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There was a flurry of activities . Dozens of eyes sat glued on the monitor screens. A lot of excitement was in the air . The results were just released and the teachers were all in school eagerly wanting to know the outcome.And before we could have a glance of the whole result , we had the media in school. students and parents dropped by. to share their joy .An air of festivity and celebration filled the air .It was truly amazing .Five All-India toppers in the ICSE and ISC examinations and a few more State merit ranks too.

Nothing short of a celebration.There was no kid in school less than 73%. This was indeed a reflection of hardwork , dedication and determination of the students , the support and understanding of their parents and the expertise ,efforts and bond that teachers share with the students.I looked at the teachers who were screaming out the names of the students ,whose results they wished to know . They were not the bright students but those who were not doing well but with whom they spent a lot of time and efforts in school during the study leave coaching to prepare for the Boards.It was amazing to see those children perform brilliantly.

Every media house asked me the same question-What is the secret of the success of Singhania students year after year. Here are a few reflections which I have shared with my staff ,students and parents. I love working on the process of helping students reach their potential The purpose of a school is not to work towards ranks , positioning or percentages.I have a larger vision -it is about giving hundreds of students the confidence that they stretch beyond themselves -just keep the focus .Our purpose is to work on the quality of learners ,not on the scores.. Concentrate on the process , not the outcomes.

So, why do we celebrate all our achievers ? What is achievement ? To me ,it is an emotion. It is a feeling of satisfaction , fulfilment ,meaningfulness .It actually recognises positive attitudes and behaviour towards learning. It gives hope to all those who and reinforces the importance of consistency in efforts.It will save them some anxious moments. .Achievements will evolve over a period of time . In Grade X , its about the score, in Grade XII , it will be about Under-graduate programs and later , the efforts would be towards placement. Ultimately , it is about doing one’s best each time and feeling good about it.

There may be students who may be disappointed with the results. Remember , a three hour paper can not decide the level of your intelligence or your capability . But, you must introspect. to know why, where and how things did not go by your expectations. One cannot build castles in the air.There are factors that are under our control ,that will help you to realise your potential .There are however, some factors that are not under your control for e.g. – ill-health ,a tough question, a memory lapse etc .Let’s count that out ,but, we must be watchful about what is in our locus of control e.g. preparation . We must keep the efforts on. Above all , be cheerful and look for alternative courses to study in line with your area of interest.

I wish to congratulate all students for their efforts . You have received your rewards . This is a part of the journey . Set higher goals and work towards it .I truly believe that all we can do is do our best .Be the navigator and driver of your life. Best wishes.

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Ringing in 2019

As the bell struck 12 last night , colorful fireworks appeared on the skies ,welcoming the new year. Every new year brings in newer aspirations, new hopes , new desires and newer dreams and so also , will be the new year 2019. Every year brings with it highs and lows and we all take it in our stride and keep moving ahead .That’s how it ought to be.

As always , I write my own story on the night of 31st of December each year I introspect on what went right and what could have been done better . This includes my personal and official matters . On the 1st of Jan of each new year , I read my own story . The story certainly makes an interesting reading .And , these are experiences and lessons that helps me to evolve to be better and more effective person .

The school achieved more national and international accolades and accreditation over the past one year.and it is gratifying to note that we are recognized for the good work we have done . Our students have seen success and received awards in all spectrum of activities – sports,academics and cultural. I feel proud of all my students in the school because each one of them have writing their own success story. They have had their share of fun and some serious work .Some of the kids struggle to pen their thoughts . They need motivation but, they certainly don’t want their teacher , parent or friend to write their story for them.I am sure they will- as early as they can .

Personally for me , it has been a wonderfully rewarding year. A lot of innovative hands-on practices were introduced . Two apps -The Sulonian for all school information and Sulonian Quest -For academics have benefited all.The Sulonian Quest has touched more that one and half lakh views and has been appreciated by all students for guiding them through their academics through videos by their own teachers. This tool will help students to be empowered to do their own learning . The tests and revision questions have been a boon too.personally , I have received many awards and recognition , been an invited speaker to speak at various national and international Educational Conclaves . The felicitation by the Earl of Wessex for my contribution to the field of education was gratifying .The events in school has been grander and different this year .It has been deliberately designed so.

Personally , I received a jolt when I lost my father who has been a great source of inspiration for me . He has been a pillar of support but he has been my mirror .My conversations with him was always intellectually stimulating . The spontaneity of rich tributes from a galaxy of scientists from India and abroad spoke volumes of the person he was, apart from the fact that he was a great scientist and was always addressed ,known as the Acharya of Ocean Sciences . The greatest lesson that I learnt from him was to remain grounded . Life is simple ,live it that way , do not complicate it because you will lose your focus. I have tried to live by those ideals .

I love the field where I work – education .It is so vibrant that one just enjoys the journey despite the little challenges that one may face .We are never alone .We have our families and friends and colleagues to walk with us . I thank each member of the Sulonian Community for making my book (chap2018)an interesting read .

Wishing you all a very happy and progressive year ahead . Enjoy your work and do spend time with your family . May each of you enjoy every moment of the new year . May it bring in the cheer and peace that we need in the world.And don’t forget to write to write your book today (In case you haven’t yet done so) . Happy writing and reading -it will be a revelation you’d love to read .

My dear Children,

On behalf of all the teachers and staff of the school I would like to wish each one of you a very Happy Children’s Day. Let each day of the year bring you loads of happiness, cheer, good health, fun and sunshine.

 

What I learnt from my childhood was to be myself at all times, no pretense ever, to be happy and smiling always, talk to my parents and my siblings openly, not  to be discriminating or judgmental, if there’s something that didn’t work this time, it will be certainly better the next time(especially for grades). How simple and clean life is for a child!!

 

That’s why I am a dreamer. I love the dreams for the future. I just don’t want to look back and dwell in the past. I want to see how I can contribute my little bit to make a future better and brighter for my children. When I entered the field of Education, I knew I was at the right place and at the right time. It is a place where I can create opportunities for my children to dream Big. I knew I can make a difference.  My students do it for me.  I only hear their voices, that not just excite me but also teases my brain to rethink, re-design, and re-create something new each time. It challenges my own thinking and makes me so uncomfortable that I feel like bringing in some magic.

 

Thank you children for making squirm in my seat so that I could think of creating a new learning App ‘Sulonian Quest’ as this year’s Children’s Day gift to you. It is an anytime, anywhere learning tool just for my Sulonians. Children are wonderful learners, provided they do so at their pace and open their minds to it. So, when do they open their minds? They open their minds provided they have a relaxed environment and the right learning tool.

 

Sulonian Quest has video teaching modules done by our own teachers, a reservoir of questions – both subjective and objective, practice worksheets and YouTube links related to the chapters. To take it a step further, tests will be also conducted online.  We will have many creative formative tests as well.  It will be a revolution of sorts in learning. You will learn in school and have a quick recap at home. There are revision questions to complete the cycle of learning. This will also help parents know what’s being taught in the class. For me, it is very essential to co-partner with parents to help them to be involved in their child’s learning process.

 

I am sure this is a good Children’s Day gift to all our students. Look forward to it coming live today i.e on the 14th of Nov 2018 at 4 pm.

 

Happy Children’s Day and God bless!!

I Can’t Wipe the Tears… But…

We have known Kerala as a state of greenery and beautiful backwaters. Yesterday was the festival of Harvest – Onam and the deluge in early August has shaken the people. Illegal stone quarrying and deforestation leading to landslides and landslips may have contributed to the intensity of the floods. These are lessons for us to remember and be cautioned.

It is not even a week since we announced our Relief Drive program. Kerala experienced what it did not in over a century. While people have supported each other in their difficult times, the pain and trauma of that people are going through cannot be shared or lessened. Time will be the healer. Whatever we initiated at school, as ‘Kerala Relief Drive’ is only a drop in the ocean. We may not be able to wipe the tears away, give words of solace personally; we did only we could do as a small offering.

Initiated by our IBDP students – all of 17 years  – they ensured the collections, the packaging, the labeling, quality check, the detailing of commodities received and ensured that the requirements of the people affected get what they needed most .I have no words to describe the enthusiasm of students. Their interest, drive, grit, energy and optimism is unparalleled. It gives us all a reassurance of the manner in which the energy of the youth can be channeled for the development of our country. One week was all that they had.. but they did wonders…

The relief saw truck load of food grains – rice, dal, wheat and rice flour, rava, poha, salt, sugar, baby food, biscuits, rusks, spices and condiments, tea, coffee, cooking oil, baby care products, personal care, tooth pastes, brushes, soaps, shampoos, liquid soaps, washing bars, detergents new clothes from infant wear to adult wear, medicines, first aid kits, towels, blankets, bed sheets, buckets, mugs, torches, mosquito nets, mosquito coils, candles, footwear of all sizes, milk in tetra packs in boxes, trunks with bottles of  drinking water.. In addition to this, the contributions also included cooking ranges, pressure cookers, bulbs, torches, stainless vessel sets (for 100 families), dinner plates, all cleaning materials – phenyls, toilet cleaners, cleaning liquids and the likes (as requested by the Collector). We are in touch with the Collectors of two districts and we have also our own people in Kerala who will be receiving the goods to ensure that it reaches the needy.

A big – Thank You – for those parents who helped us and ensured that we got the right kind of transporters and permissions in liaison with RTO officials across four states, government contacts and my own dear family of Sulonians who practiced the motto – पढ़ लिखकर ज्ञानी बनने से पहले हम इंसान बनेंगे– we will be good and sensitive human – beings before we study to be learned ones.

So, yesterday afternoon as we completed loading of the commodities and necessities in the cartons and trunks and the lorry container door was shut, the students screamed in delight. Onlookers and passersby too joined in cheering us, as we saw the large container lorry move out of our school gates. It was an emotional moment indeed. Some of our parents, the service staff, the teachers and the RTO officials were there to support us. As I moved out, I called our people at the final destinations to inform about the status, I almost choked with emotion – “We can’t wipe the tears away, but our children will definitely know that when disaster strikes, we must reach out to people by lending them a hand. By this, we are not only rebuilding lives but homes.”

For all of us present here today, celebrating our 72nd Independence Day, we remind ourselves of the toil and sacrifices that our freedom fighters made to make India independent. We adults, were fortunate to hear stories of the Movement from our grandparents, grand uncles and  aunts, we learnt about the hardships faced in  life in the pre-independence era. We also got to read from books that added some more information. But you are born more than 55 years after India got freedom, so I am certain that all that you know about Independence Movement is from your History lessons, as a part of your syllabus.. All textbooks are secondary sources of information written for easier understanding and to enable students to do well in their examinations. What we don’t experience, we don’t relate to. That is natural.

Today I felt proud of each one of you who stood in the rain which descended on us quite suddenly a few seconds before the flag-hoisting. All of you stood in the open saluting the flag and ensuring the sanctity of the event is maintained. No one tried to cover their heads or moved. Really  proud of you!! I see a bright  future, where youngsters will work for their Nation despite obstacles that may come their way. The country needs youngsters like you who will lead and create a space for India.

On the one hand we as a country, have our limitations be it by the way of over-population, unemployment, illiteracy,  poor infrastructure, uncleanliness and so on. On the other hand, I see the large numbers as a wonderful experimental lab where innovative ideas can be tested and successfully launched for the world as a whole. What we ought to appreciate are the advancements we have made over the years in Science, Technology, Industry. From a large agrarian economy, we steadily moved to industrializing it and also ascending towards a knowledge economy. In recent times, we have galloped our way embracing technology and using information for our development. The strides we have made will take us to newer and greater heights in the years to come. We may consider them not so significant because the changes are moving in arithmetical progression. But, with youngsters moving at a more rapid pace, this is not an impossible task. All that we need to do is to Rethink and Re-strategise.

Our problem lies in the fact that we wait for someone to lead, initiate, think and act. Anything beyond our comfort zone is not acceptable. We still ask – If I do this, what do I get? If every freedom fighter thought the same way back then, would we be able to enjoy our freedom today?

So let’s not become a country of complainants or cribbers. Do not state what the problems are and/or suggest changes. Roll up your sleeve and jump into the fray. Volunteer help. I take pride that a lot of youngsters today have innovated, experimented, led social causes. But the numbers are still small and we do not account for a significant change. If we have to see the reformation, we have to create a ripple effect with larger numbers of students working together. Many of the achievements today are those of individuals. That’s not enough. Working in isolation and basking in the glory of one’s own achievements is easy. But, to put in efforts in a large group, mentoring them to create a good community project is what the Nation needs today.

Personally, you have a two-fold advantage – a resource pool of ideas and will be scalable and sustainable.

This is where your Duties step in. We are so conscious of our Rights that we barely remember our Duties. While we know theoretically that Rights and Duties are two sides of the same coin, are we putting effort towards the same into practice? Simple examples explain this. People jump signals, drive in the opposite direction, pay off when they go wrong, honk loudly and continuously in a silent zone. We do not stop people who spoil our historic monuments, scribbling or engraving on the walls. We look the other way when we find people spitting, defecating or urinating in open spaces. Do we still throw rubbish when someone is not watching us? Do we stand up with a feeling of pride when the National Anthem is being played? Are we not always looking out for someone to blame or to rectify or lead?

I take pride in the fact that we as a school are doing our bit in sensitizing students to the problems of the people in rural and Adivasi villages. We are educating them, providing primary health and electricity. We are also helping old age homes and street boys. This is but, a small beginning.You have a long way to go. Take the children and adults in the society along with you. You may be benefitted by their experience and we will be empowered by your zeal and enthusiasm. Who’s stopping you ……..??

Be the designer, driver and the navigator of change, of development.

Build the India of your dreams – collectively.

Warm Regards,

Revathi Srinivasan

 

Even as a kid , I loved my Sundays , not just because it was a holiday , more so because we got to spend a lot of time doing things that we couldn’t do during school days . It meant lazy mornings , breakfast in the lawns with our parents and friends who were often invited . The  oil massaged into the head amidst loud protests  , the story- sharing sessions with cousins and relatives and of course the big family lunch . We were not a part of joint family but were knitted together with the bond called -Relationship .Most often , our relatives were not 1st cousins but 2nd , 3rd cousins and even some who distantly related .Each of the members of this get-together were so distinctly different from the others . Chats, deliberations, discussions and debates over   current world and national affairs, sports, music , culture and spiritual ,got us kids interested and participative as well . Cross -linkages , cross-age groups ,cross-gender were the order of the day. The afternoons saw older members  inventing new instant indoor games , where our older cousins ensured we lost(most often by cheating) . Slowly and steadily , we learnt to play beyond the rules too. The next weekend would be a new experience.

As we grew older and moved to colleges in different parts of the country , our meetings were far from regular . My parents moved to Kochi  and the get -togethers were rare . We missed them dearly and every now and then we lamented -” In Delhi , we would have  been …….” and then we moved stock and barrel to Visakhapatnam. Slowly, everything became a thing of the past . Wonderful for recall .Those  nostalgic memories pepped us up .Life moves on and we can’t live in the past.(a lesson I learnt very early in life).We ,then formed newer groups with friends that we made at every new station that we were posted .  Years later, after we kids started our own  families and moved countries , (not just States ) we got caught up with our routines and   our old week-end cousins  really lost touch .Thanks to social media , today , we could re-connect and re-start our journey , though each of us are in different continents. While it does take time to adapt to the changes without the usual grumbling , one has to ease the transition to a more relaxed phase with the adrenaline still gushing just looking forward to these Sundays.

I learnt a lot from all these family gatherings. I  learnt to get along well with people from different age-groups , could discuss matters of political and spiritual importance with equal ease and comfort . I learnt to respect people with diverse views , deal with problems rationally and to comfortable with either gender.I learnt to be honest to myself , argue without being angry , learnt to be cool during turbulent times and also make small conversation with new -comers. I also learnt to stand up for myself and my convictions , learnt to fight my own battles , learnt how not get bullied . I learnt that I did not  have to shield myself behind my mom’s cotton pallu or my father’s strong physique.I still do not remember when I developed interests in music , dance , cooking or sport.These are life- skills that  we talk about so much these days  . Life-skills can’t be taught  .They have to lived in a manner that children can see and follow.

Formal learning can teach one a great deal and even get a certificate and qualification , but essential skills in life have to be developed on one’s own. It comes from family -personal and school . Most  children and young adults  these days can’t strike a conversation with older people , they like to be in the age-group,have their share of jokes and small talk ,share their joys and disappointments and seek advice from people from  same age group. One can’t blame them in entirety , solely because we don’t have the Sundays ,I mentioned earlier .

Let’s make our Sundays truly fun days for all of us because we truly deserve,

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step ” So apt  for Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School which flagged off its 50th year on the 8th of June,2018. When I hoisted the school flag ,with all the staff ,representatives of the parent and alumni community , one could not help getting emotional .I, like many other may not have been there ,  when school was established in 1969, but we are still connected with all Sulonians  with the band of being a Sulonian .As we sang the  school song ,it brought back beautiful memories of the people who made this school , who educated so many children from all walks of life  irrespective of their socio -economic backgrounds . I consider it such an honour to share this beautiful story of Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School.

This is truly a story of emotions and commitment  , of responsibility and passion ,of love and sweat , of toil and dignity ,of joy and fulfillment .Late Shri. Gopalkrishna Singhania established the school in memory of his beloved wife , Late Smt Sulochanadevi Singhania School, in 1969 . He wanted to contribute to the development of Thane by giving the people a school that would provide quality education to the children of Raymond and other industries . Those days, Thane was a small industrial town and the industries were all set up in the forest areas . The school’s first Principal ,Shri BK Kedia ,then went from door to door to the near by areas convincing parents of the need to educate their children and sending them to school . The mill’s children too joined and the school started to grow from a mere strength of 7 children to a 100 at the end of the first year . Shri Kedia ji was a top executive at Raymond and the first Principal was appointed after a few months . Mr Rao took over  .The school building as one sees it today was built in four phases . from infrastructure to pedagogy , student strength and even dimensions to learning . International exchanges – academic , culture and sports has helped students that gives them a global exposure. Learning has gone beyond classrooms to the learning exposure in the United Nations and NASA .
What brings us together is the bond that all Sulonians (students and teachers of Singhania School). What is that  bond? It is the bond of a shared vision, shared patterns of beliefs , core values ,shared  culture and the artefacts .What we celebrate is this oneness because they have all been built carefully over the years. This culture is transformed inside and that’s visible outside.There are things that may have  changed,  keeping in mind the needs of the hour and the students . But thats what progressive education is all about.Today , we look at our school community as one community- of current students and ex-students . All of whom we call -Sulonians.
 On behalf of the school and on my own behalf , I would like to invite you all Sulonians from across the globe to join us in celebrating fifty glorious years of our school . We will be rolling out the calendar shortly for you to plan the visits to the school during an event . We  would love to have each of you to contribute by giving your ideas , sharing your stories and tells – How you feel being a Sulonian . After all , this is the school that has given each of us an identity that we can proudly say is ours . I am proud to say that you have all carved a niche for yourselves in whatever you have done. But , beyond this school has made you  wonderful human beings . We  will be connecting to every student through our website .
The 1st of July is a special day for all Sulonians – students and parents .We invite you to join us in the 2kms/5 kms Suloniathon  – Run for a cause . Look out for the announcements on social media .Let’s celebrate – the Golden Jubilee of the school together.