Mrs. Birla was in Qatar for the first time to inaugurate the conclave at the Basant Kumar Birla auditorium at the main campus of Birla Public School. Mrs. Neerja Birla, Founder & Chairperson of the Aditya Birla Education Trust, while addressing a gathering of over 100 educators from numerous schools in Doha, said: “I truly believe that teachers are a special tribe, blessed with the great power and responsibilities to not only shape the mind but also to ignite the spirit. Good teachers influence education of their students. Great teachers influence the future of generations to come.”
The conclave was a wholesome platform for all important stakeholders in education to discuss current technological and pedagogical trends in the education sector. Delivering the welcome address, Lukose Chacko, Chairman, Birla Public School, remarked that the Birla legacy of education is exemplified in the comprehensive and ingenious ventures of the Aditya Birla Education Academy.
R K Dalmia, President, Century Textiles and Industrial Limited, Mumbai; and Senior Governing Council Members of Birla Public School, P Kumaran, Ambassador of India to Qatar, also addressed the assembly, delineating new principles and ideologies in modern teaching. Gope Shahani, Vice-Chairman; Directors Dr. Mohan Thomas and C V Rappai and Maria Pakalomattom also graced the occasion during the event. Principals from different schools and colleges were the distinguished panelists of the discussion on ‘Technology and the teacher’.
The moderator, A P Sharma, Principal of Birla Public School, led the team of knowledgeable panelists. Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, Professor of Medicine (Centre for Global Health) and Senior Associate Dean for Population Health and Capacity Building, at Weill Cornell Medicine; Dr. Alexander S Acosta, Principal of Philippine School Doha; Manjari Recriwal, Principal of Pearl School, Doha; Dr. Subhash B Nair, Principal of Shantiniketan Indian School, Doha; and Ankur Gopal Miglani, Governor, The Board of Governors, Doha College, were the learned panelists who enlightened the educators present and concluded that teachers cannot be replaced by technology but they need to use technology to stimulate their students’ learning.
The final session of the evening’s program began with a presentation led by Ms. Surabhi Goel, CEO of the educational initiatives of the Aditya Birla Education Trust, showcasing the unique programs that ABEA conducts in tie up with University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education & the Belin Blank Center at the University of Iowa.
This session also witnessed a fascinating group discussion on, ‘Skill or concept, what is more important in a child’s educational journey’. This discussion was conducted by Mr. Prodipta Hore, Program Director, Aditya Birla Education Academy & Mr. A.P. Sharma, Principal, Birla Public School, Doha. The moderators and the audience of educators engaged in a robust debate between skills and concepts and revolutionised the thought process of the listeners by bringing forth new ideas in line with the needs of modern students.