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A former director of the Symbiosis Management Institute, Virender Kapoor dons several hats including that of an author. He also conducts several workshops in education. In conversation with NT BUZZ he talks about his books and the education scenario in India

‘The only change we need is to teach properly’

Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ

 

Virender Kapoor recently conducted a workshop, ‘How to make schools a vibrant place through effective leadership in the light of emotional intelligence’ for principals of Goan schools. He believes that the culture of an organisation is the single most important factor for a school to do well and that depends on the leadership qualities of the principals.

 

  1. Your books cover a variety of subjects. Can you share a few details with us about the books and themes?

I write in the self help space, on themes like emotional intelligence, leadership, passion quotient, being a good boss, being a wonderful wife etc. I have also done a seminal work titled ‘What you can learn from military principles’. Six books are on personality based learning. For instance a book ‘Speaking the Modi way’ is about learning to communicate effectively like our Prime Minister. I realised that the available books on value education are preachy which children don’t like and thus I used real life examples, stories of ‘visible role models’ and fables are convincing.

 

  1. Besides being an educator, your works as an author have always found readership. What sets you apart as an author?

Being able to connect with readers in simple language and being on point is generally the style I write in. A writer is like an actor who should experiment with different subjects, and I do just that. My books have been translated in eight languages- Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telegu, and even a foreign language- Vietnamese.

 

  1. You have recently created value education books for class 1 to 8. Can you tell us why such a subject needs more importance than others?

Today our society is going through a transition. The crime rate has skyrocketed and unfortunately very serious crimes are being committed by juveniles too. Children have no patience, and values have been eroded. Youngsters today cannot digest failure and that has resulted in several cases of suicides and depression.

We can tide over it if as parents and teachers we take joint responsibility and spend some time and effort on this. Unfortunately, today very little effort is being made by schools to teach value education as part of the daily chores. If you can find time for Math, Physics and English, you have to find at least a couple of hours in a week to teach values. Whatever is taught in schools must be practiced and reiterated by parents too.

 

  1. What are the few aspects these value education books touch upon?

These follow the NCF (National curriculum frame work) having 86 chapters across eight books. The content is very contemporary, age appropriate, and reader friendly; so much so that a child will pick these up on his own and read these even during summer holidays. These have five chapters on responsible ways to use social media which is a big problem today. I have covered emotional intelligence across five chapters. Anger management, pride, self control, leadership, handling failure, peer pressure, and managing your moods, are some of the contemporary topics.

Schools don’t have to look for any other source to get what is required in this space. There is a note for parents at the end of every chapter and a self assessment for students. There is a separate teacher’s manual for every class, besides a coloured Illustration by S Chand publishers.

 

  1. Can you shed light on how the education system has evolved over time? What are the changes that are required in the Indian education system?

Today, we are trying to import ideas from abroad. What works in schools in the US or Singapore may not work for us. There is no need to keep changing the curriculum frequently. If new is good then old is gold. We have to remember that a lot of top doctors, CEOs, professors in the West, are from India and if our education system was that bad, they wouldn’t have achieved all this. The only change we need is to teach properly. Teachers need to be made more accountable.

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