Mallika Kotian, Director Schools, Kohinoor Education Trust (KET)
Mallika Kotian is a Science post graduate with a degree in education. A prominent educationist, she is an efficient school administrator whose illustrious career spans over 17 years. She has served in the capacity of Principal and Operation Manager across various education sectors in the country. Kotian has been part of some of the best schools in the country and has played a key role in setting up new ventures. Strategic management coupled with a humane approach is her biggest skill. Her deep knowledge and involvement in Early Childhood Education, Primary and Secondary Education has catalysed the growth of the schools she has worked with. Her vision to see every employee & student excel in their personal and professional lives has helped her create numerous success stories in the field of education.
An excellent academic base lays the foundation of a successful future, and this is why IB board schools in India are gaining a lot of popularity these days. Due to its comprehensive and practical approach to studies, education from an accredited IB board school in India will significantly help students land admissions in stellar colleges for further studies. Offering IB Middle Years Programme (Grade VI to X) and IB Diploma Programme for Grades XI and XII, Kohinoor American School (KAS) follows a curriculum that revolves around concept-based teaching and learning that helps the students to look at the disciplines in a more holistic manner where there are strong strands of interconnectedness between the disciplines. The students are constantly encouraged to look at the application aspect of learning and use it in different situations. They approach their learning through various tools and one such tool – Approaches to Learning (ATL) hones their skills in the classroom and prepares them as life long learners. Providing young minds with an environment for optimal learning and growth in an international setting, KAS is situated in Khandala, Old Mumbai – Pune Highway, a two-hour drive from Mumbai to the Khandala Campus. KAS imbibes in their students humility, gratitude, and selfless service through participation in extra-curricular activities that sensitize them about socially relevant issues.
A Heavenly Abode for Education
Aspiring to create a school that would not only offer a world-class academic program to its students but also ensure a strong foundation, rooted in human value and service to mankind and provide the students with conducive environment, the founders of KAS offer child-centric IB curriculum that emphasizes on developing critical thinking skills to make them ready for 21 st century. The four value pillars of the Kohinoor American School—Knowledge, Wellness, Peace and Service—have a special significance which defines the robust value-based academic and residential life program. “We aim to personalize the educational experience of all our students, equipping them with the relevant knowledge and appropriate life skills which inspires and prepares them to innovate humane solutions to global issues. Through service, the school wishes
for world peace in pursuit of a better world. KAS students become champions of their crafts by mastering relevant skills that are taught to them via personalized and holistic teaching-learning methodologies and exceptional pedagogy,” says Mallika Kotian, Director Schools, Kohinoor Education Trust (KET).
A perfect set-up ensuring the holistic development in a safe and secure environment, KAS not only focuses on academic and co-curricular activities but it also strongly ensures that the emotional needs of the children are met through various ways. The Dorm Parents, Family teacher, In-house School Counsellors contribute to the overall well-being of every student, which has a significant positive impact on them. Here, academics transcend normal methods of education. Every child not only learns invaluable lessons from books but also critical life skills through interactive activities. “Apart from making our children confident, the school’s stimulating methods also empower them to make the right decisions in every sphere of life. Taking a holistic approach to the children’s growth in every aspect of their life, KAS provides a balanced mix of activities with the right academics that bring about the harmony of mind, body and soul,” adds the Director.
Imbibing Technology in Education
KAS has always blended technology into its teaching-learning processes within the classroom as well as outside. The school is a Wi-Fi enabled campus with the MYP students using iPads and DP students using laptops for their classwork, online research and support materials. Transitioning into online classes was seamless for the students and teachers. Given the school’s healthy student-teacher ratio, the teachers were able to give one-on-one attention and even provide additional online support with extra classes. Our teachers are registered for the subject-specific face-to-face and online workshops conducted by IBO.
Along with IBO workshops, the school regularly conducts Professional Development sessions and in-school workshops for professional and personal development At KAS, the class sizes are maximum of 15 students in a classroom. The student-teacher ratio is 1:5. Individualised teaching is offered and a strong programme for the differentiated classroom is in place. Students are made comfortable and a pace is set for them individually where they can learn in a non-threatening environment with minimum challenges. KAS has a strong parent–school connect using various platforms of communication like emails, WhatsApp and telephone calls, wherein the parents are appraised on a weekly basis about the activities of the school. Parents are updated about the progress on their child quarterly and the school counselors reach out to the parents to guide and support with parenting concerns and emotional health and well-being.
Guiding Them to Success
Students develop attitudes, knowledge and skills that contribute to life-long learning. They complete school life with the academic preparation essential for their chosen tertiary education plans. At KAS, the students understand the relationship between their academic studies and the world outside the school. Students acquire the skills to investigate the world of work, concerning knowledge of self and to make informed career decisions. They learn to employ strategies to achieve future career success and satisfaction.
Finally, they understand the relationship between personal qualities, education, training and the world of work. KAS’s specialized guidance and counselling program leads the students to the University/College of their choice. The students are guided through a multitude of options to achieve their preparation and application goals. They are helped with university processes of choosing and applying to colleges. The College Counsellor conducts group seminars, information sessions, personalised counselling and encourages students to understand courses, career options, to learn about colleges and universities on various parameters, invites representatives from colleges and universities and informs students about standardized tests. It is no wonder that all KAS graduates have successfully been placed abroad and in India in the university/college of their choice. The KAS alumni is very active and they support and interact with students, providing them with firsthand information on colleges, the application process, test-scores, scholarships.
Cherishing her time at KAS, Gulpreet, an alumnus of KAS recalls all the great times she had at the school. She reminisces, “I can proudly call this place my home because I got to learn and experience independently. Staying with a diverse community made me understand the meaning of respect and empathy. The teachers in the school have moulded me into a confident individual who can make rational decisions. Their love never made me feel homesick. I used to look forward to meeting my teachers and take advice from them. I never had to worry about my academics because I knew I was in the BEST hands”. KAS was awarded for excellence in Blended and Value Education Programs by ELDROK, India. This award was accepted by Mallika Kotian, Director Schools, Kohinoor Education Trust (KET) at the hands of Mr Manish Naidu – Founder Brainwonders at Eldrok, K – 12 Summit, Mumbai in the same year. The school has also been judged as the BEST International School of the Year Award, from ISA Dubai, celebrate excellence in education for achieving education outstanding contribution to innovation and leadership.
As KAS is a fully residential boarding school, extracurricular and co-curricular activities are an integral part of the student’s school life programme. There are various clubs under which students get an opportunity to hone their skills in music, dance, various sports- indoors and outdoors- and have experiential learning element. Having participated in a range of activities – academic and sports in inter-school competitions, the students of KAS have and will always continue to make the institute proud by either winning or just by putting in their best effort and having a healthy competitive spirit. Apart from this, the students are encouraged to do service component, where they go out in the community to offer their services- be it Home for the Aged, Blind home or school for the less privileged students. The programme itself is designed on innovation. They are encouraged to find their solutions, look at any idea or concept from different perspectives and formulate their hypotheses, helping them become the leaders of tomorrow.