Interview by Yash Panchal
Prof. Raghavendra R. is currently serving Koshys Institute of Management Studies as the Vice Principal of the institute. In an exclusive interview with collegedunia.com, he shares his experience in the education industry and gives insights of the Institute.
Prof. Raghavendra’s experience in the education industry
People were always popping in for conversations about the education industry. It all seemed infinitely interesting, and endlessly sociable, a world full of people and ideas. My own experience over the last 10 years has accepted out many of those good first impressions. Working in the education industry and not just for academics is quite unlike any other job. There are unique benefits, and there were many good things about it. But ultimately the work just wasn't that interesting. Education industry offers a way to develop a more refined set of skills and a way to make a bigger contribution.
A leadership style of providing equal opportunities to all students
According to John Quincy Adams “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more & become more, you are a leader.”
I am very partial to the essentialism movement because I think that the teacher is the center of the classroom & that hard work and effort is the choice a student makes. It is that decision that can help the students benefit society and live well through life. Teachers are the bloodline of the student body. Without the collaboration of teachers, no vision can be accomplished.
As an Educational leader, it is my duty to maintain exemplary professional conduct, while providing equal educational opportunities to all students and emphasizing accountability and results for student’s achievement through the use of empowerment of my staff.
Significant challenges faced in the current role
I feel that whatever a person does, there is a reason behind it which makes that person act or not act accordingly. Yes, to the outside world it may or may not be acceptable. Hence, the solution lies in looking at the reason more and correcting it rather than dealing with the act done by the student.
I get frustrated by the students who think they’re too smart and they do not attend all the classes. They float around and not focus on their studies. They also show their attitude to the teachers who play into that attitude.
My approach has been to give such students a little extra attention and encouragement. This is because such students need to feel that someone else believes in them. By bringing them under my observation and attention radar, I’ve seen some of the ‘rebel children’s’ turn into students who are focused, driven and ready to perform well in their studies.
A responsive curriculum according to changing demands
Planning and designing the curriculum involves every aspect of a learning provider’s business from market research and course development to quality assurance and enhancement, resource allocation, timetabling, recruitment and assessment. Keeping the curriculum responsive to changing demands is essential to any organisation’s strategy. Use of technology as part of the curriculum review and design process can help to communicate in better ways, capture and share information and data more effectively, and improve administration.
Views on the growth of Koshys Group of Institutions
The growth of the Institution is in the hand of its employee. Building an efficient educational institution infrastructure is a worthy goal, it has been an elusive one. However, education institutions that use analytics cannot only measure performance but shape students' education experiences.
My imagination towards the growth of Koshys is:
- By personalizing the learning experience.
- By increasing classroom engagement.
- By measuring engagement
- By keeping parents informed
- By identifying dropout risks
Establishing a relation with the students
I never want students to see my office as the place where they get in trouble but as a place where they could come in and talk freely. My goal as a vice-principal is to ensure that I talk to students and get to know them so that if they ever did end up in my office, I already have an established relationship with them. If I did not know the name of a student or anything about their situation, I will feel that I have failed that student.
Knowing the students and building a relationship with them leads to a good environment. Sometimes using humor is the best way to deal with a situation. How well they know you and how well you know them, will have a huge influence on what happens after they leave.
Thoughts on an ideal school environment
Relationships come before everything. Building a positive environment in individual classrooms and throughout your whole college is a matter of cultivating and maintaining relationships. It takes commitment and consistency from the whole team administrators, teachers, and support staff. You can make it happen, though, even in the most challenging college environments. Encouraging the students by teaching those essential social skills, clarifying all the classroom and college rules, by teaching problem-solving skills can assure a great school environment.
Suggestions for the current youth
The current youth has a very casual attitude and has no seriousness towards their life. As Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” Believe that you can succeed, and you’ll find ways through different obstacles. If you don’t, you’ll just find excuses. Overcoming fear isn’t easy, but it must be done. Arianna Huffington once said that she found fearlessness was like a muscle the more she exercised it, the stronger it became.
The last message to today’s youths is:
- Face your fears
- Believe in yourself
- Have a vision
- Find good people
- Build a great team
- Know your goals
- Learn from mistakes
- Spend wisely