Stalwarts 2022

Education Stalwarts 2022 | Dr. Cdr. Kartikay Saini, Chairman of Scottish High International School, Gurgaon | Leaders in Education

Education is a powerful influence. As an educationist, I view it as a collective responsibility powered by teamwork and collaborative action.

Imparting quality and value-based education, nurturing fresh minds and placing them in the society as nation-builders are the mandates of education. All this is unattainable by a solo performance. It requires shared will and vision to move together and in tandem towards an aspirational goal. Scottish High International School, a decade and a half of legacy, is founded precisely on these merits.

True leadership leaves no one behind. You are only as strong as your team. This is the governing principle at Scottish High.

Commissioned in the year 2004, Scottish High has covered significant miles over the years and has emerged as one of the finest International Schools in the country. All this is possible due to a system of empowerment that we constantly employ. Our teachers and staff members have been moving ahead as leaders in different streams and sections as we constantly equip them with modern educational requirements and pedagogies. We continuously strive to build them with professional training and learning programs that can provide the edge to mentor students with a global, holistic perspective.

This is further reflected through our fleet of students who are leading by example. An outstanding result in ICSE, ISC, IGCSE, and IBDP Examinations, year in and year out and the series of consistent and unbeatable feats of our Highlanders on the national and international level is today the litmus test for the young students in the country. Making a global statement, we have a long list of our students making their mark at the reputed educational institutes around the country and the globe. This is how we create leaders.

Education is one of the greatest stimuli – to enable and empower. Not only from the perspective of teaching students, but also at the professional front.

As an educationist, one has to lead by example – to build a chain of inspiration. Like I said, a true leader leaves no one behind; I harness the strength of my team and give them the space to work on their weak points. Everyone has the wherewithal to contribute, and as a leader it has always been my endeavour to connect with each and every member of my team with care and compassion and inspire them to optimize their potential.

Another critical element is smart-switching – the skill to prioritize or give precedence to an urgent task amongst a set of events or situations. Delivering 100% to the same is a bare essential.

This has always been my connecting quotient with my team and the standard operating procedure that further runs through the entire hierarchy at Scottish High.

As they say, education demands non-stop evolvement and involvement. It is about how well-equipped and well-resourced you are to face the challenge-intensive events. During the pandemic, we enforced a three-tier strategy to stay buoyant throughout the crisis.

  1. Lock-down-Skill-up Drive- Our smart classrooms have always been way ahead of time, tapping various technology-driven networks like smart labs, virtual exchange programs etc. A series of extensive online collaborations was already in motion. Students of IGCSE, PYP, and IB were already doing a lot of research work online. Primary students were conducting inquiry-based research/ studies as part of their Primary Years Program curriculum (PYP) and the infrastructure was prepped up with a Wi-Fi enabled campus. This proved extremely useful and made it very easy for us to seamlessly plan, transform and migrate to online classes. 
  2. Fully Geared- Taking stock of the uncertainty of the lockdown period, the IT team had been armed to the teeth with all the necessary resources and network in full swing. With a reinforced online learning system and ‘turnkey’ operations, the IT team was fully geared to meet the online requirements of the students, thus ensuring high-quality remote learning for respective learning outcomes. This is exactly why Scottish High is perhaps one of the first in the country to launch a full-fledged online curriculum. 
  3. Setting up of SCT- The school also constituted ‘SCT’ (Special Counselling Team) that includedcounsellors and clan teams that were monitoring and mentoring the students psychologically and addressing their social-emotional needs like handling the social impact, the stress of pandemic, social distancing, and were also providing age-appropriate learning and emotional support to help students cope with the continued uncertainties of the pandemic.

With these proactive initiatives, the school brought about a big shift in the way online learning was looked at.

Fully conforming to the fact that you are only as strong as your team, the brand Scottish High today is the coming together of people from all walks of life – a team that has assembled to define a constructive action plan for the future.

17 years of excellence and counting, Scottish High is still the gold standard of education. How? Well, this is no rocket engineering but a team of like-minded people working under one roof and for one vision. My team behind the scene is the real face of the brand. This is our value proposition.

We are known for our inventive approach towards schooling. Our education methodologies need no special mention as we have completely migrated from the run-of-the-mill standards.

Teachers are our strengths. They are the flag bearers of our vision. Right from equipping and aligning them with the changing modern education requirements and pedagogies, one of the greatest requirements is to acknowledge their efforts and commitment. Honouring their contribution and services to the school, laying out a red carpet for their commitment in many forms can be a catalyst in transforming them from teachers to influencers.

Leadership is all about believing in the capabilities, uniqueness and individuality of others. Take note that true leadership anchors on the strength and substance of care, collaboration and co-existence.

The pandemic was one such period when true leadership was put to test. Keeping the flock together no matter what has been one of my greatest achievements. 

During the pandemic, it was the attitude that made all the difference. To make sure that my team was powered enough to stand against the odds, I had to be their pillar of strength, on the professional and personal front. Being available is what sets a leader apart, to inspire his team to stay on the course. This is what made the difference.

Our team of enterprising and dedicated teachers, staff members, mentors and counsellors strived to push the limits of virtual learning and used the time as a turning point to stake claim in the holistic and inclusive future of learning.

There is no universal pathway to reaching the summit of success. Leadership is empirical. One has to keep evolving. However, one constant remains at the centre of the whole narrative – A leader built upon a team can only lead by keeping others first and serving as a good example.

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