The leadership role of a school support service manager is of crucial importance. Expanding over several responsibilities, the role is said to assume professional, ethical, moral, legal, and supervisory responsibilities and accountability with the primary task being: To provide a safe, clean, and productive environment to support educational programs and staff needs on a continual basis.
This is all done with the end goal of creating a school culture or environment in which children can achieve their full potential. Such a demanding job can be a challenge for many, but the dynamic Swathi Shetty, of the World School, Salalah, Oman, does this job with a mix of meticulousness and austerity, by always prioritising the betterment of the students.
To better understand her responsibilities and her journey in the ever-evolving education sector of the Gulf region, we are honoured to present you an interview with Swathi Shetty. So, without further ado, let us dive right into the interview and grasp the knowledge we are about to receive.
Please introduce yourself to our readers and your professional journey so far.
An enthusiast, here to pursue a challenging path in training and development functionalities where learning, innovation and creativity are encouraged, where my skill sets can be enhanced to their maximum potential to contribute to the overall success and growth of the organization.
Currently associated with the legendary educational group – Birla Public School and an auditor for establishment and continual improvement of the QMS processes in various companies. Initiated several corporate social responsibility programmes alongside Hawana in line with Muriya project. Actively been a part of TedX program through NMAMIT and entrepreneurship development camp by EDII. Received the ‘Best Woman Performer’ award in 2020 by IIWA under corporate management.
Though I started my career as an IT professional with Accenture, at one point I realized that IT is not my calling and I planned to switch profession completely to training sector. Being in the training sector we always get to train people and enhance their personality and making them resourceful by teaching new skills and delivering best of your knowledge. Once I moved out of India, to Oman, the journey was about to get even more interesting as the employees whom I would be imparting training and resources would now be impacting the next generation of the country. Working in a school is a completely new field for me, yet each time it gets more and more compulsive and spellbinding.
What inspired you to step into the education industry?
I believe knowledge is the basis of all power, and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to – one just needs to be educated, which can be made inevitable by giving the budding young minds the best of teachers available with the best of resources in the market, to allow them to progress towards a brighter future. I love the fact that I am somewhere a part of a child’s history, and I aim to push them towards all their dreams.
Who was your role model growing up? What was the greatest thing that you learned?
My role models are my parents who happen to be my pillars of strength. The best part about having them around while I was growing up, was to see them face all the obstacles of life with courage and calmness. Being in an uptight environment with lot of competition and demanding situations around, it was very imperative for us to get through these circumstances with tranquillity, wherein the values that I have learnt from my parents have made it easy for me to handle the situation very well in every aspect.
Tell us about your institute/your association with the institute.
World School began in August 2012. It is an initiative of International Training and Educational Services (ITES) Oman through Global Training LLC, a name that has been associated with quality education in Oman and has technical tie-up with Birla Public School. World School actively and consciously influences and stimulates pupils into embracing the common values of our society, and their expression in practical daily action. We support students in connecting their learning through concept-based teaching. This means that skills are not taught in isolation – everything is connected to a larger concept that helps learning be meaningful and support critical thinking and inquiry. We believe in the power of a strong partnership between parents and teachers.
I, the Support Service Manager of the school, completely overlook the training needs of all the staff by arranging internal trainings and by considering their training needs and sending them to external workshops and trainings, anticipating our staff will be able to make the best of the same and deliver their best of knowledge to budding young minds of our school. Also, recruitment is another crucial wing attached to my profile, it becomes a very demanding job to find the best fit for the organization ensuring they match the level of our students and help them reach heights.
Please share your views regarding interactive, online educational content and how it is gradually becoming the need of the hour.
Some say that wisdom comes with age, while others insist that it comes from learning. Nowadays, thanks to the internet, learning is open to all. Hence, people in the countries where traditional learning is facing various obstacles can take advantage of online courses which are very effective, provide great results for lower cost and sometimes for no costs at all.
Education may have several purposes and online content help to fulfil them. It can even revolutionize education as it provides new opportunities for traditional learning. With passing days and with the situations we are facing daily, online education is definitely something that everyone is relying on; and someday it may become undeniable, as it fulfils the purpose of education by providing a platform that can be accessed from anywhere and anytime, by making it easily accessible to all with much better prospects. Thanks to the rapid advancements of technology, online learning is now the new normal.
Education is considered as a tool of empowerment. What efforts do you and the institute take to make sure that education is provided to those who need it?
Education is the first step towards empowerment and the most crucial factor in overall development of the individuals as well as the nation. Education is essential means of empowering an individual with the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence to fully participate in the development process. Formal education, whether academic or vocational, is often presented as a guaranteed way to change the lives of adolescent individuals. Similar trainings and workshops need to be made available in a way such that they gain confidence and self-esteem.
World School is a happy and caring school where we embrace the unique environment to design educational experiences of unparalleled depth and scope. We believe that leaders are made, not born. Therefore, each student should develop the skills and traits of problem solving, critical thinking, communication, decision making, global awareness, character, citizenship, civic and personal responsibility, and the courage to take risks. We want to create learning practices and instructions that will support the teaching and learning of 21st century skill outcomes, enable students to learn in relevant, real world 21st century contexts (e.g., through project-based or other applied for work). Highly developed stakeholder relationships result in the optimisation of student potential and performance. We at world school view the world as whereby people of all nationalities, cultures, religions, and lifestyles are valued equally as individuals, and where our connections with and responsibilities to this rich global community are celebrated, practiced, and considered important.
What is the one thing that you would like to change in the country’s education system?
In Oman, there has always been a great push when it comes to education and there are many initiatives in place to make education vital and mandate for every individual in the country. Having said that, Oman is still having to import vital technical and academic skills-oriented pupils from abroad, rather than being able to develop its own base of domestic expertise which seriously needs to be investigated and the young graduates must focus on being a part of this base.
What advice can you give to those who want to step into the field of education?
Education is one field that helps you inspire the next generation, and my suggestion would only be to go ahead with this profession without any two minds, as this provides you with a true vocation. The visible results you will see are guaranteed to send you home with a sense of pride. Many people work to live, but the rewarding nature here gets you the unmatched job satisfaction with the opportunity to instil this enthusiasm in pupils.
Please share what lies ahead of you and the institute in the near future.
World School is dedicated to achieving academic excellence through knowledge, values and passion enabling the students to have a positive transformation benefiting themselves, their parents, and the community, and we will continue to strive and achieve excellence.