Podar Education Group was established by Sheth Anandilal Podar in 1927. Since then, it has been driven and motivated by the traditional Indian values of honesty, integrity, and service. The first President of the Anandilal Podar Trust was none other than Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation.
“Our mission to develop and equip the children of India for the challenges of the 21st century and our vision to be the best and recognised as raising the traditional standards of the educational possibilities and outcomes for students, parents, and society has made Podar Education Group a trusted name and an acknowledged leader in the education industry,” shares Mrs Soniya Khatri, Principal, Podar International School, Thane. She further states that Podar Education Group believes and works towards the overall growth of every child so that they walk out confident, not arrogant, as independent thinkers, not followers, as listeners first and then speakers with the right amount of pitch and effectiveness.
Likewise, Podar International School, Thane considers itself highly fortunate and blessed to be able to perform the highest act of humanity-providing education.
Sound School Infrastructure Helps Deliver Quality Education
Thane-based Podar International School offers a motivating and comfortable atmosphere that strengthens the students’ desire to attend school every day and thus, complete their academic cycle better. It has high-quality infrastructure facilities such as technology-infused classrooms, well-equipped laboratories, state-of-the-art innovation labs, a well-stocked library, recreational centres, multifunctional playgrounds, and a sports centre.
In terms of class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios, there are 35 to 40 students per teacher. Furthermore, the teaching pedagogy used by faculty involves a mix of individualised learning and differentiated instruction to cater more and more for each student’s needs which is beneficial to almost all the students. Ultimately, the primary focus is on letting the learners choose how they learn most beneficially. They work alongside the teachers to create their own goals and pave their own educational pathways. In this phenomenon, instead of education being something that happens to the learner, it occurs as a result of what the student is doing, with the intent of creating engaged students who have truly understood how to learn.
Trained Teachers are the Driving Forces behind Quality Education
Teachers are considered the torchbearers of imparting quality education. As a result, Podar International Schools look for teachers who have a sound understanding of their subjects, apply proper teaching and evaluation methods, actively participate with other professionals in curricular development, and possess skills to teach a diverse student population. The minimum criterion for teacher applicants is a bachelor’s degree in the relevant subjects, and if they hold higher qualifications such as B.Ed, post-graduate degrees, ECCD etc., they are considered and appointed to senior positions.
Concerning professional development opportunities, the school promotes teachers capable of handling numerous esteemed positions in different branches of Podar Education Network. Moreover, numerous platforms are given to them to further amplify their knowledge and technical skill sets and also showcase their leadership acumen throughout the academic session.
Igniting the Spark of Innovation & Creativity in Students
The teachers of Podar International School, Thane, aim to teach their students to think outside the box and develop a creative thinking skill set. The teachers use inquiry-based learning to make this happen, where students are encouraged to find answers to their own raised questions. In addition, there are technology-infused classrooms along with marker space and display boards where students can get innovative. Several team-building activities are also conducted to teach students essential communication and social skills. Moreover, students are shown inspirational TEDx Talk videos of entrepreneurs and corporate leaders through which students get to understand how innovative ideas are brought to life.
Another fantastic initiative taken by Soniya and her team is displaying inspirational quote posters in the classrooms. “We believe that these posters in our learning environment can lead the way to great conversations and critical thinking,” asserts Soniya. Hence, they urge students to consider and discuss the meaning of each message and how it can be applied. Likewise, several role-play activities such as skits are conducted for students where they get to write the original scripts, troubleshoot at rehearsals, and collaborate on costume creation.
“At Podar International School-Thane, we want students not simply to filter our course content through the existing models but to change and expand those internal models and venture into new horizons making the learning more effective and productive to the society the learner lives in,” continues Soniya.
Student Exposure Equals High College Acceptance Rate
At Podar Education Network, student exposure is given high priority right from the early years. Figuratively speaking, Podar International Schools’ students have secured a place in over 758 Universities, 1 in 3 students have been accepted at a Top College, and 8734 students have won scholarships to date.
Additionally, a unique concept of student portfolios is initiated at Podar International School, Thane, where students as young as grade I are encouraged to engage with the portfolio. They get to personalise and showcase their creativity in the leaflet through arts & crafts. These leaflets include information about the student, his surroundings, goals, dreams, academic achievements, and creative inclinations. The pages are so designed to allow students to reflect on their work and their behaviour and social skills. In turn, students use the portfolio to start conversations with their parents, such as discussing career goals as early as Std 8 or how to convert weaknesses into opportunities.
Moreover, there is the active involvement of the student-alumni community, who mentor the school’s current students in multiple areas of the university admissions. Students can connect with their seniors through digital platforms right from class 8 and seek guidance on subjects, streams, careers, courses, colleges, entrance exams, college life, and more.
Making Parents an Active Part in their Child’s Education
“When parents choose Podar International for their children, we are humbled and at the same time duty-bound to give their children, give their trust the assurance of nothing but the best for their children and which we do with utmost gratitude and competence,” says Principal Soniya.
As a result, parents are made a part of their child’s education, right from Parent Teacher Meetings to participation in fun-filled activities to communicating through “Loop Learning” and “Between Us” apps at Podar International School Thane.
Prestigious Awards & Accolades
Over the years, Podar Education Network has been honoured with several awards and recognitions. To name a few recent ones: Best Education Brands of 2022 by The Economic Times, Best School Trustee award by MESTA (2022), ‘e4m Pride of India – The Best of Bharat Award (2022), Most Respected Early Childhood Education Brand, Most Respected Education Brand in India by The Education World (2021-22), Most Distinguished International School Network of the Year at Education Excellence Awards (2020-21), Best Preschool at Global School Awards (2020-21).
Likewise, Podar International School Thane has also been bestowed with an award for Top Emerging School in the National Curriculum category by the Time Education Icons. These awards and honours depict Podar Education Network’s dedication towards quality education and focus on creating a safe environment for students and preparing them for future challenges.
Student Success Stories
Like the school and its education network, the students of Podar International School, Thane are also not far behind in bringing laurels and representing the school on a global platform. Several students secure their place in the merit list in the CBSE board examination for achieving a perfect 100. There have also been multiple international toppers in Olympiads across all subjects. One of the students ranked amongst the top 6% of the students who successfully completed the Camp K12 coding trial for AI of 60 minutes duration, while another became the youngest (14-year-old) World record holder as a Rubik’s Cube Tutor.
Besides, a Grade 5 student of Podar International School, Thane scored distinction in Trinity College, London, Digital Drama Graded Exam (Solo), and a Grade 10 student completed the CISEH course and is currently pursuing Certified Penetration Testing Expert (CPTE). Additionally, a primary student secured the first position in Shri. Ganesh Podar Memorial kinder sports Under 11 Online Chess Tournament.
Rising to the Occasion Despite COVID-19 Challenges
When COVID-19 arrived, Podar International School, Thane was gearing up to conduct exams for the academic session of 2019-20. However, due to the imposition of nationwide lockdowns, Soniya and her team had to brainstorm and develop strategies for winding up the session. Through constant support and guidance from the school’s trustees, Podar International School, Thane successfully announced its online results within just two weeks. This is a huge feat in itself.
“We at Podar International School, Thane, take immense pride in the fact that we rose to the occasion, took up the challenge, and successfully kick-started online classes on April 2, 2020,” adds Principal Soniya. She further states that Podar International School was among the first few schools to ensure no gap in students’ education.
To begin with, teachers were trained on how to use “Google Meet”, followed by orientation sessions for students & parents where they were given a complete overview of the online classes. Podar Education Network, along with Podar Innovation Center, ensured that eBooks were available for students right away in terms of resources. As a result, classes were conducted on Google Meet, notes were uploaded on Google Classroom, tests were held on Google forms, and examinations were conducted in collaboration with Ekalavya Exam Portal all across the country.
However, there were times when Soniya and her team faced many challenges, but at the end of the day, they found solutions and emerged strong. “I can confidently say that every possible measure was taken to ensure students’ learning and education continuity,” proudly mentions Soniya.
Planning for a Brighter Tomorrow
Principal Soniya considers herself fortunate to be bestowed with an opportunity to work for a brand of repute such as Podar and demonstrate her skills as a founder principal. She began her journey with Podar International School, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat and later was assigned as a Founding Principal of Podar International School, Thane.
Sharing her immediate plans for Podar International School, Thane, Principal, Soniya, reveals, “I plan to take this school to a place which is an epitome of quality education, healthy environment, and human values.”
For More Info: https://www.podareducation.org/school/thane
About Soniya Khatri, Principal
Highly skilled & experienced Principal having excellent managerial & communication skills with a demonstrated history of working in the primary/secondary education industry. Skilled in Financial Planning, Team Building, Interpersonal Skills, Strategic Communications, and Leadership Development. Strong education professional with a Post Graduate degree in Chemistry from Kurukshetra University. She has taught as a lecturer, Post Graduate Teacher and worked as a coordinator at various educational institutes of high repute in India and has handled related administrative and other functional responsibilities.
Because of her command in subject and communication, she has been selected as a Master trainer too by the Podar education network. Under this role, she is conducting various leadership training programs for VPs, coordinators and admin teams of various schools of theirs every year. Nowadays she is getting trained as a Trainer for training modules on Transaction Analysis, Effective Inter-Personal Relationships and Team Building (Intra & Inter Groups Relationships).
She aims to achieve excellence in teaching profession by becoming a facilitator who understands the needs of all students coming from different backgrounds.