In an exclusive conversation with NewsX for its special segment NewsX A-list, Showkat Hussain Khan, Chairman, Doon International School, Srinagar shares his experience about life and importance of quality schooling especially in the region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking us back to memory Lane and sharing the journey of his life, Khan said “ Fortunately, I was privileged enough to get the chance of receiving my primary education in the region of J&K and that too from a english medium school. It was extremely uncommon those days and this gradually made me realise the critical importance of quality schooling in the child’s life along with well attainment of knowledge and other skills.”
“It was the experience of the university days when I was pursuing higher studies in the Department of Physics that I found the absolute necessity of quality school education, and the specification of knowledgeable teachers in our region. I strongly felt that these two basic ingredients with the pressing priority and need of the moment in the valley if we had to uplift and educate the community as well to elevate the consciousness in youth.” further added Khan.
The school director credits his mother much who was instrumental in taping and motivating him. “ It was right after coming out of the university corridors that I invested my blood, sweat, and tears in order to empower my people by spreading higher education. In the year 2006. I took the initiative of establishing the College of Education in Srinagar. In the next couple of years it grew up to cater the needs of almost 5000 students and had several branches, thereby giving an admission to the students of the neighboring states like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, and of course J&K.”
The educationist further explained how in spite of starting the B.ed colleges successfully he felt that he had not fulfilled my utmost duty and tells us about a major turning point. “It was to work tirelessly for the most fundamental procurement of having a need based quality school, in order to galvanize and support the school going children. I made a decision to pursue my unfilled dream of having it fully, fully state of art educational school by the name of Doon International School, a franchisee name obtained from the main branch with the primary aim of felicitating and devising opportunities for the Kashmiri students.”
Khan opens up about the challenges and obstacles that he faced since inception and how running a school in a conflict torn region of J&K is like. “ Firstly, running a school in Srinagar itself is a challenge. Doon International School, Srinagar is widely known for its emphasis on providing our young children with a friendly, warm and homely environment. Classrooms are well-equipped with a pristine state of art infrastructure. The activity centre and play park designed by education experts provide areas for leisure and relaxation for the little ones outside their classrooms. The teaching is highly aided by technology through the use of tablets by children as well as teachers.”
Further Khan explains what sets Doon International apart from other schools in the valley. “Every child in our campus is an inevitable part of our ongoing mission and the progress of the primary and nursery students is tracked from a very tender age by grooming them in such a way that they are able to keep up with the challenges of the current cut throat competition. Teachers are well groomed and trained with all academic virtues, as well but soft skills, necessarily for childcare.”
Khan also mentioned the schooling system in the region, internet blockade and doing online classes on 2g speed. “As per the 2g network was concerned our teachers have left no stone unturned to work on our students even in the critical phases of pandemic. As a school it has set another benchmark by satisfying all the parents and the stakeholders in this prolonged phase of social crisis.
Moreover our students have brought laurels to the school worldwide in the International Taekwondo competition, Macau. The school has started in 2014 only but our students perform well in international competitions as well as in nationals. The school was sadly evicted with the impact of violence and strikes unusually for a couple of years. And this had its correlating effects on all our children.”
On a concluding note, the school director mentions how his school also encouraged sports infrastructure. “It makes my chest swell with pride to confirm that we have taken an important initiative by setting up MS Dhoni Cricket Coaching Academy in the school campus. This is the first venture meant for the cricket lovers,and will continue to provide a lifetime opportunity to the youths in the valley.”