Pushpa Chandel
Education Institution The Modern School, Mumbai
Designation Principal

Previous Institutions(s)

Vibgyor High, Varodara

Belongs to (place from)

Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand

MADS Interest

All of them

Favorite MADS Personalities

Music: A.R Rahman, Art: Jamini Roy, Dance: Sonal Mansingh, Sports: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Favorite MADS Personalities

Failure is temporary, Giving up is permanent”. Never give up : no matter what the odds

I draw inspirations from

Dr. APJ  Abdul Kalam

Had I not been an Educationalist then

A Scientist

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

Education field was not my first choice, I came in this field by accident. By qualification I am Biotechnologist, but as I spent time in education field, I fell in love with it; and now I am thankful to God for it. It was a chance given to me to teach science to grade 6 to 10 and chemistry to grade 11 and 12. At first, I took it very casually, but as I spent one year in teaching classes assigned to me, I felt that I could do much better by putting some more efforts. After board exam results my decision of continuing in the same field got concrete. I enrolled myself for B.Ed. and the journey began. Post that I did my M.A. in education and underwent several trainings conducted by CBSE. Still I try not to miss any chance for updating myself.

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?

Every activity in school life plays a significant role in development of students. Co-curricular activities are an essential part of school life and helps in enhancing learning process of students of school. Co-curricular activities are compulsory activities which is important for every student to participate. These are designed and balanced with academic curriculum so that every student gets to learn beyond academic subjects.

These are the activities which are meant to develop social skills, intellectual skills, moral values, personality progress and character appeal in students. Co-curricular activities include athletics, cultural event (Music, Dance, Drama) library activities, science lab activities, creative arts, meditation etc.

These activities are really important as they have a potential of developing the intellect of student which is always not possible with theoretic procedures. Co-curricular activities are effective in giving right exposure to the mind. Effective co-curricular activities prepare the students for outside world by providing similar experience in school and such experience go a long way in producing multi-faceted personalities which in due course of time may bring honour to our country as well.

In today’s uncertain world, a wide range of experiences prepares students better for the future. School education can provide better preparation for life in a society where an individual may need to change career several times. A successful co-curricular activities curriculum builds links between the school and wider community, bringing local enthusiasts into work with students and sending students out to work on community projects. Many students have talents in all sorts of different areas of MADS and it is wrong to force them to specialise in early stage of education or too early in childhood.

A career is not the only part at adult’s life, there are many more challenging situations which they have to deal.

Schools needs to make sure to develop the interest of skills (MADS) in students, these help them in their family and leisure life too. Such activities divert student attention from harmful activities like depression, drug, crime etc. to productive and calm behaviour. Hence, channelizes their energy in fruitful activities.

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

In the co-curricular activities, we have given space to all the activities like dance, music, drama, art and sports. We have put more emphasis on sports and music activities in primary section by putting 6 periods/week for sports where general sports like physical fitness, carrom, chess, skating, gymnastic is given to them to develop interest in sports. Apart from that music, art and dance is compulsory in all primary grades to all students. As they proceed to secondary, they opt for one game specialization, e.g. football, badminton, table-tennis, carrom, chess, Kho-Kho, Kabaddi, etc.; one music instrument out of keyboard, tabla and guitar; and dance. Art is compulsory to all. Students having good potential in sports are utilized in forming team and special coaching is provided after school hours. Students go for various participation in interschool competition along with ward competition.

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?

Co-curricular activities are the part of joy of humanity, but they are often overlooked in education in favour of the academic subjects like science and maths. There is uncourtly increasing pressure on the young people and school to achieve outstanding exam results. However, fortunately many schools like us still see the value of creativity. Co-curricular activities (Music. Dance, Arts, Sports etc.) makes students good learners. The skills associated with learning an instrument or sports or dance or music and practising the same for achieving perfection develops a mind set to be progressive and never give up attitude. It helps low performing student to be persistent. These things learned by co-curricular activities also gets transformed to other subjects of academics too.

Hence the immediate progress is being self-disciplined, better anger management respectfulness, helpful attitude along with academic achievement could be noticed immediately.

MADS creates different kind of creative space. It is very helpful in boosting confidence in children and being target oriented. It is been seen that music has a way of engaging people that are low in confidence, they may be vulnerable or disengaged. There is a wellbeing and social aspect to music - playing together in a group, learning from each other. Currently our children are under constant pressure to achieve academic excellence in the face of constantly moving goalpost and expectation, which effects their body image and self-esteem. Here the co-curricular activities (MADS) acts as antidote which keeps them refreshed and on the track. Performing arts and sports helps students in their physical and mental wellbeing, building confidence and allowing them to relax while being inspired and challenged.

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

As famous saying goes - All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Although everyone knows that co-curricular education is very important for the holistic development of students but still its proper implementation is neglected in schools. Its implementation is just to complete paperwork to show the participation in some competition, due to this the essence of the co-curricular activity gets lost.

Whenever and wherever it is implemented properly the difference could be seen in student’s behaviour, personality, confidence and even in academic progress. Hence there should be a strict policy and monitoring of its implementation in schools. Teachers and parents should be inducted properly for its importance. Co-curricular activities could be used as supplement for curricular activities for its better results.

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

Our school is south Mumbai based school, established in 1936 has seen various changes in all fields. Being south Mumbai school, the space is the main constrain for us but still we promote co-curricular activities as mentioned earlier. Our students go for district and state level boxing, skating, chess and carrom competitions. They also participate in various events organised by District sports association, MSSA, YMCA etc and many of them gets prizes. Students also represented The Modern School in Martial Arts, Judo, Athletic Meet at sports level. As school is moving towards CBSE curriculum we will be participating in CBSE sports events in near future.

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

The selection of music depends on the situation. Generally, I like to lister soft music, Sufi or Gazal. I love all form of art but Madhubani painting is close to my heart so you can see some of them at my home.

I have got interest in Bharatanatyam but not got chance to learn, I am a person who expresses happiness by dancing and sadness by music. 

All of these helps me in maintaining my lifestyle and keeping me healthy mentally as well as physically. I devote one-hour time each day to enjoy any one of these. I go for walk and listen to music, I do Zumba and express myself.

Any other thoughts you may want to share.

Role of co-curricular activities in student’s life cannot be put into words easily. It is the root (which remains hidden) to develop overall personality, strength and self-confidence. Development of specialized skills also plays major role in improvement of academic performance. This is the need of the hour to give equal importance to co-curricular activities in actual sense to get better human being in this society.

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