17 SDGs, an alchemy of producing future leaders: Principal JKPS Kunjwani

STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: JK Public School (JKPS), Kunjwani is a CBSE affiliated, child-centric, value-driven, co-educational, Senior Secondary school, which enjoys the privilege of being the FIRST CBSE school (direct affiliation) of Jammu. Stretched over a period of three decades, JKPS Kunjwani has emerged itself into a trendsetter, a model of excellence imparting 21st century holistic education to children on its rolls.
JKPS Kunjwani introduced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to groom students in variety domains. Members of one of the Clubs, namely, Rajat Sharma Club of Jr. Journalists, interviewed the Principal Rajesh Rathore. Here are the excerpts of the meaningful transaction between the Jr. Journalists (JJ) and the Principal Rajesh Rathore (RR):
JJ: Sir, what inspired you to design 17 SDGs for JK Public School Kunjwani, which reminds us of 17 SDGs of United Nations?
RR: Actually 17 SDGs of the UN stands for the vision of UN at a glance. The impressive circle depicting 17 goals of the UN in the form of coloured sectors always inspired me. I started making list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for my school and I fixed the number to 17. These 17 SDGs will help us design a blueprint for a sustainable grooming of our students for all the future needs. It will also act as a lighthouse to set the sail of our ship. We have a comprehensive plan to see its effective implementation in all the domains of school life.
JJ: How will you define the very first SDG, that is, Sound knowledge base?
RR: Knowledge is power in today’s world of professionalism and excellence. Knowledge helps an individual understand the world. It gives an upper edge to every gatherer. It paves the way to evolve a well-reasoned perception. It gives us power to equip, energize and empower ourselves. Without knowledge, we can’t think vertical, lateral, divergent, convergent, critically, creatively, and judiciously.
JJ: how do you interpret the second SDG, namely, Polished expression?
RR: Every child may not be gifted with linguistic intelligence. Hence it’s the moral duty of every Institution as well as teachers to empower every student in terms of strong communication skills. Inculcation of written and verbal skills are easier, only if one focusses on extensive reading and speaking. Every child must be very sound in English and Hindi both: whether it be written or verbal expression.
JJ: Scientific Quest sounds very interesting. Your take on it. (3rd SDG)
RR: Every natural phenomenon taking place in the universe has got a definite scientific reason behind it. We need to foster the spirit of inquiry and exploration in every child. No individual should be credulous and take anything on its face value unless examined properly and arrived at a conclusion. Scientific quest refers to a critical examination and creative solution. It keeps an individual away from the clutches of superstition.
JJ: How can you impact the ‘Mathematical acumen’ of students? (4th SDG)
RR: NCF 2005 converges on the idea: how to mathematize the thinking of students. Scoring good marks in Maths may not be the litmus test for an individual to exhibit mathematical acumen. JKPS focuses on empowering every child with the requisite tools for performing the basic operations, namely, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Dodge tables will be mastered by every child. Teachers are training students for learning mental Maths. Competitive exams calls for speed and accuracy in Maths. Hence the mantra at JKPS today is speed and accuracy to every child to evolve mathematical sharpness in them.
JJ: How are you equipping children for ‘General Awareness’? (5th SDG)
RR: In today’s world, every child must be a well-informed person. Learning of a few concepts from the languages, science, maths, social science and computers will not be sufficed. One must broaden the ambit of one’s learning. Current affairs, national, international affairs, sports news make an individual well groomed. Children must be trained for general awareness in a systematic manner. Knowledge is the sum total of myriads branches of learning.
JJ: How much importance will you attach to the acquisition of Computer Skills?(6th SDG)
RR: In today’s hi-tech world, every child must be computer savvy. Mastery over the basic operations is expected from every child. One must develop proficiency in variety basic operations, namely, word, excel, PPT and various coding languages. Acquisition of extraordinary skills in computers can be an added advantage and an asset to the organization.
JJ: How are you planning to make your students Environmental Sensitive? (7th SDG)
RR: The most gratifying experience is to make students aware and informed about their future role in strengthening the society and the nation. Matured reflections from students pertaining to environmental sensitivity fills me with pride and admiration. We wish every child to be a green warrior. They must plant some saplings from an early age. They are being groomed for the judicious use of water and electricity. They are being trained for carbon footprinting. JKPS has tied up with a national agency to emerge a Green school, fulfilling all the points laid down.
JJ: How will you ensure Fitness & Stamina in every child? (8th SDG)
RR: it’s truly stated, “catch them young”. Children are a bundle of energy. They never feel tired and look forward earnestly every moment to go outdoors to unleash their physical energy. If they are imparted a befitting training as per their interest area, they can bring laurels to the school. JKPS has taken a pledge to groom every child as an athlete and no child should look obese.
JJ: How can you enhance the Aesthetic Sensibility of a child? (9th SDG)
RR: Every progressive and futuristic institution must instill the elements of aesthetic sensibility in children. Teachers must tap the potential of children in art & craft. They must impart systematic training to children during their formative stages with lot of appreciation. Praiseful training may activate some dormant skills in children. Colours, patterns, visualization & spatial intelligence need deft touches from an observant guru. Thus we can enhance the aesthetic sensibility of every child on the rolls.
JJ: What do you mean by Musical Appreciation in every child? (10th SDG)?
RR: Music is the elixir of life. Its therepeutic powers are phenomenal. At JKPS, every child is given a sound training for Raagas. We are imparting successful training to children in both the domains: whether it be vocal or instrumental. We give equal weightage to classical as well as western music. Let every child develop an appreciation for music.
JJ: What is your strategy for equipping JKiians with Life Skills? (11th SDG)
RR: School grooms students not merely for jobs but for the entire life. JKPS has integrated the components of life skills into its curriculum & adopted the culture in letter and spirit, as suggested by WHO. Each child is being equipped with the tools of self-awareness, effective communication skills, empathy, inter-personal skills, critical thinking, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, coping with stress and emotions. We wish every JKiian to take on the future challenges effectively and emerge a victor.
JJ: Financial Literacy is a buzzword these days. What is your vision for the school? (12th SDG)
RR: Money matters in today’s materialistic world. Thus, it’s the duty of every progressive institution to equip its students with the tools of financial literacy. It includes paying off debt, creating a budget, and understanding the difference between various financial instruments. Financial literacy has a material impact on families as they try to balance their budget, buy a home, fund their children’s education, or ensure an income for retirement. Let every child be empowered to conquer the future financial hurdles of life.
JJ: The real success of an Institution lies in giving a Competitive Edge to its students. Kindly reflect on it. (13th SDG)
RR: Only a good performance in the Board exams can’t be the motto of lead schools like JKPS. Students must be imparted a special training for the competitive exams. JKPS adopts an integrated approach to give competitive edge to its students. Teachers are developing Foundation courses for Maths & Science, matching with the modules of top coaching institutes. We are quite excited about this feature of our school, which makes us unique in Jammu.
JJ: Imparting 21st century Leadership Skills to students is sine qua non for every futuristic school. (14th SDG)
RR: The motto of JKPS Kunjwani is ‘Grooming Future Leaders’. Students are empowered with the requisite leadership traits, like, knowledge, oratory, confidence, sense of initiative, courage, creativity, responsibility, social contribution & global citizenship.
JJ: Inculcation of age-old Value System is a bare necessity to live a happy life. What is the JKPS advantage? (15th SDG)
RR: Redefining success, the greatest scientist of the 20th century Albert Einstein said, “Success in real sense is giving more to the society than receiving from it”. We need GenNext to be groomed with honesty, sincerity, compassion, co-existence, respect for elders, poor & downtrodden. Let every child be a Charity ambassador of the school. In a nutshell, every JKiian should an epitome of what a cultured person aspires to be!
JJ: Holistic grooming is not possible without exposing students to Community Services. Your reflection, please. (16th SDG)
RR: Community service is an integral part of JKPS. We are adopting a village and a few Govt schools, wherein JKiians will leave their creative imprints and elevate the standards of grooming for their less fortunate brethrens. Students will also be visiting Orphanages, Blind school, Special schools, Old age homes, Slum areas etc to study the variety strata of the society so as to plan collectively their Community service programmes.
JJ: Inculcation of Patriotism in every child is the earnest need of the hour. How do you senstize your students? (17th SDG)
RR: As Principal of the school, I’m the loudest, while singing the National Anthem, as it’s not a ritual for me but my tribute to thousands of those martyrs, who laid their lives and made the supreme sacrifice for the nation. “Nation First” is one of the taglines at JKPS. Every JKiian is committed to pay his/her Income Tax honestly & religiously ahead.
JJ: Thanks a lot sir for sparing your valuable time and for reflecting your vision and strategies behind these 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Your visionary leadership and administrative strategies will certainly put the JKPS Kunjwani on a new trajectory. Wishing you the best of luck!
RR: Umpteen thanks, my beloved students. You are the change agents. You are the future of this great nation. Groom yourselves well & make us feel proud. Good luck!

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