Manika Walia
Education Institution Rishihood University, Sonipat
Designation Dean, School of Creativity

Belongs to (place from)


MADS Interest

Music, Art and Dance

Favorite MADS Personalities

Mrinalini Sarabhai, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Gough

Life Mantra

Life is too short to have grudges, live each day to the fullest.

I draw inspirations from


Had I not been an Educationalist then

If I was not an educationalist, I would certainly be a social entrepreneur working with community clusters up in the hills.

When and why did you decide to take up education as your career?

The Principal of my high school in Jaipur was a real inspiration to me. She is one of the major reasons I pursued teaching as my career. Her ability to guide students, her unconventional techniques, her fairness, and sense of justice made me aspire to bring the same passion and innovative ways to teach in my own classroom.

As an educationalist, you are touching many human lives directly. Do you think educational institutions can play a significant role in overall development of students by encouraging them to take up co-curricular interests like Music, Art, Dance or Sports?

As an educationalist I always ask myself – 
1) What do I want my students to be known for? When they leave my classroom what skills they take with them, how will somebody recognise that they have been in my classroom?
2) How do they demonstrate what they know and can do? We have some assessments and grades attached but don’t know how it captures that what really what they can do and who they are.
3) How am I preparing them for the rapidly changing world?

We see various industries are disrupted with new technology - whether it is automation in manufacturing, providing medical treatment to patients, etc. We see a tremendous change and students are entering into the world where they themselves are not sure of what future holds for them. They may enter into the careers which do not exist today, and we can’t even imagine.

To make students future ready, it becomes crucial to expose them to a holistic development by enhancing learning through Music, Art, Dance & Sports. Co-Curricular activities facilitate good values, leadership, empathy, being sensitive to the need of others and society, accepting failure and success, respecting environment and character building.

What are some of the most important initiatives related to co-curricular that you have taken in the institutions you have served?

Involvement in co-curricular activities play a key role in the development of personality. Co-curricular is important not only for entertainment and fun but also to develop certain skill sets and enrich the overall learning experience.

Few of the important initiatives which I took to encourage co-curricular activities was formation of various clubs. Clubs such as Dramatics, Kinaesthetic, Sports, Creative Guild, Oratorical were formed with the objective that students get involved and interact with each other.  Thus, leading to increased learning and enhanced development. 

Specifically, a student's interaction with each other (peer group) was the most important source of influence on a student's academic and personal development. By identifying with a peer group, that group was able to influence a student's affective and cognitive development as well as his or her behaviour.

In the days when most people measure success only by academic score, how would you convey to the parents of your students that co-curricular education is not something to be looked down upon?

Few parents do realise the importance of co-curricular, but still majority of mindsets are prejudice for STEM LEARNING RATHER THAN STEAM LEARNING.

Research shows that in today’s changing landscape holistic development of students is utmost. The soft skills which will matter the most are creative problem solving, creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration.

Even for job prospects, organisations have realised the fact that if they have to be relevant, it is time to reinvent and adapt to the changing times. 

They are looking for employees who can solve the problems which were not there before, look at the situation and analyse it, ask questions and give creative solutions. 

The creative skills are required in the world which will be automated. These skills will help students to go way forward.

All students should have an opportunity to incur and develop these creative skills.

If you were to suggest one major change in perspective of co-curricular education, what would that be?

Co- curricular activities should be taken up more sincerely and not as a second option.

Please let us know about some key achievements of your institution and/or your student(s) in MADS at national/international level?

My students have won some great accolades at national and international level representing institutes and universities respectively.

What are your personal interests in Music, Art, Dance or Sports and how do you continue to pursue them?

Coming from Design specialisation, I am very actively involved in creative arts both performing and visual. In my leisure time I do paint, dance, listen to various types of music. It truly is therapeutic for me.

Any other thoughts you may want to share.

Don’t let the child inside you die.

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