Vandana Arora Guiding The New Generation of Global Leaders by way of Teaching
Ms. Vandana Arora | Principal | NAHAR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (NIS)
Ms. Vandana Arora | Principal | NAHAR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (NIS)

True teachers are those who help us think for ourselves”, said Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, an advocate of teacher’s role in educating the new generation. Today, teachers play a vital role, alongside the parents, in shaping the future of the youth of India. Teaching is all about building people and the opportunity of helping them realize their potential in the best possible manner.

It is like knocking on the doors of the mind. As our Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, “Teaching is not a profession but ‘Jeevan Dharm’ (a way of life), a divine responsibility to guide and enlighten.” Teacher’s determination and sincerity to teach will shape the destiny of the nation as they are laying the foundation and the building blocks of the society, says Modi.

Teaching is giving of yourself to others, pouring out knowledge and wisdom, to be used up by inquisitive learners. Though most careers in the public sphere are service-oriented, some can be truly called community service and teaching is one such profession. Recognising this journey of shaping the young minds for more than 23 years and championing the cause for relevant educational structure in the system is Ms. Vandana AroraPrincipal of the NAHAR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (NIS).

A Fascinating Journey

Ms. Arora began her teaching journey with CBSE curriculum in 1997, as a humanities teacher along with history, geography, and economics to higher grade students under the CBSE curriculum. “As a teacher, I always had the urge to impart the best teaching to the upcoming generation and accordingly kept on upskilling my teaching profession,” says Ms. Vandana Arora. “I learned a new system of education based on the Rudolf Steiner philosophy, which is based on the idea that a child’s moral, spiritual and creative sides need as much attention as their intellect,” added Vandana.

She moved to Mumbai and joined Tridha, a school based on the same Rudolf Steiner philosophy. Being the head of the school, Vandana immediately took the affiliation of the Cambridge board and aligned the teaching curriculum as per the Cambridge requirements. She continued teaching history, economics, geography, and a new subject called Global Politics as per the Cambridge curriculum requirements. There on, she developed an understanding of the comparatives between the Indian way of education and the international way of education.

Nahar International School

With the know-how of the Cambridge education system a curriculum set at par with global education standards and recognized by universities and employers worldwide, Ms. Vandana Arora joined the Nahar International School as Principal, having founded by Mr. Sukhraj Nahar, Founder and Managing Director of Nahar Group in 2014. He established the school intending to offer world-class education facilities to children from the Nahar’s Amrit Shakti Township and neighbouring areas. Ms. Vandana took the baton from him to impart the philosophy of Mr. Nahar – a true believer in empowering children to become the best version of themselves. For Mr. Nahar, ‘Every Child Is A Star’, and it this through this value-based versatile education and learning Ms. Vandana ensured that this is made conducive for all types of learners.

After, joining Nahar International School she immediately started work on getting the school acclaimed worldwide and got it associated with the Cambridge education system with its affiliation. NIS is now Cambridge affiliated with her guidance to teach the international curriculum to all its students so that students of NIS can cope and compete in a global environment. Nahar International School is an accredited Cambridge International School, offering the Cambridge Assessment from early years to grade 12, and the IB curriculum at DP level.

The Group’s ideology for Nahar International School is based on ‘Learning by Doing’, and it has created an infrastructure to make this possible, says Mr. Nahar. “The goal is not to establish just another school, but to envision life a decade from today, and prepare our students with the right skills and mindsets for it,” added Mr. Sukhraj Nahar. NIS was designed with an infrastructure under the guidance of the founder Mr. Nahar enabling the children to learn in inside and outside classrooms through modern workshops, German-design science labs by Waldner, iMac computer studios, a vast digitized library, indoor play, performance conference rooms, an acoustically enhanced and performance-ready auditorium, and a large turf-based sports playground along with the large inviting library and research spaces.

NIS believes that we can contribute a lot to the world, and we can learn a lot from the world. And an amalgamation of this is what NIS is all about, where they focus a lot on developing the right character, the right attitude in their students, as well as gaining a lot of new skills which are needed for their future growth.

At NIS, the senior students are encouraged a lot of community service work. “Because we believe that our children who belong to certain socioeconomic strata have a lot of resources and strength at hand,” says Vandana.

Therefore, they should be contributing more towards learning academics and in all possible directions. “Thus, we try providing them with as many opportunities as we can, for them to be exposed to the idea of difficulties in our country, the challenges in different areas, and how they can be a party to that in terms of contributing something,” added Vandana.

The NIS students are largely involved in projects like a tree plantation drive, taking initiative towards underprivileged children, teaching the help-staff in the school to learn the English language. Additionally, they are encouraged towards putting forward their ideas of change into fruition. At NIS, the young learners are treated as the future leaders of the world. All those things become part of the curriculum apart from the basic academic, cognitive skills which are needed.

The Times are Changing

Being big believers of the ‘learning by doing’ perspective of Nahar Group, Ms. Arora and the faculty of talented educators at Nahar International School have implemented this idea into the pedagogy in their schools. That is why the NIS children are exposed to a lot of nature, trips, meeting a lot of people, understanding from them. As the country’s educators started accepting the importance of Information Technology (IT) in day-to-day life, so did NIS. “These all-IT platforms have given us a larger exposure bringing the entire world closer to us; where we can’t go ourselves, we can use technology; where we want to learn something that is not available in our area, we can make use of technology,” says Ms. Vandana Arora, emphasizing how she and her team started integrating the changes as per the need of the hour.

IT has made the big challenge concerning NIS simpler to make education available to every student at home. Now technology has taken over the physical and traditional methods of learning not practiced owing to the pandemic scenario in India and worldwide. Ms. Vandana is working towards making the online learning experience as engaging and enriching as possible with a rapid switch to online learning.

NIS has identified new ways of engaging students, designing interesting online learning activities for the coming academic year, a learning experience through various online platforms. The school under her guidance ensured that the online teaching classes are on with the teaching fraternity conducting continuous collaborative online meetings to ensure homogenous lesson planning on student-friendly e-learning platforms. Understanding the present situation NIS, nonetheless, believes in regularly upgrading teachers’ skillsets, hence, regularly organizes training sessions and professional development courses. “And if we can balance it that would be the ideal situation. I’m a big believer in balance in life.

Advice for Future Educators

Ms. Arora has only one question for those who aspire to become teachers: why do you want to be a part of this job or this profession? Do you want to become a professional or do you want to contribute something to someone else’s life?

If you want to contribute to making someone else’s life better, then it’s a great profession to be in. But if you just want success for yourself or maybe want a good salary for yourself or maybe you want growth, then you might be disappointed with this profession.

So, choose it right. Ask yourself that question. And once you get the answer that you want to contribute towards making the young generation achieve more, and you feel happy to see someone else grow, then education is a great profession to be in.

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