The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the collective force behind many products and services that are fast becoming indispensable to modern life. Think GPS systems that suggest the fastest route to a destination, voice-activated virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri, personalized Netflix recommendations, and Facebook’s ability to recognize your face and tag you in a friend’s photo. There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent.
When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance. Standing on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. “In the future, technological innovation will also lead to a supply-side miracle, with longterm gains in efficiency and productivity. Through our school’s curriculum and learning practices, we shape students to be achievers in their academic endeavours and competent for the ever-changing industry ahead of them,” opines Dr. Pourushasp Farokh Karkaria, Head of School and Principal, The Cathedral Vidya School.
Chiselling Competent Students
The Cathedral Vidya School, Lonavala, aims to create proud Indians who are articulate, compassionate and rational individuals, with a humanistic and universal outlook. Offering an innovative program, delivered by caring educators, the school addresses the needs of the times and guides the children towards academic and human excellence. Aspiring to bring up Global Citizens utilizing International curriculum and principles of student-centred learning, he believes in imparting education that fosters excellence, physical fitness, psychological and spiritual health, a consciousness of social obligations and concern for the environment in each student. The school instils in students the value of cherishing their Indian culture and at the same time respect the culture of people from other parts of the world. The school firmly believes in the kind of education that teaches not only to make a living but how to live. The principal deems that the ability to assume and discharge responsibilities is an essential life skill that needs to be taught from a very young age and that the Cathedral Vidya School teaches its students to motivate themselves and others to accomplish a common goal through a united effort. Offering Cambridge Lower Secondary (CS 1) to classes IV-VIII, IGCSE (CS-2) to classes IX & X, and IBDP curriculums to XI & XII, the school makes use of excellent textbooks, a well-resourced library, computer suite, music studio and a stellar assessment mechanism to impart education.
“Our class sizes generally are limited to 20 students per division, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 12:1. We provide each child with an environment in which they can flourish, develop, and fulfil their potential. Our team of special educators will assess individual needs and in consultation with the parents that includes Access to the Assistive Technology Centre (ATC), Extended borrowing services in the Library, Learning Support (one- on- one), Mentoring, Note-taking, Referral for extra assessments, and Examination adjustments (e.g. extra time),” adds the Principal. Having a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree or more along with a Certificate / Diploma in teacher Training or a Degree in Education, the school ensures that its teachers are qualified and experienced. Moreover, the school runs an in-house INSET Programme, twice a year, for all teaching staff, providing them with continued professional development opportunities. The school also sends teachers for Professional Development Workshops organized by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE).
Keeping the philosophy, ‘a partnership between teachers and families helps develop successful and well-rounded students’ in mind, the Cathedral Vidya School has suggested directives to all the parents for getting involved in their child’s education. It is through open communication and collaboration that parents and teachers can create important opportunities for teens to develop social, emotional, and academic skills. Therefore, the school encourages parents to attend and volunteer at events and meetings organized at the school, be in constant touch with the teachers, encourage reading, help their children manage the homework process, and inform the groups, classes or guidance they would like the school to provide so that active learning and education can be portrayed in a positive light for the students.
Encouraging Overall Development
From 2012, the school’s Cathedral International Model United Nations (CIMUN) has provided a platform for young ardent debaters to voice out their perspectives on subjects that are of global importance. With ‘Here for Tomorrow’ as their motto, the CIMUN enables each individual participating to collectively, not only overcome his/her fear of public speaking but to also hone their skills of debating. From the last 8 years, CIMUN has progressed through the expansion of a new variety of notable committees. Taking an active part in CIMUN guarantees an overall enlightened perspective towards the United Natation’s and help show the profound impact the United Nation has on each of our lives. Offering a wide variety of extra and co-curricular activities which include multiple small letters, such as, Tennis Courts, Swimming Pool, Cricket Field, Football Field, Basketball Courts, Squash Court, Indoor Games, as well as Arts, Music (Classical & Western Music) Theatre, the Cathedral Vidya School is also well-known for its excellent sporting activities and the opportunities it provides to its students.
For the past three years, the school has been participating in the School Games Federation of India in various sporting activities and has performed well each year. The students are encouraged to pursue their hobbies and all the support and opportunity is provided to represent the School in various States and National Competitions. Winning the ‘Best School for future-readiness’ at the Zamit International School Awards 2019-20, the Cathedral Vidya School has continuously ensured that students achieve to the best of their potential and receive admission offers and scholarships from universities of their choices. Towards the end of the two-year IB Diploma Programme batch of 2019 -20, students have received offers and scholarships.
“Our students have been awarded scholarships from various universities abroad like the University of
Toronto, Northeast University, Michigan State University, Arizona University, University of Illinois, and Miami University, to name a few,” remarks Dr. Pourushasp. One of the school’s shining stars, Shriya Sekhsaria, has established a Start-Up in the first year of joining Princeton University and is currently engaged with the Lumha Foundation; she is the Founder and CEO of the organisation.
Guiding Students Towards Excellence
One of the first steps towards college planning is to opt for the correct pre-requisite courses while at school. The college counseling department assists both students and parents in understanding the various requirements both in India and abroad for various career choices. Ideally, parents and students start planning as early as grade 8, however it is never too late to get the correct subject choice counseling. The College Counselling department helps students in preparing all required documents on time, every time. All the university-related documents are provided by the school. “Our students’ college acceptance rate is 85 % to 100 %. From attestation to giving Predicted Grades are done through school only. We do not give any documents to the outside agency or the student.
All the documents processed through school are sent directly to the university by courier or through email or uploaded on university portals,” explains Dr. Pourushasp. The adoption of technology in education has led to an unprecedented transformation from teacher-centric education towards student-centric education. Virtual classrooms and various online tools are helping to continue and enhance the engagement between the teacher and students as close to the classroom-type experience. Going forward, smart classrooms are making everything possible from teachers and parent meetings to staff/management meetings, providing the necessary interactivity. Connecting students and teachers through digital platforms and necessary software through the use of laptops or phones is the latest transition in education trying to eradicate the physical need of teachers or classrooms.
The use of technology in education is one of those methods that will help improve the quality of education in India. It is also altering the way education is provided in India. Many educational institutes are considering this as an ideal time to experiment and deploy new technology to make education delivery possible and meaningful. In a move to not let the crisis hamper the curriculum, digital transformation has become a new norm with educational institutes across the country. The Cathedral Vidya School has taken the opportunity to get into the bandwagon of adopting e-learning, and smart classrooms, revamping the traditional education system.
Dr. Pourushasp F Karkaria bears a rich experience of over 27 years in spearheading reputed educational institutions across India and the Middle East. As an acclaimed academician with multiple years of experience in successfully running IGCSE and IBDP Schools, his skills as a teacher and school administrator has been recognized and rewarded by the State/Central Governing Bodies time and again. Having spearheaded schools to success nationally and internationally, his commitment has earned him considerable respect amongst all the stakeholders. He espouses the ‘Never Stop Learning’ mantra and imbues the same spirit in others. He plans to set high expectations from himself and the staff as well as to provide support and encouragement to the students that would be central to the School’s pedagogy under his leadership