Extracurricular activities enable the students to have a clear mind - T Prem Kumar

Deepika Nambiar; Photo: Anwar Sadath Thalasserry
Monday, December 22, 2014

A Principal is the primary leader in a school. A good leader always leads by example. A principal should be positive, enthusiastic, have their hand in the day to day activities of the school, and listen to what their constituents are saying. T Prem Kumar, Principal of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is great example for a good leader.

The Best School Contributor 2013-14 Award for the IIK Young Reporter Program which was launched by IndiansinKuwait.com was bagged by Indian Educational School - Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Bhavans was felicitated during the IIK Young Reporter Award Nite held on 20th November 2014 for this fabulous achievement. Student from their school D R Prathyusha was awarded with Best IIK Young Reporter for the year 2013-14.

“I believe a child who takes part in activities develops a clear thinking or has a clear mind. Such a child in my opinion will not get into wrong habits,” T Prem Kumar said in an exclusive chat with IndiansinKuwait.com. He explains how Extra-Curricular Activities is as important as Studies.

IIK: We Congratulate you for winning Best School Contributor 2013-14 Award for the IIK Young Reporter Program can you tell us how you feel of this achievement?

P K: Very proud of it. It’s a great achievement for a school that is still very young.

IIK: When IIK proposed to your esteemed school about IIK Young Reporter Program how did you take it and how did your students respond to such activities?

P K: I get all communications from IIK through mail. The very moment I get, it goes to my department heads especially to the English department. They take it to classes and inform the students regarding such opportunities. We want participation so we encourage the students wholeheartedly.

IIK: Bhavans students excel in both Education and Extra-Curricular Activities. How do you balance this?

P K: It is a wrong notion for any parent, student or a teacher to think that by spending a little time in other activities, academic suffers. I totally disagree with such thoughts. That is why my school and I encourage every student to take part in all the activities. I believe a child who takes part in activities has a clear thinking or has a clear mind. Such a child in my opinion will not get into wrong habits. Their behaviour will be generally very good. Reason is that they focus on activities and they also know they have to study. When a student takes part in activities and he/she has to learn the art of balancing time, in this process they cannot indulge in any wrong activities be it inside or outside the school. Attending classes one develops excellence in academics but taking active part in extracurricular activities one develops ‘character’ as well.

Bhavans is the only day boarding school in Kuwait. We work from 7:10 AM to 3:00 PM. After long hours of school, children go for dance classes, art classes, music classes; cricket, badminton coaching etc. and they also excel in studies. Children from 1st Standard i.e. at the age of 5 or 6 attend the school from 7.10am to 3pm. By the time they reach 5th Standard the child has become disciplined. They learn the time management in the process.

We promote activities in School. We have the largest number of activities in a year. Parents also encourage the children to take part in all the activities.

We, as a school identify talents and we nurture them. We give chance to everybody.

IIK: What Extra-curricular Activities your school gives importance?

PK: We always try to include new ideas into the life of our students. Choral recitation, group recitation, storytelling, debates, extempore speech, quizzes, talent shows, creative writing, fancy dress etc to name a few are the Extra-curricular Activities conducted in the school. For Teachers we have Toastmaster Club and for students we have Gavel Club in School.

IIK: How would you involve parents in the education of their children and how’s the relationship between the parent and the teacher?

P K: Parents have always supported us a lot. For primary and kindergarten activities, parents come in mass to witness the children on stage. They are proud to see their child performing. Parents are very concerned about their children’s education and also extra-curricular activities as they are fully aware of the importance of the activities in the life of their children.

Parents express their Ideas with teachers very freely and openly. Relationship between them is extremely good.

IIK: One of your student D R Prathyusha was selected as the Best IIK Young Reporter for this year by IndiansinKuwait.com. How do you feel?

P K: Prathyusha is a regular contributor. She does not write for winning an award or anything of the sort. She is very passionate about reading and writing and she loves to write articles. We are happy that her contributions are being recognized by IIK. She is a wonderful student, a rank holder and excels in Sports, literary competitions, studies, dance, music etc she excels. She is an all-rounder. The School remains thankful to her for her contributions and appreciates her achievements.

IIK: What has been your schools role in imbibing the latest technology among the kids who are highly influenced by it?

P K: This school bans use of mobile phones, bringing ipods, ipads, cameras etc to the school. We give permission to bring the cell phones only in certain emergency situation that too with a written note from the parents. Teachers are also not allowed to answer mobiles in the classrooms or in the corridors. They can use it only in the staff room that includes me.

IIK: How does Bhavans differ from other Indian schools in Kuwait?

P K: Value systems are given very high regard. Child is the centre of our focus. We take care of children right from the kindergarten to the senior classes. We are concerned about them. Teachers answer calls of students even late in the night mainly for senior classes. They clarify their doubts.

School works on Saturdays. All teachers including me are available on Saturdays in school for our parents and students.

Thursdays we conduct Remedial Teaching program. It’s for students who require additional support to excel in certain subjects. This program is held for 3 hours and we coach the students. A batch consists of 5 to 6 students with 1 teacher. We reteach them whatever they have not understood from the week’s lesson. We have around 300+ children for this unique program. Even parents write to us saying their child is having problem with a particular subject and we coach the child during these special classes. We have this class for all subjects including languages like Arabic.

IIK: Finally tell us something about yourself...

P K: I graduated from Regional Institute of Education in Mysore a college under the NCERT which produces only quality teachers. There are only 4 such colleges in whole of India. I worked one year in Chennai. I did research for two years in Atomic Research Centre. Then I left that and went back to the field of teaching again in Oman. I joined as a teacher and left as a Principal from Muscat after 27 years. I came to Kuwait in 2010 and joined Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. My total experience of teaching and learning is around 33 years. Though a Principal, I always consider myself as a Teacher first and I still have the same passion for this wonderful profession as I know that the teachers make the best of doctors, engineers, CAs or world class sports persons, musicians, painters, dancers….

IIK: Thank you for spending your valuable time.

PK: It is my pleasure always to be associated with IIKs initiative to provide a platform to my children.. Thank you...

Deepika Nambiar is a Freelance writer. Currently working for Lemonade International as Administrative Manager. She is part of the IIK Team and IWIK Core Team.Does regular contributions to the news portal IndiansinKuwait.com and also for Timesofindia.com.
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