Interview: Ms. Alka Kapur, Principal, Modern Public School

Alka Kapur-Principal-Modern Public School

Interview with Ms. Alka Kapur, (CBSE & State Awardee) Principal, Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi

Ms. Alka Kapur is an empowering leader, a zealous educationist and an environmentalist with rich academic and administrative experience offering an illustrious career of 33 years in educational research.

As the Principal of the school, she has taken the school to great heights through an open attitude for learning and love for children.

Thirty years of her sedulous selfless service as the Principal of the school has accorded the school a priceless status in Forbes India Marquee Edition, The Great Indian Schools.

Responsibilities conferred upon her by various institutions of excellence :

  • An Executive Committee Member of Forum of Public Schools in India.
  • She has been working as Environment Crusader in collaboration with TERI, an institution for the research on the environment.
  • Ms. Alka Kapur has been prominently associated with various NGOs. To name a few, Cancer Society of India, Red Cross Society, Sarthak Prayas, Old Age Home.
  • A member of the esteemed panel of Inspection Committee of schools across the globe for upgradation, affiliation, of the schools.
  • Has been a Nodal Supervisor for CBSE Class XII English Examination for almost a decade.
  • A member of Quality Education Asia for Curriculum Development at Primary, Middle and Senior Secondary level.
  • A member of the Forum of Quality Education for All
  • A member of various School Managing Committee of Renowned Schools of Delhi    

Tell us a little about yourself

Alka Kapur: My life has been full of ups and downs, beginning with my upbringing in a less fortunate household and marrying into a similar one. Due to my financial limitations and family responsibilities, I almost gave up on the idea of fulfilling my dreams.

Despite the challenges, my husband has always been a constant source of support. He encouraged me to pursue my studies and utilize my skills.

Balancing my education and family life was difficult, especially after giving birth to my children, but I remained determined and began working on my master’s degree in 1996, which I completed in 1998.

Determined to become a teacher, I pursued a B.Ed degree while also caring for my father, who had been diagnosed with cancer.

I worked hard to balance my obligations and studies, and my efforts paid off as I began my career as an English teacher soon after completing my degree.

With experience, I became the principal of MPS, Shalimar Bagh, and worked tirelessly to develop strategies to bring positive changes in the school campus.

Despite the demanding schedule, the support of my colleagues and students helped me to increase the number of pupils at MPS from 600 to 3000, and I take great pride in this accomplishment.

Kindly brief us about Modern Public School and its specialization.

Alka Kapur: Modern Public School (MPS), a 52-year-old educational institute, was established in 1971 to fulfil its mission to provide the best quality of education and promote education in the NCT of Delhi, particularly in Shalimar Bagh and neighbouring areas.

It is one of the fastest-growing schools in Delhi-NCR, with modern infrastructure and experienced teaching staff.

The school is a composite co-educational English Medium Senior Secondary School running on public lines permanently recognized by Directorate of Education.

MPS is known for achieving excellence in academics, co-curricular activities, and sports, making it a paragon of educational virtues.

The school provides a balanced curriculum that caters to the challenges in the present world of education and offers a platform for students to learn and grow.

The school campus is strategically designed to provide an ideal and secure environment for its students to facilitate wholesome learning.

It has hi-tech facilities like a highly-equipped conference room, smart classrooms, a well-managed library with almost ten thousand books, and an advanced medical room under the supervision of professional staff.

Under the enthusiastic leadership of Mr Ajay Kapur, Manager, MPS, and the avid mentorship of Mrs Alka Kapur, Principal (MPS), the school has successfully produced students who are not only professionally successful but also socially aware.

The school’s specialization lies in providing holistic development to its students by nurturing their talents and skills through a conducive learning environment.

What are your core values as a leader in education?

Alka Kapur: As a leader in education, my core values are centered around creating independent leaders and promoting extracurricular activities.

I believe in providing ample support to students to help them realize their full potential. At Modern Public School, we have initiated the Primary Years Programme (PYP) to instill the love of learning in young minds, while also focusing on their holistic development.

My colleagues and I always encourage and support students to pursue their passion and excel in their chosen fields.

For example, we put our best efforts into promoting and assisting our students – Arjun, who is an International javelin thrower and KashishLakra, who is India’s youngest athlete, to qualify for the Paralympics in the women’s club throw F51 category, to fulfil their dreams and make a successful sports career.

At MPS, we believe in nurturing leadership qualities and creating future leaders who can make a positive impact on society.

We provide ample opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and participate in community service activities.

We focus on instilling core values of honesty, integrity, and compassion in our students, which will help them in their personal and professional lives.

How do you think technology can be best integrated into the curriculum and learning process?

Alka Kapur: Technology can be best integrated into the curriculum and learning process by using it as a tool to enhance and support learning.

It should not replace traditional teaching methods but rather complement them. Teachers can use technology to create interactive and engaging student learning experiences, such as incorporating multimedia resources, virtual simulations, and educational games.

Additionally, technology can be used to provide personalized learning experiences and track students’ progress, allowing teachers to tailor instruction to individual student needs.

It’s important to ensure that technology is used in a way that supports the learning objectives and is accessible to all students.

How do you stay updated with the latest technological trends and tools in education?

Alka Kapur: I prefer using various methods to stay updated with the latest technological trends and tools in education.

For me, social media is one of the valuable tools as an educator to gain knowledge. So, I keep joining relevant groups and follow social media pages that provide educational technology updates.

I also keep attending webinars and seminars as they are very helpful in keeping up with the latest trends and innovations.

Attending educational programs and conferences provide me with an opportunity to learn about new technologies and network with other educators.

I believe it is essential to keep an open mind and continuously seek new knowledge to stay current with the latest technological trends in education.

How do you ensure a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students and staff at the school?

Alka Kapur: Ensuring a safe and inclusive learning environment is our top priority at the school. We take various measures, such as conducting webinars and workshops to educate our students and staff about the importance of diversity, inclusivity, and respect.

We also promote extracurricular activities that allow students to express themselves and appreciate different cultures.

We have strict policies to prevent discrimination or harassment and have designated counsellors to support any student or staff member who needs assistance.

By fostering a culture of empathy, understanding, and mutual respect, we create a safe and inclusive environment for all members of our school community.

How do you balance the demands of managing administrative tasks, engaging with students, and collaborating with faculty and staff?

Alka Kapur: Balancing the demands of managing administrative tasks, engaging with students, and collaborating with faculty and staff requires effective time management and prioritization.

As a principal or school administrator, the academic excellence of the children is a top priority for me that cannot be compromised.

This sometimes requires longer hours at work and even working on holidays. I prefer to conduct regular meetings and provide incentives, which help keep the team energized and focused on achieving academic goals.

Effective delegation of administrative tasks also helps me to free up some time for student engagement and collaboration with faculty and staff.

How do you ensure effective communication and collaboration between parents, students, andfaculty members?

Alka Kapur: Effective communication and collaboration between parents, students, and faculty members is crucial for the well-being and success of students.

In my view point, it is important to establish clarity and transparency in all activities, including the school’s vision and mission.

At MPS, we regularly organise orientation programs to communicate these effectively to parents. We also provide facility for direct communication, which help to address any discrepancies or clarifications.

Regular progress discussions on students’ difficulties, future plans, and mental health status can also enhance collaboration and foster a supportive learning environment for the students.

Overall, the aim is to ensure that the student’s well-being is never compromised while also promoting effective communication and collaboration between all stakeholders involved.

How do you approach the recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers and staff?

Alka Kapur: Recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and staff is crucial for the success of any educational institution.

To achieve this, we at MPS believe in creating a healthy working environment that recognizes and values the contributions of the staff.

We follow a rigorous recruitment process, selecting only the best candidates for the school. Also, we make sure not to compromise on the quality of staff, and offer competitive salaries to retain the best talents.

Furthermore, a healthy work environment, where team feels valued and respected, can also contribute to high retention rates.

When staff feel like they are part of a family, they are more likely to stay for the long-term. Overall, we promote a positive and supportive work environment which help us in attracting and retaining high-quality teachers and staff.

What is your vision for Modern Public School? How do you plan to achieve that vision, and whatmetrics do you use to measure success?

Alka Kapur: My vision for Modern Public School is to create a learning environment that fosters the development of lifelong learners and global citizens committed to intercultural understanding.

To achieve this vision, the MPS faculty focuses on providing an all-rounded education emphasising academic excellence, character development, and social responsibility.

We strive to create a culture of collaboration, creativity, and innovation that supports students in achieving their full potential.

Also, we use a variety of metrics to measure success, including academic performance, student engagement, retention rates, and feedback from students, parents, and faculty members.

Additionally, we regularly review and evaluate our programs and curriculum to ensure that we meet our students’ evolving needs and the changing demands of the world.

How do you plan to build on the school’s strengths and address areas for improvement in the coming years?

Alka Kapur: To build on the strengths of the school and address areas for improvement, we plan to implement a range of workshops and activities that empower our students and faculty members.

We will continue to focus on our strengths, such as our rigorous academic programs, commitment to character development, and supportive school culture.

At the same time, we will address areas for improvement by providing additional resources and support to students who may need extra help in certain areas.

We will also expand our counselling services to ensure that all students have access to the resources they need to thrive, including mental, physical, and spiritual support.

Moreover, we will continue to provide our students with a high-quality education that prepares them for success in the future.

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