“Innovation in education provides fresh solutions”
Antony Koshy, Principal, Global Indian International School in Dubai
What does innovation mean in the context of education?
At GIIS, innovation is valued as a catalyst to growth. In education, innovation is a deviation from the standard practice that achieves greater learning outcomes for students with the same or lesser time and resources.
While we can contest that innovation is not only about technology, we cannot ignore the influence of technology in innovation.
Innovation in education provides fresh solutions, removes traditional barriers, enhances the teaching and learning process with a novel solution and allows the education system to adapt to new avenues. Innovation adds value by understanding the limiting factor in a new way, responding accordingly by providing new and more efficient opportunities for obtaining better results.
What aspects of education adopted during the pandemic do you see having a lasting legacy?
The processes and use of technology in lesson delivery, assessments, analyses of data and advent of online support for students are here to stay. The change in the education landscape and its accessibility will only increase, it has been catalysed in a big way by the influx of technology and online means.
The pandemic inspired every aspect of education to be reviewed and revisited in a manner like never before. This has shown everyone the scope of improvement as many ideas found their way into reality during this time. Educators have been involved in a lot of introspection and experimentation to optimise student outcomes. We changed routines, adopted new ones which were unheard of pre-pandemic. This has made us more flexible — that flexibility, according to me, will stay.
“Academic results alone are not an indicator of success”
Mark Atkins, Principal, Durham School Dubai
STEM education provides good foundation for many careers. How do you promote interests in STEM subjects and what initiatives have you taken to enhance engagement in STEM learning?
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is important and many schools are embracing STEM at the heart of their curriculum. At Durham, we acknowledge the importance of STEM but we have not lost sight of the fact that skills in English and the arts are equally important. Not every child is interested in STEM and it would be wrong to focus or weight the curriculum strongly in these areas. Breadth is extremely important as is guiding pupils in their selection of subjects and activities that appeal to them and work to their strengths.
With a legacy of over six centuries, how do you plan to make a difference to Dubai’s education landscape?
With a 600 year history, Durham Dubai sets out to provide a traditional British education — an education that focuses on teaching the basics thoroughly and in developing grounded, rounded and socially successful young men and women with the confidence and skills that they will need to be successful. Academic results alone are not an indicator of success. Effective people are thoughtful, accomplished communicators with the confidence to be imaginative and to stand out from the crowd. A traditional British education such as at Durham, works hard to help pupils achieve academic success but also works with the pupils in developing them as poised and buoyant human beings with much to offer the world.