Developing Inviolable Bonds

Govindrao Naik, CEO JSS Schools talks about creating an engaging learning environment for its students

By Muhammad Ali Bandial

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Govindrao Naik, CEO, JSS Schools
Govindrao Naik, CEO, JSS Schools

As a CEO, how do you plan to take positive strides in the education category, keeping in mind that it is one of the growing sectors?

Published: Thu 31 Mar 2022, 2:39 PM

Education is a dynamic service sector since human learning is such a vibrant and ever-changing process. In Dubai, the K-12 education market has seen a humungous organic growth in last two decades due to the clear vision of the Rulers of the country and the recommendations of KHDA. Our vision of imparting education for life stood in good stead when the pandemic struck in 2020. We march ahead in 2022, stronger and well-fortified with our motto ‘Build, Broaden and Brighten’.

Our short and long term goals are:

Re-exploring the meaning and purpose of ‘The School of Tomorrow’

Developing into a ‘Compassionate Organisation’ with a mission of giving back to society

How do you plan to keep a balance between the core mission of the JSS Schools Group and the dynamics of the ever-evolving education sector of the UAE?

JSS Group of Educational Institutions, India under the guidance and the blessings of Jagadguru Shri Shivratrishwar Deshikendra Swamiji with the flagship organisation JSS Mahavidyapeeth based in Mysore, state of Karnataka, is a value-based organisation imparting education in all segments, from K-12 schools to universities. It has a legacy of over seven decades in creating a better world through experiential learning.

The JSS Schools, Dubai also draws the inspiration from the parent body and our mission is to impart quality education at an affordable cost. JSS International School (ICSE curriculum) and JSS Private School (CBSE) are among thr very few Indian schools with a ‘Very good rating’ by KHDA. Our students are always among the toppers in the Board results for both ICSE and CBSE.

In the growing market of the UAE, we have future plans to put our footprint in higher education.

What developmental values does a school in general ensure so that its students become global citizens with a keen sense of commitment, self–confidence, social awareness and responsibility?

The recent Qudwa-PISA Global Competence Forum 2022, held at the Dubai Exhibition Center, Expo 2020 Dubai, under the theme: ‘Preparing students to live in an interconnected world’ has propelled us to promote global competence as an essential skill for the 21st century. At JSS, we provide holistic development through our GROW well programme and by creating an engaging learning environment with freedom to explore and discover.

How challenging have the last two years been for the education sector, especially in the context of schools?

In the VUCA world of today, education systems have had to contend with sporadic closures, inequitable access to education technology and other distance learning tools, deep challenges in maintaining both students’ and teachers’ physical and emotional health wellbeing.

At JSS schools, we effectively utilised technology to rethink education. Students were empowered to tap their innate potential and learn at their own pace. Teachers scaffolded the students emotionally and academically. Parents entered the digital classrooms and an inviolable bond developed between the parents, students and teachers.

How has JSS as an educational enterprise managed to encourage its available faculty? What measures were adopted?

The tagline of JSS schools is ‘school with difference’ — Our school teachers make a big difference. We are always conscious of the fact that the heart of a school is in the relationship between the student and the teacher.

Following were some of the key things which worked for us:

Ensuring timely and full payment of teachers’ salary

Individual and small group interactions, dialogues and sessions for understanding, catering to and solving teachers’ needs

Initiating some unique measures like Open Communication, Be in One’s Shoes, Teachers Matter, etc.

The global education sector is rapidly evolving, and the modes of teaching are constantly changing, how are you adapting to teaching that goes beyond the classroom?

Professional capital is about communities of teachers amalgamating ‘Best and Next Practices’. While we are committed to our best existing practices, we also have the freedom, space and resources to create the next practice. The constant dialogue at the AR (Action Research) Think Tank of JSS ensures that we are mindful of the rapidly evolving needs of schooling. We are gradually moving now from pedagogy to ‘heutagogy’ i.e., to self-determined learning.

Managing a school entrepreneurship, what are your thoughts about guiding the young minds to become more responsible citizens of tomorrow? Is it in sync with what the future requires or is there room to explore more?

The enormity of the VUCA future is witnessing the rapid advancements of artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and the internet of things (IoT). Vast connectivity powered by an extensive and rich digital infrastructure and abundance of data have completely changed our perception of education and learning.

In this scenario, it is imperative that we envision the schools of tomorrow as a large ‘Hyper Hybrid Learning Hub’ comprising of many variety of learning points. There has to be a ‘Third Teacher’ in designing the learning spaces of tomorrow which ensures that ‘Adult World Connections’ are organically built into the thread of learning hub, leading to the blurring of boundaries between work, play and learning. These adult world connections will ultimately help our students evolve as confident, conscious, responsible active and compassionate citizens of tomorrow.

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