Teachers’ Conclave @ Mumbai -18th November, 2017


Another grand session of The Progressive Teacher Conclave, was held at Mumbai, the ‘Bollywood City’. The event was hosted by New Saraswati House India Pvt. Ltd. on 18th November 2017 at Ramada Plaza Juhu, Mumbai. As always, the venue was full of enthusiastic teachers, principals and various other educationists.

The programme was inaugurated with lamp lighting and later a welcome note by Ms Rita Wilson, Editor, The Progressive Teacher Magazine. She touched upon the meaning and elements of Quality in Education while sharing her fortysix years of teaching experience:

According to her, Quality in Education means that in educational institutions the focus is on learning which strengthens the capacities of children to act progressively through the acquisition of relevant knowledge, useful skills and appropriate attitudes; and which creates for children, and helps them create for themselves and others, places of safety, security, peace and healthy interaction. The terms efficiency, effectiveness, equity and quality have often been used synonymously.

Quality includes:
– Learners – healthy, ready to participate and learn and supported by families and communities
– Environment – healthy, safe, protective, gender sensitive, with adequate resources, and facilities
– Content: relevant curricula, materials for the acquisition of basic skills in literacy, numeracy, skills for life, and knowledge in such areas as gender, health, nutrition, prevention of diseases and peace.

Post her speech, the chief guest and keynote speaker of the ceremony, Dr Indu Shahani (President and Chair: ISDI/WPP and ISME) Founding Dean- ISME, delivered her keynote address on the topic ‘Significance and Importance of digital learning in education’. She talked about

a.  The Learning Avtaar
b.  Inquiry skills drive learning and need to be reinforced.
c.  Independent thinking
She also elaborated on Four Capacities
•  Communication
•  Creativity/ Critical thinking
•  Collaboration
•  Compassion
d. Importance of teachers as mentors (Inventors)
e. Importance of board rooms for students.
f. Policy makers should co-ordinate with schools.

Mr Shammi Manik, Business Head of New Saraswati House honoured Dr Shahani with a token of appreciation for sharing her wonderful thoughts at the event.

After Dr Shahani’s address, the Business Head, Mr Shammi Manik took over the stage and gave his presentation about the role of educational publishers in the current education system. Mr Manik briefed the audience about the contribution by New Saraswati House to the schools in terms of user friendly and updated books both for CBSE and ICSE, digital content in the form of CDs with a number of series, enabling multidisciplinary approach through various study materials, support system through empowering teachers by conducting workshops. Mr Shammi Manik showcased a number of new titles launched last year for ELT, Maths and Science by the organisation like The English Circle, The Grammar Train, Dashboard, etc. through his presentation.

The event now progressed towards Panel Discussions 1.

Panel Discussion 1- Sustaining curiosity and improving the learning ability of students


Raunak Kapoor, Revathi Sriniwasan, Nirmal Waddan, Savita Venkat
Raunak Kapoor, Revathi Sriniwasan, Nirmal Waddan, Savita Venkat


Mr Raunak Kapoor

•  Ms Revathi Sriniwasan, Principal, Sulochna Devi Singhania School, Thane
•  Ms Nirmal Waddan, Principal, The Kalyani School, Pune
•  Ms Savita Venkat Chief Executive Officer, Bombay Cambridge International School Gurukul, Mumbai

During the discussion, the panelists and audience gathered on the same platform where they shared the following points:

•  Curiosity and learning ability of students.
•  Fun elements in the learning process.
•  Teachers should not kill curiosity in children.
•  Curiosity begins from the womb.

The discussion progressively added points on how curiosity should be nurtured. All the three panellists put forward their views about the same.

Later questions were asked by teachers to clarify the points discussed.
After the discussion, new products were launched which included:
•  Bhasha Tarini- Hindi Series (IGCSE) released by Ms Savita Venkat
•  The English Circle- ELT Series (ICSE) released by Ms Revathi Sriniwasan
•  Science Orbit- Science Series (ICSE) released by Ms Nirmal Waddan

Mr Vimal Kohli felicitated the speakers.
After a short tea break the event moved to the next panel discussion

Panel Discussion 2- Changing the learning path: Using digital technology in education to teach Gen ‘Y’

Raunak Kapoor, Kavita Sanghvi, Willibrord George, Dr Ritu Narang
Raunak Kapoor, Kavita Sanghvi, Willibrord George, Dr Ritu Narang


Mr Raunak Kapoor

•  Ms Kavita Sanghvi, Principal, MET Rishikul Vidyalaya, Bandra (MRV)
•  Mr Willibrord George, Principal and Chief Education Officer, St. Willibrord School
•  Dr Ritu Narang, Head Digital & Training, NSHILP.
•  Mr Prasanna Prabhakar Kelkar, HOD (Computer Department), St. Peter’s School, Panchgani

The Panelists discussed the following:

•  What age should technology be applied?
•  Change awakening path. Education has to change.
•  Change is happening but are we ready for that change.
•  Mobiles to be used by children in schools. Right now laptops are allowed.
•  SIMR discussed (Substitution, Implementation, Modification and Reading)
•  How we use technology?
•  Make it a gaming process to go to different levels.
•  Mr. Willibrord did an activity with the teachers on a smart phone highlighting the importance of technology in the field of sports. All the teachers present at the Conclave participated enthusiastically.
•  Engage with children and embrace technology.
•  Students to be taught how to blog, post and tweet.
•  Teachers put up questions to the panelists and a very interesting, interactive session followed.

After the discussion amongst the panelists, there were interesting questions raised by the audience. A few of the questions were – How far we are killing critical thinking when we focus on digitization and smart classes. To this the answer from the panelists was that we can in fact develop critical thinking amongst learners by using digitization; it’s just that we have to maintain an appropriate balance between the two. Also there were questions like all students are not the same; so how to cope with students with different abilities. To this the answer was we have to maintain a balance between the different mental levels of children, and different learning styles have to be used with children with different capabilities.

Mr Shammi Manik felicitated all the guests including Mr Raunak Kapoor

The Conclave was very well organised by the Sales Team of New Saraswati House at Mumbai headed by Mr Vimal Kohli, Mr Viral Upadhaya and the Marketing Head, Dr Nisha Singh. It comprised interactive and knowledgeable sessions with everyone looking forward for more such events. Ms Candy Dubey thanked all the participants whole-heartedly for their wonderful contribution in making the event successful. The event was followed by a lavish and delicious lunch.