Ms Alka Kapur, Principal of Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh New Delhi has more than 20 years of unparalleled experience in education. She has shouldered her responsibilities in teaching as well as administration efficiently and successfully.
The administration came easy to Alka Kapur who started her career in teaching and quickly rose to the administrative roles. Her commendable efforts have made Modern Public School a model to replicate for others. A multi-awardee, Alka Kapur is energetic and keeps the spirit of inclusion in her work alive. Her involvement with various governmental and non-governmental organisations has brought about meaningful exposure to her students and followers.
An eco-warrior, mental health champion and conscientious citizen, Alka Kapur leads by example and puts her students’ interests first. Her style of leadership has been inspirational in her exemplary career.
Here is an excerpt of the conversation which Wonderpublish recently had with Principal Alka Kapur:
Q. 1: You have over 32 years of experience in teaching as well as administration. Which role do you enjoy more?
Ans. I feel I am a born administrator. I was told this when I was a child, I was very competent and commanding. I was kind of a perfectionist in whatever big or small things I did. People tell me that I was immaculate. But I always wanted to be a teacher. As a child, I started teaching a small and friendly group and found teaching rather wonderful and rewarding. But I can easily say that God designed me that way that I possess most of the tools and skills of becoming a good mix of teacher and administrator.
Q. 2: What makes Modern Public School different from other schools?
Ans. Modern Public school was established in 1971 and it has a legacy of almost 50 years now. On the 1st of July 2021, we are going to be exactly 50. This school works strictly in accordance with 17 sustainable development goals. It covers almost every aspect of education that the world strives to gain. We are a school that works on the holistic development of the child.
The school is ranked 17th in the state and 74th at the national level according to the C Fore survey which is one of the most prestigious surveys in the education world. We are also known for our innovative curriculum which is complemented with experiential learning. We provide hands-on experience. New Education Policy now talks about collaboration, project work but we’ve been doing that for the last so many years. We were one of the first schools to be given the Atal Tinkering Lab. We were the first school to come up with the astronomy lab, and we also have a 3D science lab.
The vision and the mission of my school ages back have been A Whole Child, in a Whole World.
Q. 3: How did you make that leap from being a primary teacher to a principal, early in your career, that too in just two years?
Ans. I was appointed as a teacher but was expected to do a bit of administrative work as well. Initially, I was promoted as a TGT(Trained Graduate Teacher), and then subsequently as a post-graduate teacher and then finally I became the principal in the year 2000.
Q. 4: You have been working as an Environment “Crusader” in collaboration with TERI. How do you make school children aware of these serious issues?
Ans. We, at Modern Public School, have resolved to mould environmentally-groomed youth. Recently, the school adopted an MCD park in the vicinity. We have taken complete responsibility for its restoration and maintenance. The more the kids are closer to nature the more they realise its bounty.
I keep taking profound activities like sending our school kids to clean the Yamuna river, switching off the electricity when not in use. We are producing eco-warriors through the eco-club of Modern Public School which has been very actively associated with TERI. Our students participated in the mega-events like the TERI climate chamber on both online and offline platforms which entailed a plethora of events to tickle the environmental consciousness of youth.
We also recently co-hosted the 24-hour environment festival where people from all walks of life participated.
Q. 5: You have varied experience in curriculum development as well. And now that we have gone through a prolonged pandemic, what changes would you like to suggest to new curriculums from now on?
Ans. Our school has been successfully running the humanity curriculum wherein a plethora of activities is organised to strengthen the core values of humanity. The school runs an after school program for the underprivileged of the nearby slums. It’s called the Navchetna Shiksha Kendra. Even during the pandemic, the school initiated a venture where we took the school to children. We converted our unused buses into libraries or Science on wheels. Teachers volunteered for it.
We also started this Roti Bank where kids coming to school would bring extra food for donation. Since it was not possible during the lockdown so I sent our buses to collect food and distribute it to the underprivileged areas. We also have Atmanirbhar curriculum.
Q. 6: As the COVID numbers rise again, there must be a palpable sense of anxiety regarding the lockdowns of schools. What would your advice be to your teachers, kids and their parents?
Ans. We need to learn to live with the pandemic. I’m telling everyone from my teachers to students to their parents that they have to be very careful, follow all the safety protocols, and not be scared. I myself have recovered from COVID. I was hospitalised for 17 days. But I didn’t let the fear get into my head.
The pandemic has taught us many things. I try to translate whatever I have learnt to my students. We need to have priorities very clear. First and foremost is health, then a proper schedule, good habits. So, I’d say step out of the house only when it is absolutely necessary. And try to make the best use of this time.