The Bold Voice of J&K

A rendezvous with Principal JK Public School Kunjwani

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JAMMU: JK Public School (JKPS), Kunjwani is a CBSE affiliated, child-centric, value-driven, co-educational, Senior Secondary school, which enjoys the privilege of being the FIRST private CBSE school (direct affiliation) of Jammu. Stretched over a period of three decades, JKPS Kunjwani has emerged as a trendsetter, a model of excellence imparting 21st century holistic education to children on its rolls.
JKPS Kunjwani introduced 18 Clubs to groom students in variety Co-scholastic domains. Members of one of the Clubs, namely, Rajat Sharma Club of Jr. Journalists, interviewed the Principal Rajesh Rathore. Here are the excerpts of the meaningful transaction between the Jr. Journalists (JJ) and the Principal Rajesh Rathore (RR):
JJ: What is your concept of an ideal JKiian?
RR: An ideal JKiian is the one, who can always be spotted in a group, who has a distinctive flavour to his/her personality; has a lively interest in topical events and the world around; speaks and writes fluently in English and in atleast one Indian language; has sufficient mastery over Mathematics and Science to understand and appreciate the scientific basis of modern civilization; is well informed and forms his/her own judgement; knows that being educated means abiding by certain standards of social behaviour; consistently makes efforts to master the use of his/her hands in some form of creative activity; has developed a love of reading for its own sake; plays games and has learnt that sportsmanship is a quality that must be cherished in day-today life; is not afraid to speak the truth without being offensive and has greatest regard for the rule of law and justice; is well mannered, sensitive and smart in his/her dress and deportment; cherishes the freedom of the mind, the humanity of the heart and the integrity of the individual; loves truth, beauty and goodness. In short, he/she is the epitome of what a cultured person aspires to be!
JJ: Which features of the Institution do you admire the most?
RR: JK Public School, Kunjwani is one of the finest Institutions in the UT of J&K. Its infrastructure is an architectural marvel. Classrooms are quite spacious, well lit, & it’s equipped with well-designed smart boards & soft boards. Since JKPS emphasizes on the holistic grooming of every child, so we have hand-picked, talented teachers in our Art, craft, Music, Dance & Sports faculties.
Here merely being a scholar is not eye-catching but when a scholar plays guitar/drum/keyboard or shakes legs on a dance style, like, contemporary/ hiphop/ break/ bhangra or sings a western song or presents a soulful rendition of a classical number or refutes the ideas of an opponent on a debating platform or makes the audience burst into peals of laughter during a comic skit or makes the audience sob during a poignant scene of a tragic play, that catches the fancy of the gallery of spectators. We keep raising the bar.
Though it’s a day school, yet it is spread over a vast expanse giving ample space for all the sports activities, like, Football, Cricket, Volley-ball, Basketball, Mini Olympic-size Swimming pool, Skating rink, Cricket practice nets, Badminton court, Squash courts, Tennis court, Golf and indoor games, like, Judo, Karate, Taekwando, Gymnastics, Table Tennis (6 Nos.), Yoga, Carom, Chess etc. JKPS is a wonderful school, wherein students are very decent, respectful and adorable. Teachers are quite knowledgeable, dedicated and committed. Their communication skills are very strong: whether it be written or verbal expression. Board results of Grade X & XII are excellent.
JJ: How do you define an ideal teacher? RR: An ideal teacher has to be very knowledgeable, as it establishes the credentials of a teacher in the classroom. Without a profound knowledge, no teacher can stand firmly on his/her feet. Strong communication skills are always a crucial hallmark for a teacher. Explanation of a theoretical concept stays with a child forever, if it is articulated well by a teacher irrespective of the subject or the class.
A teacher, being a classroom leader, has to be a practioner, not merely a preacher. It’s truly stated that values are to be caught, not to be taught. A teacher has to be competent, responsible, punctual, regular, well-organized, value-driven, well-attired, compassionate, forgiving and generous, if he/she wishes to see these qualities in his/her students. We can never expect students to exhibit those qualities or skills, which are found missing in their teachers.
JJ: How do you encourage and motivate the staff?
RR: I encourage my staff members by citing examples from my 29-year long gratifying teaching career. Words of appreciation and motivation fill the members of my staff with renewed vigour, passion and determination. When Titans clash on a common platform, then clinching one of the coveted top three positions brings laurels to the institution. Addition of every accomplishment makes our hearts heave high with pride and admiration. We felicitate the members of the staff on special occasions for their meritorious services and outstanding contributions. We organize capacity building programmes to empower our teachers on a regular basis.
JJ: How do you recruit and maintain quality teachers?
RR: The selection procedure for the recruitment of teachers has been quite stringent at JKPS Kunjwani. First of all, we shortlist candidates with brilliant academic background, schooling, strong communication skills in English alongwith suitable experience from renowned CBSE schools. Then we conduct a written test to evaluate the subject knowledge, written expression, relevance, reflection, hand writing and the presentation of the candidates. It is followed by a live demo, wherein a subject expert thoroughly discusses the subject-related, class-specific concepts with the candidates. Then, we conduct an interview, wherein we discuss about the areas of interest of a candidate in Co-curricular and sports activities, teaching experience, professional training programmes, capacity building workshops and overall personality. Finally the short-listed candidates get the privilege of having an Interaction with the Chairman & the Director.
JJ: What would be your ideal school environment and how would you encourage that kind of culture?
RR: An ideal school environment ensures a holistic growth profile to every student. School should not merely focus on a sound knowledge base, language acquisition, personality development and fitness & stamina, whereas it should also focus on developing finer sensibilities in every child. Today the hallmarks of our Institution are the development of environmental awareness, community outreach programmes, creative thinking, critical thinking, decision making and problem solving skills among students. JKPS Kunjwani has designed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will act as a lighthouse to set the direction of grooming from the entry stage to the passing out stage.
JJ: Outline the role that parents should play in the school?
RR: Parents’ community is a great asset and one of the most important stakeholders for any institution. Parents must feel connected to the Institution and teachers. Parents and teachers together can ensure holistic grooming of students. They must be constantly in touch with the subject teachers, Class Teacher, Coordinator and the Principal. A regular feedback rather a 360 degree feedback is the need of the hour. Decency, dignity and mutual respect can always nourish the bonding between parents and teachers. Good parent-teacher bonding always fetches desired results and forms life-long relationship.
Parents need to be very rational in today’s world. They should not be credulous to whatever their wards narrate at home. They must clarify on certain inputs from their wards. Even school staff feels very happy and satisfied, when they receive a call from parents. Believe me, whenever I speak to parents over phone, it cements the bonding between us. They appreciate teachers for their meaningful contributions and share their observations/suggestions on how to take the Institution to greater heights.
JJ: How do you visualize the future of your school?
RR: With the strong backing of an enlightened Management team, educational think-tanks, extremely talented Staff, superbly supportive parents & immeasurably talented & promising students, JK Public School Kunjwani enjoys the reputation of being one of the finest institutions in the entire North India. It’s committed to ensure that a competent, compassionate, creative, responsible global citizenry passes out from its magnificent portals every year. AMEN!
JJ: Thanks a lot sir for sparing your valuable time and for reflecting your vision and strategies to help students design their roadmaps to reach their dream destination. Your unique vision and passionate endeavours will certainly put the JKPS Kunjwani on a new trajectory. Wishing you the best of luck!
RR: Thanks a ton, my beloved students. This institution is reaching its pinnacle of glory due to your sincerity, dedication, commitment & focussed approach. I wish you a very bright future. Good luck!

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