K. Pranav in conversation with the new principal of Sri Sankara Senior Sec. School

Ms. Mita Venkatesh, principal and Ms. Susheela Ravindran, vice principal (Left) of Sri Sankara Sr. Sec School

The students and teachers of Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School, Adyar, welcomed the new principal and vice principal of this academic year. Ms. Mita Venkatesh is the new principal of the school in place of Ms. Subala Anantanarayanan, who has retired recently and Ms. Susheela Ravindran has taken over as the Vice Principal.

Ms. Mita Venkatesh joined the school as an English teacher for the primary section in 1988. Before she became the Vice Principal in 2013, she was also into administrative work and taught English for 12th standard students. Ms. Sushila Ravindran is an Economics teacher and has been instrumental in bringing Model United Nations (MUN) to Sri Sankara School, now known as SANMUN, before she became the Vice Principal.

K. Pranav, a class IX student of the same school speaks to the new principal and vice principal and finds interesting things they have lined up for the school.

KP: As you have become the principal of a very reputed school, what changes would you like to bring about?
Principal: I have not decided on making any changes, but would strengthen what we are already doing. Sankara is very strong in academics, so I have decided to focus on continuing and maintaining what we have achieved so far.

KP: In the academic stream, Sankara is one of the most top-rated schools. What does it mean to you?
Principal: The main reason why Sankara is one of the best schools in academics is because of an experienced set of teachers. Most of the teachers have been here for so many years. So they are very well-versed with the curriculum and syllabus. Moreover, we have established a strong foundation from classes 1 to 8 by designing our own curriculum and teaching practices. This really helps in Sankara doing well in academics.

KP: Are you going to bring about any changes to maintain discipline?
Principal: No change is necessary. Our school has not had any major issues in discipline. There are only minor issues as there are in every other school. If we can correct these minor issues, we can have a well-disciplined school. Also, we are trying to bring in value education into the curriculum so that the students understand the moral values.

KP: In Mumbai, a case has been filed about school bags being heavy. What do you think can be done to reduce the burden of school bags in our city?
Principal: Yes, this is a very common complaint. When I was a teacher, I knew that the children used to carry heavy books, and so I insisted them on bringing fewer books to the school. For example, if I was teaching Literature, I would ask them to bring only the textbook, as I would not be doing any writing. There should be proper communication between the students and the teachers about the lessons to be taught in a day. This will definitely help reduce the burden.

KP: How do you think technology can play an important role in studies?
Principal: Technology can only be an ‘enabler’. It can only help you in your studies but not replace a teacher. Yes, we have installed ICR and Smart Boards in the classrooms for the students.

KP: What is your advice for the Sankarites and students in general?
Principal: My advice is very simple. Just be sincere. If sincerity becomes the priority, everything comes in place. To be a true Sankarite, you need to be sincere and carry the values and tradition taught in the school wherever you go.

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