Education system in India and Thailand by Shreya Gupta

Government Schools in India and Thailand: What we can learn from our neighbours

As a young student myself, one of the experiences I have enjoyed most is working with children in government schools in both India and Thailand. It has been fascinating to see the difference, to understand what makes a society grow. It made me think about what each country seems to value and even about how each country makes place for those who cannot pay for private education. An initiative by our school, Pathways School Noida, saw a group of us who regularly work with schools in India, spend some days with similar schools in Thailand.

A good educational system is the key foundation stone for the development of any nation, for it nurtures its most valuable resource- young people.As Nelson Mandela rightly said ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’

In Thailand, it was very clear to see the powerful belief in a strong education system- and the government is prepared to invest in it. Our Community Service project took us to number of schools across Thailand from Princess Mother School in Phayao, Chiang Kham Public School to Chiang Kham Primary School in Chiang Kham.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the excellent infrastructure and facilities available for the students in all the schools and at first thought they were private schools as such schools would be, in India. I was shocked to find that these schools were in fact public schools, run and funded by the government. I found that the Thai government spends 22% of the total government expenditure on education. Even in a small town like Chiang Kham, the infrastructure and quality of the government school was truly inspiring, comparable to some of the most expensive private schools in India. The classrooms were stocked with every possible amenity, right from white boards and computers, to projectors and microphone systems to even microwaves and fridges in the classroom! There was even a 4D multiplex on their campus, and all this is available to the students for no cost what so ever. The students do not have to pay for education, uniforms or even stationary and books, as everything is paid for by the government and the emperor.

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It saddened me to compare the public school system in Thailand and India. Despite the fact that our government spends about 650 Billion INR on education, our government schools sometimes lack the most basic amenities and facilities including books and writing material. Sometimes even basic infrastructure like paint work and furniture is found missing. Often classrooms in India where I have worked with children, are over-crowded with about 40-50 children per class. The chairs and tables are broken and damaged from somewhere or the other and despite being an English medium school, the only teacher who speaks relatively decent English is the English teacher.

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It is high time for people to become aware of what is happening and take a step towards making a difference, making a change towards a better educated India, and lobby to our government to improve and better the public school system in our country, so that we too can give our young citizens the advantage of education in its fullest form

Shreya Gupta is a Grade 11 student at Pathways School  Noida

Published in: on April 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pathways School Gurgaon celebrated its First Founder’s Day with an Exclusive exhibition and some breathtaking performances

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Pathways, Gurgaon celebrated its first Founders Day on November 26, 2011 with an original production of the Old Turtle.  Many times in our lives we come upon a film, a book or a performance that changes our world view forever. Old Turtle is such a story, written by Douglas Wood and illustrated with exquisitely sensitive water colours by Cheng-Khee Chee.  The book was brought to Pathways by our librarian, Bandana Sen and quickly became a favourite amongst students and teachers. It was not long before this timeless tale of wisdom and hope captured our imagination and became the source and inspiration of our first Founders Day production.

This new production included every student of Pathways Gurgaon from the tiniest toddler in Daycare to the tallest of our Grade 12’s. Involving each and every student in a befitting manner posed a great challenge to the creative team but as the days progressed all were drawn in by the urgency of the message in this simple story and all felt the need to contribute to its telling.

What is that message and who is Old Turtle?  There comes a time in the journey of every civilization to pause, reflect and consider whether it is moving in the right direction, or whether the collective needs to scrutinize its choices.  The story of the Old Turtle is an allegory for that moment of pause.  His ancient voice, older than the earth itself, echoes in our hearts and serves as a gentle reminder that this is our moment to pause and reflect on our journey as a people.  Are we headed for destruction with our greed, intolerance and hunger for power… or will we find a way to survive?

In simple clear language Old Turtle tells us that we have forgotten our true selves; that beneath the surface of apparent differences we are all one; part of a single divine creation, from every rock and tree to the far distant stars.  How marvelous then, that this echoes the vision of Pathways ‘to build and nurture a community of thinking, compassionate world citizens’.  The Old Turtle tells us that the tiny ants and the mighty mountain; the soft breeze and the roaring lion are all equal in this citizenship.

We were indeed honoured and fortunate to have the blessings and wisdom of another voice on this joyous occasion, our chief guest, Padma Vibhushan Shree Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney General of India.  He began the evening by imploring our youth to actively take up the responsibilities of citizenship by developing compassion and tolerance, little knowing that this message would soon be illustrated by the entire student body through the production itself.

The children of Primary School stole our hearts with their ingenuous portrayal of the glory of nature.  The Middle and Senior School worked together to produce scenes of thought provoking horror holding up a mirror to our darkest natures. But in the end, it was the innocence of the little children, our true future, which brought us through the darkness to a new vision of tomorrow. The glorious hour long dance and drama production was a visual delight with costumes, stage properties and stage design all created in-house by the diversely talented faculty of Pathways Gurgaon.  Every staff member including faculty, administration and support staff was caught up in the whirlwind of creativity and demonstrated what a team can achieve when each person takes ownership of a project.  There is no doubt that each one of us felt personal  pride in the success of this important event.  And in my heart there is no doubt that we have all been transformed by this process.  Old Turtle did not only give us a message. The entire process of creation and the final production itself was a practical guide on how to survive together and create beauty together:  a beautiful play, a beautiful school and a wonderful world.  As the song said:

I see birds of many colours, and skies of blue

Lush fields of green, and farmers too

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.

I see the Aravali hills, from my classroom window,

Crisscrossing pathways, amidst green and yellow

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky

Are also on the faces of people going by

I see friends shaking hands, saying “How do you do?”

They’re really saying, “I love you.”

I hear babies in Daycare, I watch them grow

They’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world.

Congratulations Pathways Gurgaon!! We are one!

Published in: on December 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm  Comments (1)  

Pathways Noida Completes 100 days

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Right from the first day of school, the students of Form 2 have been doing the ‘Calendar Activity’, filling in dates, days, months and the year. At the end of each month they calculate the number of days they have come to school and put up the tally. It is from this that they arrived at the 100th day of school.

They celebrated it by making crowns with their own special message on it. They stuck ten strips of paper, each with ten things on it. Through this activity the concepts of adding in 10s and multiplying with 10 got further reinforced. The children were extremely excited to share their findings with the rest of the school. What also emerged was their ability to be risk-takers (going to each classroom, from primary to senior) and confident communicators. This wouldn’t have been possible without the encouragement and motivation they received from the entire school community. All in all, they had a great day!

By: The Pathways Noida Team

http://pathways.in/noida/

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dr. Shalini Advani, School Director Noida, Interviewed by Mindfields Magazine

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To view the PDF please click on the link below:

Mindfields Interview

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Exhibition and Fair at Pathways Noida

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Published in: on March 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

MODERN LANGUAGE FESTIVAL

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On February 9th, a successful language carnival was organized under the initiative of the MFL, where students of middle and high school gathered at the Pathways Noida amphitheatre to commemorate our strong linguistic ties with the countries of Spain and France. The essence of the festiveness was evident in the `meet and greet` that ensued in our native Hindi, Spanish and French. Students opened the event in `tasking` teachers speaking no French to recite passages in French, non Hindi speakers to recite Hindi passages etc. There was much good humored laughter as they stumbled across unfamiliar words and pronunciation. The highlight of the program was a vibrant rendition of the traditional Flamenco music performed by Mr. Ignacio and his wife Ms. Belin which had everyone transfixed.

The invitation was produced in all three languages most artistically under the expert guidance of Mr. Anil, our versatile art teacher, followed by a performance by out star performers Sana, Eshaan, Shaquille and Partha. Performed were songs and dances from throughout India as well as the French and Spanish speaking worlds.   School Director Dr. Shalini Advani closed the noon assembly, again emphasizing the importance of second and third language learning.

The students of Grade 8 established a Kiosk with newspaper, magazines and bright and traditional Spanish memorabilia, besides dressing in the garb local to the region. Spanish and French cuisine completed the ambience of a distant land. Overall, the proceedings definitely achieved the effect of transporting visiting guests ever so lightly and vividly to the bohemian streets of Spain and France.

 

Published in: on February 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

College Counselling Fair held at Pathways Noida

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Students of Pathways School Noida had an excellent introduction to the complexities of University admission in the USA. Linden US tour was invite to the school on the 10th Feb. We hosted 12 Admissions Officers from universities like Michigan-Flint, Savannah College of Art and Design, University of Central Florida, Ohio State, Columbia College of Chicago, University of Minnesota, Lasell College and many more. It was a mini fair on US universities in which our senior students had an opportunity to interact directly with universities representatives and gather information on admission requirements, courses, scholarships and funding. It was very useful for our students as well as parents who were invited.

This followed from a session a little earlier, on the University of Hawaii Pacific.  Ms Lindsey Garbenis, Associate Director, International Admissions- Hawaii Pacific University addressed our senior students and spoke to them about the University and its undergraduate admission procedure. It was a 30 minute session followed by question and answers. Interested parents also attended the session and interacted with her regarding IB admission requirements and transfer of credits.

Article By: Puja Rao
College Counsellor
Pathways Noida

http://pathways.in/noida/

Published in: on February 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pathways Noida Students Visit National Science Centre

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On Friday, students of grades 6 to 11 had a fascinating visit to the National Science Centre, Pragati Maidan. In fact it turned out to be an eye opener as we saw intriguing aspects of science/math in the form of live working models! The trip was divided into two parts – a preliminary visit and investigative study. In all there were seven different galleries. All students were given a worksheet outlining the synopsis of the concepts/models displayed at NSC.

Students were very excited to see some of the models from science especially the one which gives information about the amount of water in various organs of the human body.

The scientific magic show conducted by the supervisor at NSC was awesome. Children found out the amazing applications of Liquid Nitrogen and how it does the trick for magicians! There were various other models on Physics, Chemistry, IT etc. The mathematical model on Pythagoras Theorem was praised by everyone. The Elliptical Carom turned out to be a real jigsaw as children tried hard to figure out the mathematics behind it. All children got almost lost in the Mirror Maze – an application of the Physics concept.

Already further trips are being planned by individual teachers to follow up on specific learning areas of the museum. It’s truly a perfect world of learning by doing.

By- Raju Verma
Head of Maths- Pathways Noida

 

Published in: on February 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hindi Diwas Celebrated at Pathways Noida.

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We at Pathways School Noida celebrated Hindi Divas on the 31st of January2011 where students recited Hindi poems, gave speeches and sung beautiful songs taking us to a different world. There was also a fair of Hindi books. The little faces of Primary years students broadened with a smile when they saw Hindi movies; – Alibaba challis chor, karadi tales. Solving some interesting puzzles, doing illustrations of the story on a wooden panel, and buddy reading was also part of the fun filled event at school.

Our senior school compere  Siddhant Tyagi held together a special assembly with his thoughtful and creative commentary. Eeshan Shukla reminded us of the way Bollywood has shaped the language with his performance on the song Give me some sunshine from the movie 3 Idiots.

http://pathways.in/noida/

Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm  Comments (1)  

Pathways Annual Chairman’s Meet 2011

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”….Henry Ford

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With this strong belief in heart, on a bright sunny morning on 16th January, the Pathways family gathered at the Aravali campus to celebrate the success that Pathways has witnessed in the year 2010. The year 2010 was the year when the vision of the Chairman- Mr. Pramod Jain fructified into reality…. when two new schools were added to the Pathways family. The three schools and the Corporate office came together to celebrate the joy of togetherness.

The event was given a glorious start by a special prayer presented by the entire team of Pathways Gurgaon, followed by the Great Pathways Talent Hunt, where the participants had only a minute to showcase their talent. It was succeeded by the Ad mads, where in the teams from Pathways Aravali, Gurgaon and Noida came up with a very entertaining campaign for Pathways Finishing schools, B Schools and Preschools and Day care respectively. Post that everybody moved to the field games and enjoyed themselves to the hilt, playing cricket, basketball, throw ball, carom, chess, table tennis etc. The highlight of the event was the inter unit tug of war, which saw the fighting spirit of the respective teams.

Here is an account of the Chairman’s meet, by one of the teachers of Pathways Noida.

Pathways Noida team & the Chairman’s Meet…

It was barely a few months back when all the new teachers and staff from Noida and Gurgaon met at Aravali. The energy of the flagship school left us all breathless – its systems and its vision enveloped the whole school and we were immersed in it.

On January 16, the teachers of Pathways School Noida walked through the scenic and serene pathways of Aravalli and it felt like our first day of school. At the admin building, in the lobby we eagerly waited for all buses to come in one by one to warmly greet our friends, familiar faces with whom we shared great memories.

The lush green periphery of the atrium and tinkling of the waterfall made the perfect setting for encouraging and warm words of welcome from our Chairman, Board of Governors and Directors. Each and every member of the audience was truly in sync with the vision of the school, we all gathered as people who may be at different places but we all believe in shaping the future of our children and our nation in the highest possible manner.

To most of us at Noida School, the day was about connections; connecting with old and  new, the mentors from the Aravali school, the Jain family and our noteworthy directors. We re-connected with the child in us and participated in games we remember playing as children, getting our hands dirty and faces muddy, shouting in glee, sometimes defending our team and at other times rooting for them. We realized that for a minute there we all got a bit too competitive – we reconnected with the little child in us and the little devil that wants us to win, always!

The true purpose of this meet, to most of us was an awareness of how other schools are shaping up and how we all can learn from each other. This kind of interaction is very unique to our Pathways family – we network, share resources and ideas willingly. In our busy schedules, we often don’t find time to realize how truly talented we all are or appreciate the rich resources we have around. This day was a great chance to interact with teachers we had met during our various workshops, discuss strategies and learn from each others’ experiences. Pathways world school had brought our worlds closer together, making us realize that despite our different locations, the Pathways family has one common goal – to be the best, together.

Article By: Bhavya Bhatt
Middle School English Dept
Pathways Noida

http://pathways.in/

Published in: on February 2, 2011 at 11:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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