SchoolWiser caught up with Mrs. Paramjit Kaur Narang, to understand her thoughts on how future-proof the CBSE curriculum actually is.
Mrs. Narang has an overwhelming career graph. She is an inspiration to many in the field of education. As an experienced teacher, she was a Member of the pioneer team at the inception of the CBSE affiliated Vasant Valley School, New Delhi in 1990. She became the first Primary School Principal. After 9 years at this position, she became the Principal of Senior School and progressed to the position of Head of School. In 2003 she moved to Pathways World School Aravali and established IB- PYP. 5 years later as School Director of Pathways School Gurgaon, she nurtured the new school from the very inception till her retirement 2014. Mrs. Narang has now donned the mantle of Mentor to The Paras World School India (TPWSI). Excerpts from the email interview are given below:
SchoolWiser: From Pathways to Paras, IB to CBSE…what are the key differentiating factors?
Mrs. Narang: The objective of both the boards is the same - holistic development of each student; the approaches are different. CBSE is inclined toward academic excellence and aspires to provide quality education, strategically and effectively founded on a sound knowledge base. IB builds on personal experience. We need to realize that learning is a continuous process in both the boards. IB offers more flexibility in choosing subjects. CBSE is more school oriented and also economical.
SchoolWiser: What is the USP of CBSE and how does Paras World School approach it?
Mrs. Narang: The USP of CBSE lies in the fact that Indian Competitive examinations for institutions like AIIMS, NEET and IIT are based on the CBSE Curriculum & pattern and are administered by the same body. In fact, a majority of entrance examinations for college admissions in India also follow this syllabus. Consequently, the probability of CBSE students faring well at these is higher. At Paras, while following the CBSE guidelines, we aim to create a modern education environment which is well-equipped to prepare the young students in becoming responsible and socially conscientious citizens, who can contribute to our country’s progress.
SchoolWiser: Does CBSE help the students to stand in good stead globally?
Mrs. Narang: Indians educated in the CBSE have made their mark in diverse fields not just in India but globally - from Space technology, to ICT, Media, Business Management, Economics, Higher Education, Literature and Research. The number of CBSE students continuing their higher studies across the world validates that it has always stood our students in good stead globally.
CBSE has grown and adapted its education system to changes in all fields. It is perhaps the world’s largest educational organization and its success depends, in some measure, on individual institutions understanding the curriculum and the changes effected from time to time in letter and spirit.
At the Paras World School, we understand both, the letter and spirit of CBSE and create an environment which is in sync with the demands of modern times and students in current contexts. Paras provides students with a global platform, based on a sound curriculum, and technologically advanced tools, leading edge methodologies, and a lot more, to shape up into global citizens. Students are provided ample opportunities to develop confidence, discipline, creativity and decision-making skills so that they can make their presence felt across the world.
SchoolWiser: What higher studies qualify as an organic transition from CBSE?
Mrs. Narang: CBSE ensures complete academic expertise with regard to all avenues of making life successful. The knack lies in identifying one’s core strength and then making a pragmatic choice. Students can pursue Humanities (arts), Commerce or Science according to their individual aptitude and bent of mind. A few options for graduation are BA, BSc, BBA, B. Com, BMS, BBM, and more.
SchoolWiser: Are conventional careers (Engineering, Medical) the only options for CBSE students or can it be more diverse/progressive?
Mrs. Narang: A CBSE student is spoilt for choice, with regard to career options. Science is generally related to medical, engineering, pharma, computer science and other similar fields. So, a science student can explore work opportunities as a Biochemist, Forensic Scientist, Dentist, research and development and so on. He can build a career in Genetics, Space Exploration and so much more. Commerce students can opt for career avenues related to fields like banking, finance, and business. Humanities/Arts is the most diverse and offers options such as business management, varied branches of media. One could choose to be a Psychologist, a Sociologist, a Civil servant or a lawyer.
SchoolWiser: What is the current status of CBSE schools, due to the influx of International schools?
Mrs. Narang: CBSE schools face no competition from International Schools, both can co-exist peacefully. Each caters to a distinctly individual parent community. International schools primarily use the IB or CIE syllabus geared towards different goals. While CBSE, being a national curriculum, targets opportunities that exist within the Indian education system. The similarity, as I see it, could be in the way CBSE curriculum is imparted at some of the new-age schools like Paras World School, keeping the global perspective in mind.
SchoolWiser: What are your thoughts on the current incidents... can schools act as catalysts in improving the situation?
Mrs. Narang: Education begins at home and is taken forward at school. Paras World School believes that all our children are intrinsically innocent and kind. Yet, circumstances can sometimes act as triggers and propel them in an unacceptable direction. The priority in any school has to be to create a safe, secure environment so that students can learn at ease, free of fear and undue restrictions. This matter has to be approached on many fronts and at all levels – partnership with parents and the community, age appropriate education of students, safe infrastructure and systems and regular safety audits. TPWSI follows complete transparency while interacting with parents, so that problems, if any, can be nipped in the bud. Our students make us who we are and their well-being will always be our priority.
Paras World School has set out to make a difference in education, using the time-tested CBSE curriculum. Its vision is to build leaders with a purpose, regardless of the roles they play. Mrs. Narang strengthens the school’s commitment, with her clarity of thought, receptiveness to change and the vision and courage to innovate. SchoolWiser wishes The Paras World School India great success in this journey – Bon Voyage!