“Dream, Believe and Achieve – Nothing is impossible”

Shashank Shekhar

One of the renowned Principals of the nation — Mr. A.S. Gangwar, Principal, DPS Bokaro, speaks from his heart

“Dream, Believe and Achieve – Nothing is impossible” 

I want to live and die like APJ Kalam, sums up his interview with the words of Swami Vivekanand – “Arise, Awake and stop not till the goal is reached.”

Bokaro. Standing tall and stepping into its 36th year of excellence, DPS Bokaro lauds the monumental contribution of Mr. A.S. Gangwar under whose dynamic and able leadership the school has remodeled the structure of imparting quality education, which has helped the school to adapt in post-Covid.

A multi-faceted person, Mr. Gangwar feels, that an educator’s role is not only confined within the four walls of the classroom but also to all aspects of life including sports, cultural and co-curricular arenas. In particular, he believes that it is a school that helps in setting high objectives for students which fosters in them essential values like a sense of belongingness, compassion, and empathy.

In the post-Covid period under the leadership of Mr. Gangwar, DPS Bokaro has taken a new approach towards teaching, learning, re-thinking, nurturing creativity, and building intellect, discovering hidden talents of all students in its new form, enabling it to create the ‘New Normal’.

Speaking his heart out, Mr. Gangwar says he always wanted to be a teacher. He does not hide his sentiments as he states that even in the next life, he would choose the same profession as, according to him, education is the beginning and end of life.

Mr. Gangwar firmly believes in the teachings of Bhagwad Gita ‘Karmanye vadhikaraste ma phaleshu kada chana…” which means, you have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action, so never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to the fruit instead of doing your duty.

An optimist, Mr. Gangwar feels failures are lessons and steps to excel in the future while success is a blessing to excel further.

Recollecting the words of the Italian poet Giovanni Ruffini, Mr. Gangwar said that he strongly believes that “A teacher is like a candle that lights others by consuming itself” and so he feels his team of talented, dedicated, and hardworking educators can shape students’ lives such that they grow up to be compassionate individuals with leadership qualities. “A teacher is the greatest asset for society; with an ethical approach and value addition, our teachers can yield marvelous results”, elaborated Mr. Gangwar.

In an exclusive interaction with Shashank Shekhar, the veteran journalist, after the Corona crisis which has changed lives, he gave insights into his life as an individual and what he thinks of the coming challenges, and how to win over the new problems.

Q—What contemporary problems are the learners and teachers facing due to Corona?

A—After the classes started post-Covid, the most talked-about issue is that the students are no more in the habit of writing and sitting for long durations. Further, we have observed that because of the lack of social interaction during Covid, the communication skills of students have deteriorated.

Moreover, the thinking and analytical skill of youngsters have taken a hit. Since the students were restricted to remain indoors for almost 2 years, they have been constantly using mobiles and i-pads, which has made it difficult for them to concentrate, and consequently, they are now restless in the classrooms.

That said, we are witnessing changes in the methods of imparting education, online and digital classrooms are becoming the norm. It is essential to understand though that they can act as a great supplement but not the primary mode of education.

 Q-What steps has the school taken to gear up for the upcoming educational challenges?

A-We have initiated practical and project-based education to inculcate analytical and experimental acumen in students which is the need of the hour.

We are further introducing skill-based learning. We propose to set up the Atal Tinkering Lab to groom future professionals who can adapt to the changing needs of the world.

In the Primary section, the “gamified method of teaching” is being introduced to make subjects more friendly for the young ones, keeping in mind the “Continuous Learning while Playing” philosophy.

Q-Corona was a new global challenge that made humankind suffer and so did education. Do you have any blueprint that will help the education sector stay afloat in such situations?

A-Yes, our school has made a blueprint to cope with the ‘New Normal’ if a situation surfaces again. Our teaching fraternity is taking regular training and we are conducting systematic workshops keeping in mind emergency situations.

Q-Education is going through a big change. Earlier students had restricted options in mind like engineering, medical, CA, bank jobs, UPSC, etc. But now there are many different opportunities. What is your take on this?

A-Yes, it is correct to state that the present job options are expanding. Although these options were present earlier, but now the students and parents have become more aware about them.

Students are now opting for different fields like becoming analysts, artificial intelligence, lawyers, journalists, economists, story writers, novelists, poets, etc. The more they explore, the more options they discover.

To give our students guidance, we are constantly inviting reputed professionals, guests, and experts from all spheres of life to guide and educate youngsters on new job avenues and other streams of income.

Q-Some personalities whom you idealise the most?

A- My first teacher i.e. my mother and our former president APJ Kalam Saheb are the two people closest to my heart. Besides the two, Amitabh Bachchan, M.S Dhoni, and badminton player Prakash Padukone inspire me the most.

Q- How do you identify yourself?

A- I am a man of values. I am easily approachable, although, I can be tough for the betterment of all, including the school and society.

Q- According to you, what is education?

A- As I said earlier, it is the backbone of humanity, the recipe for social upliftment and assurance of wellbeing. Education lays down the foundation of our society.

Q- What is your vision as the Principal of DPS Bokaro?

A- An educationist by heart, I envision my students excelling in their chosen fields and being leaders of tomorrow.

I feel proud to lead DPS, Bokaro. It is an institution synonymous with quality education, a place where children nurture their talents, imbibe values, and evolve into global leaders who leave their imprints on the sands of time. The congenial atmosphere helps to unleash the potential latent in every child.

Q- The best lesson you learned during your school days?

A-This incident took place at my school in Farukhabad (UP). Though I had an aptitude for science, one of my science teachers advised me to opt for Arts instead. I chose to disagree. I was determined to prove my mettle in science. I never regretted it, as in higher studies, I received first class in BSc and MSc in Chemistry and went on to become a teacher. This is the most cherished profession as most of my family members including my own sister, cousins, uncle and now even my wife are teachers.

Q- Other than teaching, what profession would you have taken up?

A- As patience is my forte, I would have worked in the field of Marketing Management.

Q- Apart from running the school, do you have other plans?

A- No, I believe in doing one job at a time. This enables me to be hundred percent focused on the task at hand.

Q-Profession, money, and family — which one do you place first?

A- Family first. I advise my team as well – to spend quality time with their family members and inculcate values among their own children.

Q-What is your hobby? A game you love.

A- I love reading books. On weekends you will always find me reading a book while sipping hot cup of coffee. I have read all books written by Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Shakespeare, Premchand, and Charles Dickens. I try to keep track of the new books published by famous authors. I also enjoy reading poetry.

Besides reading, I love listening to soft music and ghazals. Jagjit Singh and Mukesh are my favourites. I have recently picked up gardening and it helps me unwind.

In my earlier years, I used to play badminton regularly.

Q- One wish you desire.

A- I try to be my best version every day. I want to live like Dr Kalam and leave this mortal form just like him — by leaving an image that always inspires.