Dr Pillai Global Academy in Borivali hosted an insightful convention on ‘University Guidance Conference 2015’ on its campus. The event held on October 9 and 10 was aimed at providing guidance to colleges and discussing emerging trends in higher education. The conference, in its second edition, was conducted in collaboration with the South Asian IB School and Associate (SAIBSA) and Cambridge International Schools with The College Board as the Knowledge Partners.
Speaking about the event, Sharda Sharma, Associate Director, Dr Pillai Global Academy, said, “This is one platform that brings together international high schools and universities to learn, network and share knowledge. It not only strengthens the educational network, but also allows the ideas and experiences of different educators to come on a common platform where they can reconnect with people, meet new people, discuss and exchange new ideas.” The conference saw the presence of principals, administrators, college counsellors and management members of international schools from different countries that interacted and attended the sessions by Universities and Heads of institutions. Topics ranged from ‘Global exposures for students’, presented by S. P.Jain school of Global Management Dubai, to ‘Internships-The 1st step to world opportunities’ by the American International University in London. ‘The advent of Ivy League education in India’ by O.P. Jindal University and ‘Inculcating Leadership driven culture in schools’ by Dr. Indira Parikh, founder and Dean IIM Ahemedabad and the certificate workshops for the redesigned Sat and PSAT were the highlights of the conference, while ‘Emerging trends in Higher Education’ was the topic for the panel discussion. The students of the host school, Dr. Pillai Global Academy, put up an Art Exhibition for the participants. Mrs. Sharma welcomed the gathering on behalf of Mahatma Education Society, extending a special welcome to the Ex-Sheriff of Mumbai, Dr. Indu Sahni.
The president of SAIBSA (South Asian IB Schools Association) and associate principal of Singapore International School, Mumbai Mr. Koisar Dopaishi, said, “This was an opportunity for colleges and schools to exchange ideas about the education system. It also emphasises on personal development and the growing education world in terms of technology such as virtual classrooms. This conference also helps strengthen education globally.” Some of the other schools that participated were Woodstock School Mussorie, Kodaikanal International School, Symbiosis International School, Mercedes Benz International School Pune, JSS Private School Dubai, Global Indian International School Singapore to name a few. Principals at the venue said that the conference benefitted them in more than one way. Snehal Joshi, principal of the International School, Aamby Valley, said, “Educators need to be educated on what universities are looking at because ultimately placements of students is essential. More than that, giving students an opportunity to follow the career of their choice is important.”
For one of the session on ‘Global exposure in the 21st century’, professor Christopher Abraham, Head of Dubai Campus and senior vice-president, Institutional Development at S.P. Jain School of Global Management spoke about the importance of education in terms of practical learning and understanding, growing need and trend of virtual classrooms internationally. He also focused on digital mediums of learning. In the end he gave the message that ‘to become globally connected students, we educators should be ‘globally connected teachers.’
Concluding the event, the Associate Director, Mrs. Sharda Sharma explained the difference between different educational boards such as IB, CIE, ICSE, CBSE, SSC etc. “The moment the students starts growing from grade I, we need to allow them to bloom by distancing ourselves and helping them decide what they want to learn, so that they can figure out the difference between the good and the bad. We are extremely supportive in giving them the required guidance right from the early years until they enter university and thereafter and take pride in being their mentors in every step they take.” she added.