu.

Equally valuing studies, Dr Sabnis completed his education along with sports. Due to unfortunate injuries, he had to separate from his long-time love, sports. Later he opted for Bachelor’s in Physiotherapy and went on to complete a Master’s and Doctorate in Physical Education.

He describes his learning journey as amazing. Believing that what has been given is to be returned, Dr Sabnis knew it was his time to give back knowledge and experience to society. After working for almost 15 years in Indian Customs Department, he shifted his career from government official to education teacher and started teaching Physical Education as a subject in IB, IGCSE, and ICSE schools in Mumbai.

Over 17 years in the field, Dr Sabnis has been promoted from Teacher to the Head of the Department to the Sports Director and has now served as Asst. General Manager-Sports & Activities in Ashoka Group of Schools for the last six years.

Keeping the Fire Lit

Dr Sabnis worked on his core subjects and delivered lectures at IB, IGCSE & ICSE Board patterns of studies through various schools. However, to him, Ashoka Group of Schools was a major opportunity to develop his teaching and explore Sports Facility Management and other co-curricular topics such as Performing Arts & Fine Arts.

This exploration of various fields in co-curricular activities allowed him to explore beyond boundaries and provided a plethora of opportunities to mature in educational concepts other than sports as a topic.

During his educational career, he realized that professional development requirements are not only in core subjects but also topics that are co-related to the teaching subjects, such as Leadership, Communication, Time Management, Creative Thinking, Teaching Methodology, and Conflict Management.

This overall development proved helpful to him in coping with the various day-to-day issues and problems he faced.

Space for Opportunities

Indian Education Field has been a vibrant and constantly developing field. Dr Dinesh Sabnis’s experience on various boards gave him a chance to look at the field of Physical Education, Sports, and Activities at a very different level and through the global prospect.

With opportunities provided by the Indian Education system, Dr Sabnis learned and applied on the ground all of his skills that could enhance the performances of athletes and coaches. He credits to Indian Education system, saying that it gave him stable growth in developing teaching methodology and experiencing it at different stages, from early years to higher education.

Highlighting the opportunities, Dr Sabnis says, “In recent times, I got a wonderful opportunity to connect Indian educational concepts through students to an international platform, and UN educational learning system wherein students could learn communication and research-based skills through exchange programs with students of various countries.”

The Valley of Hurdles

Dr Sabnis greatly believes in the education and education industry as he feels it is very vibrant and wishes to mention that every day is a new day of planning and learning for students, educators, and himself. From his experience, he claims that, in the education field, knowing the topic and knowledge of the subject is not sufficient. He believes that the surrounding areas that make the teaching and learning process more impactful are of equal importance.

These areas include communication, student management, time management, conflict management, presentation, teaching methodology, and the teaching-learning process.

As a teacher, administrator, and Education leader, Dr Sabnis has always had different challenges at different stages. As a teacher, he has always tried to enhance his professional skills in core teaching and assessment areas to make teaching more impactful and clearer. However, as a leader and an administrator, he had to develop his skills in communication, presentation, and conflict management that could prove helpful to develop educators’ teams who could be self-motivated to their best capacity and abilities to enhance the quality of teaching.

Education: The Thought of System

Thinking of an overall education system, Dr Sabnis looks keenly toward the growth of the Indian education system, which always had a gurukul pattern right from the pre-British era. However, during the British era, Indian education transformed into the western pattern of education. To him, today’s Indian education system is a beautiful blend of gurukul and the western pattern of the education system, which has helped in developing the Indian education system.

Indian system has been consistently in a transforming stage in areas, especially in the teaching-learning process and assessment methods, and with the introduction of NEP, he looks towards a good future for the Indian education system that will create good holistic development in the child that is required to not only work on knowledge but also develop life skills that are required in child development.

The Walk with Change

Opining about the change, Dr Sabnis says, “I believe that if we want growth, we need positive changes that could enhance the quality of teaching and the education system. The education systems have been changing with new day-to-day research and development that has been taking place in the education field whether we talk about changes and development in teaching-learning process or the application of technology and teaching aids.”

He sees the positive changes in the education system, such as training and enhancement of educators, utilizing new technology and research for better quality education, and even new infrastructure that gives the educators and student’s special edge during the learning process.

Keeping the Fire Ignited

Being in the industry for more than 17 years, Dr Sabnis has had enough experience and has understood that there is a lot to do in the educational field in areas such as educator’s professional development, teaching-learning process, use of technology, assessment systems, infrastructure and planning global connectivity for the betterment of Indian education system.

In these given areas of development where he has the ability to provide something to the education system and learn something from it, this very thought has always kept fire ignited in him. To him, his passion for giving something good to the learning society and education fraternity has been quite motivating in his journey as an educator and senior mentor.

Balancing the Scale of Life

Balancing private life and work life is always a challenge for everyone. However, Dr Sabnis has always been able to accomplish this task with ease. He has maintained and managed a good balance between his private life and work life.

He gives credit for this well-balanced life to his family and his organizational colleagues for supporting him in his efforts. During his regular schedule, Dr Sabnis makes sure to organize his work time as per his schedule aligned with the daily work routine. He says, “I normally have well-aligned slots of working time, and once I am home, I see to that I can give some time for my family, housework, and my fitness,” which shows his dedication to his work as well as his family.

Despite the balanced and scheduled routine, Dr Sabnis has ensured to put a chunk of his time into Humanitarian and social work that could benefit society through projects related to peace, sports, education, and essential food items support.

Awards and Achievements:

As one of the prominent and dedicated figures, Dr Sabnis has bagged numerous awards to his name, these includes:

  • Highest Royal Order Award “The Most Honorable Order of Omukama Chwa II Kabalega” from Royal Majesty of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom- Uganda
  • Commemorative Medal of Peace by UN Beret Veteran Association (AISP-SPIA)
  • RajyaPuraskar by Govt. Of Maharashtra
  • Atal National Award-ABSCA in Sports Promotion,
  • Global Teacher Award by AKS Education,
  • Teacher Innovation Award-ZIIEI
  • Rashtriya Shiksha Ratan Award-AIIPPHS
  • India Influential People’s Award 2021 & 2022- The Crazy Tales Publication & Fox India
  • India Prime Top 100 Researcher Award 2021- Fox Clues Publication.

Apart from these, he has been annotated to various honorary designations and positions such as Ghana United Nations Association –Hon. Permanent Goodwill Ambassador, AISP SPIA Indian Delegation- CEO & Secretary General, Lazarus Union- Commander in Chief & Ambassador of India, Commonwealth of Kentucky- Colonel (Honorary), Hon.Extraordinary Plenipotentiary & Special Advisor of The ARKBKof Education Affairs-Uganda, and WFDP- Peace Envoy & Representative to UN Geneva.

If Not, Then What?

Dr Sabnis has always wanted to be an educator who could share knowledge related to his known topics in society and the school or college system. Teaching has been his passion always, and he has assured himself of letting it be for the rest of his life till his last breath. Aside from being passionate about his profession, backup plans are also a must.

To him, in case of any scenario where he would not have been able to be involved or had to stay away from the educational field, his love for sports and the field would have landed him in the fields related to the fitness industry or the paramedical industry.

Words of Wisdom

Advising the young generation, Dr Sabnis quotes John Dewey “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

He has always believed in not taking education as a job or career because at the point it is done, one gets stuck in the needs of positions, salary increments, and appraisals. He asks youngsters to take the education field as a never-ending learning process. He says, “If you are passionate about learning, you will find a lot to learn and a lot to give away to society, and the satisfaction from this process will be amazing.”

Ignition: Spreading to the Future

Emphasizing the collaboration strategies between the subjects and research-based learning according to the Government of India National Education Policy, Dr. Sabnis believes that it has become very vital for the educators of Co-Scholastic subjects to develop their teaching methodology and proficiency skills.

To him, the right infrastructural needs and professional development of staff have been important to keep the education quality at the highest level. He strongly believes that if educators are skilled, motivated, and well trained, they can create miracles in the education system and its required development.

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