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Qatar Indian school principals’ get trained in skills, design thinking, innovation

The Birla Public School and CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education, India) Gulf Sahodaya- Qatar Chapter organised a principal’s and senior leadership members training programme, virtually recently on the topic ‘Promotion of Skills with Design Thinking and Innovation.’
The training comprised of 80 senior leadership team members of CBSE-affiliated schools in Qatar as participants. Eminent speakers including officials from CBSE and team members of the Design Thinking Project of CBSE led the training.
The session commenced with the keynote address by Dr Biswajit Saha, director skills education, CBSE, who spoke about the importance of skill education and its prominence in NEP. He encouraged schools to initiate compulsory skill module from grade VI onwards.
He suggested that the teaching can be hybrid by roping in additional after school- working hours under the skill hub initiative.
Prof Ravi Poovaiah, professor at IIT, Mumbai, who has been the chairperson of Design Thinking curriculum and education in CBSE schools, gave an overview about the Design Thinking programme and how it came into being with intensive research. He shared a content/task, with examples and how we could deliver the concept effectively.
Harish Sanduja, academic director-principal, Birla Public School, Qatar, took the participants through the assessment criteria and rubrics to be implemented to check the development of the student in Design Thinking. He suggested that the achievement levels and feedback can be incorporated into the report cards to give a holistic learning view to the parent by incorporating the 21st century learning skills like- creativity, problem solving, collaboration and communication.
Dr Elangovan Kariappan, director, Innovation Cell and All India Council for Technical Education, threw light on the statistics and implementation of the programme, both in India in 342 schools and 45 schools abroad. He encouraged principals to organise hackathons, upload tasks done by students to create a learning repository and award innovative projects/ideas from students and staff. The principals were informed to have a School Education Council set up and follow a 360 degree approach by running support groups, boot camps, exhibitions, field visits etc.
Dr Rupa Chakravarty, director, Suncity World School, Gurgaon took the training forward by briefly touching on the pedagogy and revisiting the terms of design, innovation and creativity. She discussed that the process of design thinking, which involved the child to observe- understand- ideate- build- and reflect with examples from her school.
Prajakta Kulkarni shared of how the teachers are being equipped for the Design Thinking programme through apt trainings. She said that teachers should be learners, innovators, and thinkers in order to cultivate the zeal in the students.
Dr R P Singh, joint secretary, CBSE, India knitted the whole training at the end by directing the principals towards the roadmap planned ahead for the successful implementation of the programme. He motivated schools to be Skill Hubs and collaborate with other CBSE schools.
The CBSE plans on further training the teachers in Qatar in two phases (both online and offline). He also attended to queries in the Q&A round, which gave further clarity to the participants.
The principals of the Qatar Chapter are going to come together to collaborate, mindfully plan and initiate this venture of Design Thinking, Innovation and skill subjects across CBSE schools in Qatar; thus, bringing about a revolutionary change of creating more innovators and critical thinkers.
The vote of thanks was given by Anand Victor, convenor of Qatar Chapter and also principal of Scholars’ International School. Asna Nafees, principal of DPS – Modern Indian School, Qatar and Hameeda Kadar, principal of MES Indian School, were also present along with the other principals’ and gave a good feedback about the programme.

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