Education Stalwarts 2021 | Ms. Nafeesa Ahmed, Director of Presidency Group of Institutions | Leaders in Education

Ms. Nafeesa Ahmed, Director of Presidency Group of Institutions, one of the top Leaders in Education is with EducationToday sharing her experience.

Post my Higher Secondary School Education from Sophia’s School, Bangalore, I pursued my Undergraduate Studies in Business Management [BBM] at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, an affiliated unit of the then Bangalore University. Along with the pursuit of Post Graduate Studies, in English Literature, from Bangalore University, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Education from IGNOU. Not wishing to lose out on understanding the Education Scenario in the West, I pursued a Post Graduate Program at Royal Holloway, University of London, leading to the award of a Master’s Degree in International Management. Believing that I have gathered the necessary wherewithal to actively manage the Educational Institutions, under the umbrella of Presidency Group of Institutions, I joined it as a Management Representative at Presidency School, Bangalore South, which was part of the Chain of Schools established by my father Dr. Nissar Ahmed, the Founder-Chairman of the Group. 

While working hands-on, I became familiar with the intrinsic nuances of running and managing a School, in the K-12 Segment. The initial two years of association with the management of the School equipped me with a deep insight into the underlying dynamics in the K-12 environment and in that direction, gave me a pragmatic comprehension of the same. This enlightening experience propelled me into realm of Teaching, further enabling me to strengthen the Teaching-learning Processes at the School level. This, in turn, made me realize that Effective Teaching can only be structured on the edifice of an Enriched and Contemporary Curriculum. I personally took on the responsibility to create such a knowledge and skill enhancing curriculum for the Pre-School, Primary and Middle School Classes. I have evolved with the organization over the years, and currently, I oversee the complete Academic and Administrative Operations of all Eight [8] Schools of the Presidency Group. 

A major challenge in achieving our avowed goal of imparting quality K-12 Education is the dearth of Qualified, Experienced and Well-trained Teachers. Notwithstanding the mushrooming of many Institutions that offer Undergraduate and Post Graduate Degrees in Education [B.Ed. and M. Ed.], I still see a big demand for Trained and Accomplished Teachers, in the realm of School Education, in general and in the Early Childhood Segment, in particular. This necessarily calls on the Management of Schools to invest heavily in Training them to upgrade their Teaching Skills. This is not an easy task. It is time-consuming, a luxury we cannot afford given the tight Academic Calendar. But yet it has to be done.  

To address this challenge at Presidency Schools, we regularly conduct Continuous Faculty Development Programs at the Group Level as also, in a more granular form, at the respective Schools. We organize Workshops for honing the Skills associated with the appropriate Teaching-learning Pedagogy backed more generic Workshops on critical areas like Formative and Summative Assessments and more focussed Subject-specific Workshops. Realizing that Teachers are an Intellectual Property of the Society, we are very concerned of their physical, emotional and mental well-being. We reinforce this belief of ours through the conduct of Counselling Workshops. Efficacy of these Workshops, in meeting the Institutional Goals are continuously evaluated through a Feedback- Preventive-Corrective Action Loop. 

I will be failing in duty as an Educator and a Daughter if I did not acknowledge the inspiration that I derived from witnessing, from close quarters, the approach of the Chairman of the Group and my father and his undying passion to offer the best to the Student Community. Today, if Presidency is a Chain of Premier Institutions [8 Schools, 2 Pre-university Colleges, an Autonomous College offering Under graduate and Post graduate Program affiliated to the Bangalore City University and a State Private University], it is singularly attributable to the vision, drive, passion of Mr. Nissar Ahmed. He is and shall always be my Role Model, Friend, Philosopher and Guide. Quality Education at an affordable Cost, to all irrespective of Caste, Creed, Colour, Race, Religion and Gender or for that matter, Social Status has been his single minded focus. 

My family has been my biggest and constant support throughout my journey. Without their support, I would not have been able to achieve what I have. As we all know, it not easy for a Woman to attain her personal goals or aspirations or for that matter, realize her dreams unless she makes significant sacrifices at the family front. I have been very fortunate to have my family, in general and my husband, in particular, of being greatly supportive of me and I must gratuitously acknowledge that. 

Though personally awards do not fascinate me, it nevertheless is a barometer of measuring one’s contribution in his or her domain of work. I have been lucky enough to be bestowed with a few Awards and Recognitions which would not have been possible had in not been for the valuable contribution of my Team. 

What we are witnessing today is a rapid and paradigm shift in the way School Education is envisioned, post the Covid-19 Pandemic. The sudden shift from Contact Classes to Classes under Online or Hybrid Modes, have virtually revolutionized the way the Post-Pandemic “New Normal” Education is being delivered. So, my message to those aspiring to become Professionals in the realm of Education is to “keep your ears to the ground”, be extremely progressive in your thoughts and actions and never hesitate to upgrade your Teaching and School-management Skills continuously. Once a Teacher always a Student; Learning for the Teachers is continuously “Unlearn” and “Re-Learn”

As Educators, we have a lot of challenges ahead of us in the way Teaching-learning is to be delivered in Schools in the days to come and it is thus imperative for us to be extremely agile in our thinking.  We really need to explore various avenues to see how effectively we can effectively deliver good Teaching and Learning experience to the Students. 

I believe that Quality Education and thus Knowledge, is the only Non-diminishing Wealth in the foundation of Human Existence

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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