A 12-point School Selection Checklist

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Education, especially school education, has changed radically in the last decade. With the inundation of digital technology, and the inception of policy reforms (especially the National Education Policy – NEP 2020), awareness about quality education is at the forefront. The notable aspects to focus on are: emphasis on skill and entrepreneurship education, changes in assessment methods, focus on inclusive education, and rise in global exchange programmes. While there is so much written and spoken about the ever-evolving best education practices, in this age of information overload, there is considerable and understandable confusion among parents on how to decide which school would be the most suitable for their child. This 12-point checklist will help simplify the challenging task of selecting the best school for your child. 

  1. Accreditations and Certifications: A school that is recognised/accredited/affiliated with a national or international board or body definitively ranks higher than the others. These stand as a testimony to the credibility and dependability of the institution.

  2. Curriculum and Pedagogy: Choose a school that offers a wide range of programmes to enhance your child’s performance in academics and extra-curricular learning and open opportunities to diverse career paths, including competitive exams, and international education. Gain awareness regarding the pedagogical approach or the teaching methodology, whether it offers academic rigour, or experiential based learning, or both. For younger children, a dedicated focus on holistic development and exposure – academically, physically, emotionally, and intellectually – ensures long term benefits.

  3. Teacher Quality: Ensure that the teaching staff is qualified and experienced in delivering the curriculum in a nurturing, interactive, and engaging manner. Ascertain whether Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is a norm in the school. The teacher-student ratio also plays a vital role in getting your child’s unique needs addressed.

  4. Co-curricular Activities: A well-rounded and holistic education is possible only when all areas of growth are blended proportionately. Integration of sports, performing arts, cultural, technological, scientific, literary, and academic events into the curriculum is an indicator of the focus on holistic development of the child. 
     
  5. Outcome Focused: How a school tracks a child’s progress in learning and how it is communicated to parents are important criteria to zero in on a school. National Policies on Education have been encouraging continuous and comprehensive assessment with distinct learning outcomes at each level of school education.

  6. Parent-Teacher Communication: Schools that offer regular parent-teacher communication make it easier for parents to remain informed about their child’s progress as well as address and alleviate any parental concerns. Apart from the regular PTMs and events, the VIBGYOR Group of Schools has a dedicated parent portal for parents to stay connected to teachers regularly.

  7. Safety and Hygiene: Check if the school has appropriate safety, hygiene, and emergency measures in place. This starts right from the entry-exit point of the school to the classrooms, corridors, lifts, staircases, washrooms, play areas, and other common areas of the school. It is important that these areas are not just clean but also safe for your child and equipped to deal with any unforeseen emergencies.

  8. Values and Ethics: Find out about the value system of the school, as this goes a long way in instilling the right personal, family, and social value system, like ensuring inclusivity and celebrating diversity. Personalised Learning Centres in schools support teachers to address gaps, if any, and foster connections.

  9. Infrastructure: Make sure that the school has all the required facilities, apart from spacious and well-lit classrooms, comfortable furniture, a library, the laboratories, and sports facilities, which together create a conducive and encouraging learning environment for the child.

  10. Technology Integration: Integration with technology is the need of the hour in this digital age. A seamless integration in terms of the availability of digital resources and using updated and integrated content for teaching is in place at the VIBGYOR Group of Schools.

  11.  Accessible Education: Offering extracurricular activities and amenities in addition to the curriculum guarantees that a school is providing an inclusive, high-quality education to all its students.

  12.  Alumni Success: Gather information on the achievements of the school’s alumni. This will help assess the impact of the school on the child’s future success. Furthermore, you will learn about the school’s local, national, and global network of learners.

Looking for the best school for your child? Connect with us: https://www.vgos.org/

Navigating the Educational Landscape: Embracing Emerging Trends in 2024

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Imagine a classroom buzzing with activity, students collaborating on virtual reality projects, delving into coding challenges, and deliberating on solutions to real-world problems. This is a glimpse into the new age of school education. Let us delve into the exciting educational trends materialising in 2024:

1. Skill-based Learning takes Centre Stage:

Education today places a strong emphasis on skill-based learning. The days of just memorising facts are long gone. Today’s classrooms focus on equipping students with critical thinking, logical reasoning, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and creativity skills—essential tools for success in the 21st century. This shift towards skill development empowers students to hold their own in a rapidly changing world, regardless of the specific career path they choose.

2. Embracing Technology for Personalised Learning:

Educational Technology (EdTech) is no longer a novelty; it is a powerful tool transforming classrooms. Interactive online platforms, adaptive learning software, and immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences are personalising the learning journey. A one-size-fits-all strategy is quickly becoming historical lore. Nowadays, students can learn at their own pace, explore topics in-depth, and receive categorical support based on their individual needs. EdTech allows educators to become facilitators of learning, guiding students on their unique educational paths.

3. Blended Learning: The Future is Flexible

The rigid structure of traditional classrooms is becoming obsolete. Blended learning, which seamlessly integrates online and in-person instruction, is gaining traction. This approach offers students the flexibility to learn independently through online modules while still benefiting from face-to-face interaction with teachers and peers. Blended learning fosters a more engaging and efficient learning environment, catering to diverse learning styles.

4. Cultivating Digital Fluency, Not Just Literacy

In today’s world, only possessing digital literacy is no longer enough. Educational institutions are now enhancing digital fluency, empowering students to not only navigate technology responsibly but also leverage its power for learning and innovation. This includes coding skills, data analysis, and the ability to create and share digital content effectively. By fostering digital fluency, schools prepare students to become active participants in the digital landscape.

5. A Holistic Approach: Focus on Well-Being

Education in 2024 recognises the importance of a well-rounded student. Alongside academic excellence, schools are prioritising student well-being. Programmes promoting mindfulness, social-emotional learning (SEL), and physical activity are becoming increasingly common. Nurturing mental and physical well-being equips students to manage stress, build resilience, and develop healthy habits that benefit them throughout their lives.

6. A Call for a Sustainable Future

The need for sustainability education is more critical than ever. Educational institutions are integrating sustainability principles across the curriculum, encouraging students to understand environmental challenges and develop solutions. This includes responsible resource management, climate change awareness, and inculcating a sense of environmental stewardship. By equipping students with the knowledge and skills to build a sustainable future, we empower them to become accountable.

The Road Ahead

As we navigate the evolving educational landscape of 2024, these trends highlight the shift towards a more student-centric, technology-driven, and holistic approach to learning. By embracing these trends, we can create a future where education empowers students to not only become lifelong learners and critical thinkers, but also sentient, humane, and responsible global citizens

Embracing Holistic Education: Going Beyond Exam Scores at VIBGYOR

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Aligning with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020’s vision of a holistic learning experience, the educational landscape is undergoing a significant shift. Gone are the days of solely focusing on exam scores or marks.  VIBGYOR Group of Schools is at the forefront of this exciting change, championing a holistic education model that empowers students to thrive well beyond the test.

Looking Beyond the Test: A Spectrum of Success

At VIBGYOR, we understand that academic achievement is critical but not the only piece of the complex puzzle of world ready citizens in the 21st century. While strong academic performance remains valuable, we believe true success lies in fostering well-rounded individuals equipped for a fulfilling life. This is why we focus on continuous and comprehensive assessment, evaluating a student’s progress throughout their academic journey.

Our holistic approach goes beyond grades to celebrate:

  • A Passion for Lifelong Learning: We nurture a genuine curiosity in our students, encouraging them to explore knowledge beyond the syllabus and delve deeper into subjects that spark their interests. This ignites a lifelong love of learning and a desire to continuously discover and grow.
  • Resilience and Growth Mindset: We cultivate a growth mindset, empowering students to bounce back from setbacks, learn from mistakes, and face challenges with confidence. This fosters adaptability and a willingness to continuously improve.
  • Strong Communication and Collaboration Skills: Effective communication and collaboration are essential for success in any field. Through various activities and projects, we equip students with the skills to work effectively with others, express themselves clearly, and contribute meaningfully in group settings.
  • Creative Problem-Solving: VIBGYOR fosters critical thinking skills, encouraging students to approach problems from different angles and develop innovative solutions. This prepares them to tackle complex challenges and thrive in a world that demands adaptability and creative thinking.
  • Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship: We cultivate a strong sense of social responsibility and global citizenship in our students. We encourage them to become active participants in their communities and the world, fostering a sense of empathy and a desire to make a positive impact.

Stories Beyond the Scorecard

VIBGYOR alumni are living testaments to the power of holistic education. They have gone on to achieve success in diverse fields, showcasing the value of nurturing various talents and skills. Whether excelling in academic and leadership roles, pursuing artistic endeavours, or tackling social issues as entrepreneurs, our students are prepared to make a difference.

Holistic Assessment and NEP Alignment

Our commitment to holistic education aligns perfectly with NEP 2020’s emphasis on a competency-based learning approach as well as continuous and comprehensive assessment. VIBGYOR’s 360-degree holistic report card goes beyond grades, providing a comprehensive evaluation that encompasses academic performance, social-emotional learning, creative potential, and essential life skills. This aligns seamlessly with NEP’s focus on a multi-dimensional approach to assessment that evaluates a student’s overall development.

Join the VIBGYOR Journey At VIBGYOR, we believe that education is more than just preparing for exams. We are dedicated to fostering well-rounded individuals equipped with the skills and confidence to thrive in the 21st century.  Join us on this transformative journey and witness the power of education that goes beyond exams.

Impacting Academic Excellence in Schools

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The VIBGYOR Edge

As the VIBGYOR Group of Schools marks its 20th anniversary, we reflect on an incredible journey of growth, innovation, and excellence. Over the past two decades, we have consciously, conscientiously, and ceaselessly endeavoured to provide quality education and redefine the landscape of education. The VIBGYOR Edge, our unique approach to learning, sets us apart from other academic institutions.

The VIBGYOR Edge: What Makes Us Unique

Drawing inspiration from our name, which reflects the colours of the rainbow, the VIBGYOR Edge embodies a spectrum of educational experiences designed to nurture well-rounded individuals.

Here are some key aspects that distinguish our approach:

1. Fostering Global Citizens: A Blended Curriculum Approach

VIBGYOR’s curriculum seamlessly integrates the best aspects of national and global educational approaches. We call this Merging Minds, Merging Horizons. Students gain a strong foundation

in core subjects while also developing 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and communication—essential for success in a dynamic world. This prepares them to carve their niche in an increasingly interconnected global landscape.

2. Empowering Faculty for Student Success: Continuous Professional Development and A Low Teacher-Student Ratio

We believe that exceptional teachers are the cornerstone of a vibrant learning environment. VIBGYOR invests heavily in faculty development programmes, ensuring our educators are equipped with the latest pedagogical approaches and technological advancements to deliver engaging and effective lessons. Upskilling and reskilling our teachers for emerging technologies enables them to adapt to and adopt the latest teaching methodologies. Additionally, we maintain a low teacher-student ratio, fostering personalised attention and a supportive learning environment.

3. Igniting Curiosity: Transformative Student Initiatives for Holistic Development

VIBGYOR fosters a culture of innovation and student engagement. Initiatives like V-EMBARK (VIBGYOR Experiential and Multi-Disciplinary Activity and Research Kit) extend learning beyond the classroom, allowing students to pursue and cultivate their interests. This hands-on approach ignites curiosity, encourages exploration, and grants ownership to students to become active participants in their own learning journey.

4. Tailored Learning Pathways: Choice of Education Boards

VIBGYOR empowers parents to choose the educational path that best aligns with their child’s aspirations. We offer a comprehensive selection of education boards, including the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and Cambridge International Education (CIE). This allows students to pursue a curriculum that caters to their individual strengths and future goals.

5. Safety and Hygiene: Paramount Importance

We prioritise creating a safe learning environment with robust protocols and age-appropriate hygiene practices.

A Legacy of Excellence and Foresight

Our commitment to the VIBGYOR Edge has resulted in a remarkable legacy of achievements over the past 20 years. We are proud to nurture well-rounded individuals who excel not only academically but also develop strong social-emotional skills, leadership qualities, and a global perspective.

As we celebrate this milestone, we express our gratitude to our stakeholders—students, parents, faculty, and staff—who have been instrumental in our success. We remain dedicated to shaping the leaders of tomorrow, and continuously refining the VIBGYOR Edge to provide an unparalleled educational experience for generations to come.

We are moving ahead with confidence and commitment for many more years of innovation, growth, and transformative education!

Rethinking India’s Tryst with E-learning

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Covid-19 has interrupted education of over a billion students worldwide. In such times, the optimum solution to sustain education is online learning. Schools are conducting classes online via Zoom, Moodle and proprietary school software. The sudden need for online education has created an opportunity to experience how online learning can improve the educational landscape and policies in India.

While there are policies that provide resources to implement online learning, integrating the education structure with e-learning is absent. The most daring use of online learning is by providing nationally standardised education, irrespective of social class and rural background.

There is a lack of structure or framework that allows e-learning platforms and mainstream education to amalgamate and provide equal education for all. Creating an integrated curriculum that is accessible across all boards will lead to a seamless education infrastructure that benefits students across India. This obstacle can be crossed by better policy making and technology percolation by telecom giants. Collaboration between government, school management service providers, ed-tech companies and public and private enablers is the need of the hour. A capable task force is needed to achieve this collaboration. This will help highlight strengths and weaknesses of the current system and help deliver effective education.

source: This article was first published in Financial Express (Online Edition) on May 18, 2020.

Strike Off Plastic

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I dare you to imagine a sight. A land filled with every hue, a rainbow that should be beautiful but only repulses you. Water rushing to the shore brings the fabrics and the bottles and the empty torn bags with it. Dead creatures that have been long gone, and out of their mouths drips grey-green water and just the tiny strains of transparent plastic. It choked them. It killed them. In the middle of this garbage desert, you can see a bird, a white seabird with a long, graceful beak – and it is whimpering. Pain. It is in intense pain. A strand of the shiny blue net – the common plastic that anglers often use – is hanging out of the side of its beak, drawing blood. It is looped around its neck, tight, and suddenly you realise that the bird is choking. It tries to voice its pain, but the cord is too tight and it is draining the life out of it. A pair of brown, bloodshot, innocent eyes stare at you, for help, but you do nothing. You ignore the urgent flutters of the bird, beating against the strong winds, but how will the wind ever help? The intense oscillations of the chest of the bird slow, its feathers browned and bloodstained. One last look at you and it is gone.

This is what plastic has done to our planet, and this is exactly what we do in return. It has ruined the Earth, it has destroyed it and it has dragged it to a point beyond physical repair. 

There is no doubt that plastic revolutionised medicine with life-saving devices, made space travel possible, lightened cars and jets—saving fuel—provided cheap packaging options and equipment for clean drinking water. While plastic has many valuable uses, our addiction to disposable polymers has exponentially increased and caused glaring environmental consequences that we have knowingly ignored.

A 2015 study by the National Academy of Sciences, USA, proved that almost every seabird has consumed plastic, resulting in premature death, and so have several turtles, who, after consuming the toxic chemicals released by plastics did not survive more than a few weeks after. And what did we learn? Thousands of deaths, by the hour, of sea and land creatures who were victims of our deeds. Hundreds of acres of land taken to store the discarded plastic, which will live forever and keep poisoning the soil and the creatures living in it. After four years of this study is published, we have learnt nothing.

Sunlight and seawater embrittled plastic to form ‘microplastics’ making it available to zooplankton and other small marine animals including some species found only in the deepest ocean trenches.

Statistically, one million bottles are purchased per minute and about five trillion plastic bags are used and disposed each year around the world. Since the 1960s, more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced and 60% of this is in landfills and oceans, never to be decomposed for the next many millennia. The majority of garbage dumped into the ocean spreads beyond national boundaries, forming the infamous swirling ‘garbage patches’ in oceanic gyres. India stands at the height of these scales, with 1,880,559 kg of plastic being disposed of each day, 85% of which is completely mismanaged.

The oceans and the landfills are not the only victims of our polymeric experiments. The primary sources of freshwater, our rivers, have also been majorly affected by coagulation and contamination by plastics. Our holy Ganges and Brahmaputra have been, now for many years, classified as some of the most polluted rivers carrying 72,845 tonnes of plastic waste into the oceans, increasing the probability of vector-borne diseases like malaria. 

Plastic pollutants make their way to the drainage system and clog those causing floods during rains in areas hitherto prone to the same and causing severe losses year after year.

Is this our legacy we leave for the generations to come? Why should they bear the consequences of our lack of action? Creating awareness and education are paramount in managing the plastic crisis. People around the world are already innovating solutions that focus on reusing and reducing plastic. Starting in 2016, the Government of India has also reacted to the situation, starting with 10 local policies and a nationwide ban on selective forms of the polymer. As the end-consumer, it is our moral responsibility to stop using single-use plastic.  Plan the change! Make the change! Be the change!



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