Don’t think that I am going to speak about a principal who sweeps the ground. I wish to introduce Fr Sabu the principal of Bosco B.Ed. College Dimapur who is fond of sweeping not ground but ranks. This year he brought the college to its heights with a magnificent result that comprised of all the top ten ranks. Lets us listen to him for a while.
What was your first reaction when you heard about the ranks? Was it expected?
I was sure of getting at least 6 ranks. Even though all the 11 students who received the ranks have been outstanding in their studies receiving all the top 10 ranks was something that came as a surprise.
Is it the first time that our college achieving a result of this sort?
Our college has a history of ranks. Once we had a similar result where we swept all the top ten ranks. However, at that time there were only three B.Ed. colleges under Nagaland University. Now we have 8 colleges out of which 6 had offered the last one year course. So we are faced with more competition when we speak in terms of achieving ranks.
As a principal do you feel that you have a unique role to be played in motivating the students to achieve ranks?
Definitely yes! My experience as a principal has given me the conviction that the principal of an institution plays a vital role in identifying the best students and guiding them with regular motivational tips. I examine their results starting from their higher secondary up to post graduation- if they have done- and make a list of the potential candidates who can bring ranks. The internal exams conducted in the college also are effective tools for identifying the bright ones.
What are some of the things that you do to motivate your students?
First of all I tell them that getting a rank is not difficult. As I was able to get ranks both for my B.Ed. and M.Ed. (4th from NU and 2nd from Dibrugarh University) I always had a craze for ranks that could be achieved by my students. They were encouraged to take things seriously. We need to convince them that they can achieve it.I used to tell them that skill in study and skill in writing an examination are two different things. Both are equally important, I would even say that skill in writing, in a way, is more important when it comes to scoring high. The examiners are not aware of the IQ of the students. They just give the marks according to what they see written in the answer sheets.
How do you equip them with skill in writing the examinations?
Every year I write all the answers of a question paper as it is supposed to be presented and make photocopies of the same and give to the students and explain to them how examinations are to be written. One of the main problems that many students face is lack of time to complete the answers. So division of time is of great importance. I tell them that they need to write five answers in three hours. So they have 35 minutes each for a question. Even if they are able to write more they need to write the concluding paragraph by 30th minutes and move to the next question. Some make a mistake to writing 10 or more pages for the first two or three questions and only two or three pages for the last questions and complain that they did not have enough time. Such mistakes should be avoided. A student should be aware how many pages he or she is able to write in neat handwriting within 35 minutes and follow that limit strictly.
What do you have to say about the role played by the other teaching staff of the college?
I am glad to say that the college has an efficient and dedicated set of teaching staff who are fully qualified. They follow up the students also make sure that the classes are taken well. Without their support and co-operation such an achievement would have been impossible.
What do you have to say about the educational environment of this institution?
For education, in the true sense of the term, happens only when students feel happy about coming to the college. So I do my best to create a joyful environment in the college campus. They should have a tension free life in the college. They feel free to come into my office and strike a casual conversation. I take effective steps to make sure that they are not scared to interact with the management and staff of the college in anyway.
You spoke about identifying the bright students what about the students who are weak?
As there is a required percentage for getting admitted for B.Ed. under Nagaland University we usually don’t get students who are very weak. However, sometimes we find students who score very low. In such cases I go through the results of their previous years and help them to believe that they can do well. I spend time listening to them and accompany them in their journey as a student of our institution.