Education Stalwarts 2021 | Mr. Shailesh Dalmia Hon. Secretary of Niranjanlal Dalmia Educational Society | Leaders in Education

Mr. Shailesh Dalmia Hon. Secretary of Niranjanlal Dalmia Educational Society, one of the top Leaders in Education is with EducationToday sharing his experience.

“It is a challenging world that we live in today, a world full of innovations, both technological and economical. Education imparted in academic institutions is an effective tool to enable students to cope with the rapid, changing world around them by imbibing knowledge and values, both – a culmination of which will certainly bring forth worthy human beings and leaders of tomorrow.”

After completing my graduation in Commerce from HR College of Commerce & Economics, I pursued my Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Mumbai with Specialization in the Companies Act. Being academically inclined, I was focused and diligent in my studies all through my years of education.

The world around has changed and as this exponential change is happening in all arenas, the educational system and infrastructure required for supporting this change has to be created. The skills and attitude to be developed in children have to be re-looked at to make our education future ready.

I was fortunate to get the platform to be able to make a change just out of college; I was given the assignment to set up the IT processes and the computer lab in our K-12 school. For the first time, I felt a sense of ownership and was very happy as this was my own baby. I have now been associated with the field of education for over two decades.

Leaders in Education
Mr. Shailesh Dalmia Hon. Secretary of Niranjanlal Dalmia Educational Society, Leaders in Education

My main vision was to make N L Dalmia High School a name to reckon with in Mumbai and across India. In its early days, the school was known only in Mira Road and I really wanted the school to get recognition. I also felt that I have come here in the world to make a difference to a child’s life by imparting quality education. And my vision was and is to impart quality education. 

I feel that education is the biggest enabler of nation building. My motivation is that as an educator, I am nurturing and creating the future of India. 

My journey as an edu-preneur has been very fulfilling and even today it is forever evolving in new and different ways. In the early years, admission to the school at the primary level was through a very stringent interview system. I felt it was not correct as the school must take the onus of molding a child to deliver his or her best. Schools should not cherry pick the best from the lot at the admission stage and then claim to have produced top academic performers. So I did away with the elaborate interview process. 

My biggest inspiration during this journey was my father. He travelled every day at 6:30 am from his Napean Sea home to Mira Road in order to handle the affairs of the school. Seeing his diligence, I was inspired to do the best for the school. 

My grandfather, Shri Niranjanlal Dalmia’s vision and passion for education also inspired me tremendously. He was extraordinary in his passion for spreading education to this far-flung suburb where very few institutes of repute existed. Shri Niranjanlalji himself came from a humble background and had difficulties funding his own education. However, despite the odds, he received a gold medal in law and stood second in the All India Civil Services Exam. The key driving force that propelled him to build the institute was the dream of equipping bright young achievers with wings to fly high. 

Giving back to society has always been the cornerstone on which our institute functions. At NLDIMSR and NLDHS we constantly engage with our neighbouring communities. The institute has adopted a 100% tribal village, ‘Kondgaon-Vilset’ in Vikramgarh Taluka of Palghar District in Maharashtra, around 82 kms from NLDIMSR, Mumbai. A plan has been put in place by the My Social Responsibility (MSR) committee of the institute and developmental interventions in a phased manner in the fields of education, social/skill development, health and hygiene have been undertaken. Students have visited Kondgaon and educated the villagers on the need to build toilets in every household under the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ programme. Students also organize ‘Kondgaon Utsav’ twice a year at NLDIMSR where fresh farm produce, artifacts and handicrafts are brought by villagers from Kondgaon and sold in the campus. The revenues go directly to the villagers without any middlemen.

The school and institute regularly carry out social welfare activities like visits and donations to orphanages, old age homes and animal care centres. The students and teachers also undertake tree plantation drives, participate in marathons for the benefit of cancer patients, and regularly sponsor underprivileged girl children to spread education among them. 

Rising in response to the unprecedented challenges posed by Covid-19 outbreak, we have responded effectively to the sudden change. The present situation is not allowing traditional teaching methods; the need to learn skills of Virtual Teaching has become an absolute necessity. The school equipped itself with infrastructure that will facilitate online teaching, virtual learning and blended learning. Wireless network access was strengthened with licensed software and antivirus. While safety of students is paramount, so is the academic rigour. N L Dalmia High School uses various technical platforms such as G Suite with its Google classes & meet, Zoom and Microsoft Teams to conduct classes in the K-12 segment as well as in Higher Education. One of the most important attributes of classroom learning is interaction with teachers. This spirit of classroom learning is kept alive by well-trained teachers and user-friendly technologies. 

Having flipped classes and a blended module of teaching which allows both, face to face as well as online interaction is the solution to maximize the advantage for our learners. 

In the near future, what may be sustainable is a hybrid model which encapsulates the merits of face to face teaching with the economy and convenience offered by virtual classes. Traditional curriculum, course structure and evaluation methods would have to be redesigned to cater to such disruptions keeping the learning outcomes intact.

The students at N.L. Dalmia High School are constructively engaged but have also developed their creative and analytical skills.

The school has taken voluntary and immediate action towards SOP’s on sanitization. Keeping in view the safety concerns of the students, the school has already invested in thermal imaging machine, thermal temperature recorders, sanitizing booths, PPE kits, sanitizers at all strategic places and classrooms, fumigation machine, metal detectors, placement of stickers regarding social distancing and in washrooms. Regular cleaning of washrooms and corridors are being done. The initiatives taken by the school are not government-driven, but just an initiative and this is what distinguishes other schools from ours.

I would like to quote Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I would like each and every member of my school team to believe that change is possible and the first step to changing anything is to believe that every individual is an agent of change and has the capacity to bring about the change he/she wants to see in the world.

Do check out experiences shared by our top 50 leaders in education. All of the Leaders in education who have shared their experience with us have been motivating and life changing.

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