Hemali Pradip Joshi: A champion for all-round education
Hemali Joshi

Education plays a defining role in a student’s life. In primary schools, the intensive focus is essentially on course curriculum, subject fundamentals, and good grades.

However, the extracurricular activities held in schools also prove beneficial for the overall development of a child. Especially performing arts, sports, and interschool competitions lend a helping hand in boosting confidence among students.

Sports help build character and team spirit students, while art teaches critical thinking and sharpens articulation skills.

It is observed that the students who do well in extracurricular activities tend to do better in organising and leading in the future. As we all know, all work and no play is no good for students, and a school must ensure a balance of both to produce the nation’s future leader.

Hemali Pradip Joshi is one such passionate educator who has found this perfect balance. Apart from being a Science Educator at a Government-Aided School, Hemali Joshi is also a Resource Person and Committee Member at the National Children’s Science Congress, Government of India, Mumbai division.

In an interview with The Knowledge Review, Hemali Joshi shares her journey and outlook for the future of education. Below are some excerpts from the interview.

Please tell us about your journey throughout the education sector right from the beginning of your career.

I have worked with both the kinds of institutions, unaided and aided. Currently, I am associated with the aided one. My journey has always been full of energy and activities. Since childhood, I had decided to pursue teaching as my profession as I always had a passion for being an educator. My journey has probably been quite like a roller coaster ride. At every step, I had a learning experience.

As I often say, ‘To be a good teacher, first you need to be a good learner.’ In my ten years of experience, I have received many feathers in my hat. I am a Science Educator, a Researcher, and an Author. I am a Resource Person for the National Children’s Science Congress, Mumbai division, under the Government of India. Well! Life is never the same. I have also faced many failures too but each experience has helped me in grooming my skills.

What inspired you to step into the education industry? Who were your role models growing up?

I always had my teachers as my role models. I took an oath to follow their footsteps. For me, they are my influencers. I grew up observing my father serving people selflessly as he is an MBBS doctor. He often discussed certain medical cases that he came across with me, which generated interest in biology. In a child’s life, school plays an important role.

I did my schooling at Carmel of St. Joseph Girls High School. It left no stone unturned to bring up sophisticated ladies. I believe that a good habit inculcated in childhood plays a vital role in the character building of a child. And who can do it better than a school?

Tell us about your mission, vision, and core values.

I set a goal to provide eminent platforms to my students and especially work to uplift a girl child. I believe in bringing girls and boys on one platform and giving them equal opportunities. Also, being unbiased in terms of gender and caste, I have been a Guide Teacher for Research projects under the National Children’s Science Congress, Mumbai division under the Government of India, and Science Exhibitions.

Apart from that, I train students for co-curricular activities like folk dance and acting. I prepare them for “Sahshaleya” competitions too. This year, my students have marked their NCSC Research project competition at the National level, and now we are all set to prepare for IRIS National Fair.

All these activities lead to application-based learning and enhance conceptual knowledge. It also inculcates essential discipline in our life.

What are the priorities of your institute in terms of course objectives and learning outcomes?

My institution, The Borivali Education Society’s R. C. Patel High School, believes in giving equal opportunities to all the masses with a nominal fee structure.

Be it from any financial background. All are welcome to gain a top-level education. We have set a benchmark in bringing holistic development to a child. In every field like sports, folk arts, acting, science, and counseling by teachers for mental health and help develop a responsible citizen.

Kindly share your views regarding interactive, online educational content and how it redefines how we learn.

Rather than concluding which mode of teaching is better, one cannot deny that the world has become small with digitalisation. It has become very feasible to study and gain effective training even in professional life. But every aspect has its pros and cons. One-on-one interaction between a teacher and students is mandatory, which is lacking in online classes.

What are the biggest challenges and struggles educators face in general?

I try to add lots of demonstrations in the classroom activities. For that, I need a perfect blend of time and resource management. Juggling between the activities, research projects, and lectures is one more unavoidable challenge. But nothing must stop me from accomplishing my tasks.

Kindly mention any of your awards, accolades, and accreditations.

  • Sarvotkrisht Shikshak (All-rounder) Award at R-West ward by Education Department, Mumbai.
  • Best Teaching Aid: First Prize at R-West ward by Education Department, Mumbai.
  • Won prizes for Research projects and Science Projects at the State and National level by the Government of India.
  • Won Gold Medal for Research Project at National level held by National Children’s Science Congress, Government of India in 2019.
  • Won First prize for best Teaching Aid video at National level held by India International Science Festival, Government of India in 2020. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi.
  • Won Gold Medal for paper presentation at National level held by National Council of Teacher Scientist in 2021.
  • Won a Gold Medal for the best Teaching Aid video at the State level held by Navnirman Science Education Short Film Festival in 2021.
  • Won Vikram Sarabhai Teacher Scientist Appreciation Awards by Raman Science and Maths Foundation, Govt of India, Nationally.
  • Won Gold Medal for Teaching Methodology Presentation by National Council of Teacher Scientist, Govt of India, Nationally.
  • Won a Gold Medal for Merit Research project at the National level held by the National Children’s Science Congress in 2021-22 by the Government of India. We are now eligible for the entrance level of the IRIS National Fair.

What advice can you give to those who want to step into the field of education?

I believe that society requires passionate teachers rather than accidental teachers. The youth/trainee teachers must be passionate about the profession they are stepping into rather than forced to choose teaching as their career because they are left with no other option. Thorough training is needed to nurture the teaching skills. It also helps to climb the hierarchies in a career.

Please share what lies ahead for you and your institution in the near future.

At R. C. Patel High School, we look forward to more experimental learning and preparing ourselves for implementing the New Education Policy in our day-to-day life. I look forward to building a child-centric classroom where discussions between the students and teachers would be encouraged.

Recent Posts