Coordinator's Report on ISA at Pushkarini

 

‘The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.’

New beginnings are what we all require at frequent intervals in life to break the monotony which brings stagnation to our lives. Pushkarini is very privileged to be a part of the British Council International School Award programme as we are the first school in Mysore to be working on the ISA. The School has been involved in ISA for the last 9 months with complete spirit and commitment and every day has been a day of learning, exhilaration, collaboration and challenges.

As a co-ordinator, I am completely humbled by the way our team of teachers & students have worked with the single goal of taking learning beyond the confines of our classrooms to the world outside. Right from the word ‘Go’ they have worked with the same spirit, unhampered by any kind of hurdles – be it academic, physical or emotional. ISA was completely Greek to the Pushkarinians and so was British council. My management was very supportive in being a part of this journey literally from day 1, as we attended the ISA briefing together to understand more about ISA. Post this, a briefing session was held in school with all the staff and it was decided that ISA will truly help us translate our vision of ‘Think local, Act Global’ into reality.

Nothing in life comes the easy way and apprehensions on whether we can really work on so many projects were rampant too amidst the teachers. Breaking down stereotypes was certainly not easy and it was a Herculean task to establish links / video conference as we were a school that believed in traditional teaching learning methods.

We began our travel with the Project on ‘World Faiths’ and had our first visitor from USA – a research scholar on temples in Mysore. I can never forget the joy on the faces of our children for it was the first time a ‘foreigner’ stepped into Pushkarini! There was no stopping us then, of course. We have established links in UK with Cleeve Hull Primary School, Hull, UK – October 12 & Barton Court Grammar School, Kent, UK – May 2013, Holy Trinity College, Srilanka, Indian International School, Japan (IISJ), Aino 1 Girls High School, Afghanisthan and Zarghoona High School, Afghanisthan (both through Mr Asadullah Babai of British Council, Afghanisthan). But I must confess that despite all these inspired steps taken to tread the ISA path confidently, two major setbacks helped me realize that can’t happen the way we plan to orchestrate it.

Our ‘Math in Me’ project went on a roller coaster ride as the teacher in charge resigned and left us sans all our documentation! The project was started from scratch by the other teachers and we have executed to the best of our ability. The second snag came from the local newspapers that were not too keen to highlight any of our ISA activities as the concept of ISA is unheard of in Mysore and they felt the process of ISA is not as significant as receiving the award!

Yet, we have worked with determination to make a difference to every child by opening new vistas of learning to make education a complete process.

We have taken a first step in faith. We didn’t have to see the whole staircase; we just had to take this first step…

Harshida Harikumar

Principal & ISA Coordinator