Seema Boppana: Preparing Students For Competitive Exams By Providing In Depth Knowledge Of Various Subjects | CEOInsights Vendor
 Seema Boppana: Preparing Students For Competitive Exams By Providing In Depth Knowledge Of Various Subjects

Seema Boppana: Preparing Students For Competitive Exams By Providing In Depth Knowledge Of Various Subjects

Seema Boppana,  Academic Director

Seema Boppana

Academic Director

The education sector in India is one of the most essential sectors massively contributing to building a responsible and civilized society. The Indian education sector is primarily responsible for building one of the largest democracies in the world with a high employment rate. However it largely follows the traditional Indian curriculum, which still has a long way to go to be able to compete with the modern curriculum followed across the world. In an era of digitalization, where the world is a global village and boundaries of location, people, and time cease to exist, many Indian schools have started coming up with newage curriculums that focus on the intellectual development of a child. Started in 1986, Sri Chaitanya School is one of the leading chains of educational institutions across India, offering a unique blend of world class contemporary curriculum that focuses on the intellectual physical, and personality development of its students. The educational institution has more than 460 branches spread across 12 states in India and has produced countless world-class doctors engineers, IAS officers, chartered accountants, and much more.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Ms. Seema Boppana, Academic Director of Sri Chaitanya Schools shares the underlying vision that drives Sri Chaitanya Schools, the future roadmaps planned for the educational institute, and much more:

Could you tell us about Sri Chaitanya Schools’ strides into the education sector? What is the vision it's driven by and the values it represents?
Starting in 1986, initially, there were only 11th and 12th grades in Sri Chaitanya. We added 6th to 10th grade in 2008 and then, KG to 5th grade two years later in 2010. Initially started with just five branches, we have gradually expanded and currently have around 460 branches in 12 states. Coming to the difference we have made in the education world, the first thing that comes to mind is affordability. We have always been focused on providing quality education at an affordable price to our students. We are present in all the big cities as well as very small towns. Our fee is at par with any local school and can be afforded even by lower-income families.

We cater not only to the state or CBSE board but also to the early NEET, JEE, and IIT foundations as well. We have noticed that post 10th grade, the jump in the syllabus is extreme for students joining 11th grade. These two years are usually extremely stressful for students as they start preparing for various competitive exams in parallel. So we have started preparing our students with the basics of these competitive exams from 6th grade itself. Hence those two years are spread over
seven years. Although it may seem like they are too young to go through this program, it's very relaxed the way it's designed. Therefore, many of our students can get into IITs and good medical schools which they may not have been able to other wise. Our vision is to maximize the number of our students in any given IIT or good medical school. While we already have a good number in those institutes, we would like to see the number grow consistently.

How do you ensure the management stays prepared to take care of students’ requirements?
We have a research and development team of around 300 people who, throughout the year, are completely focused on researching the upcoming changes from the government side or any new methodologies or systems we can adopt. The whole operation helps our students to understand, implement and focus. We also conduct extensive teacher training once in October and again in January every year. During those training sessions, our teachers get trained on the research done by the R&D team as well as how to approach and teach those new concepts to students.

At Sri Chaitanya Schools, we have always been focused on providing quality education at an affordable price to our students

Instead of instructing the teachers, the R&D team make them give demos and rectify their teaching process if needed to ensure that teachers are correctly approaching the concept.

We have bi-weekly objective exams based on the competitive exam model our students have picked. After each exam, we do an indepth analysis and make the students understand the errors they have made or the missing concepts. We then keep on giving repeated assignments based on the error analysis and also update the teachers regarding the same. That's how we keep our students updated to maximize our just success rate.

Tell us about the various facilities you offer to students to ensure their comfort and convenience.
People have this misconception about us that as we teach competitive exam level concepts, students get very stressed. However, we have all kinds of stress relief and extra curricular activities similar to other international schools, such as sports day, annual day, weekly sports schedules, weekly yoga, weekly library, social awareness programs, social responsibility programs, and so on. We are also in the process of signing up with one of the organizations that take care of animals and is a sub unit of PETA India. As part of CSR activities, we will be arranging camps in collaboration with that organization in all our branches, where students will be made aware of being kind and helpful towards local animals and understand the animal community as a whole. Along with visiting the NGO premises and understanding what’s being done, these students will also go to other schools and give seminars on what
they have learned. We take such initiatives every year to involve the students more in society and help them become more responsible citizens.

What is the holistic approach when it comes to building and maintaining culture?
We don’t discriminate against any religion and celebrate all festivals. For each of the public holidays, we also make sure we provide the background story to the students and make them involved through various activities, such as skits, role plays and story telling. Similar to most schools, we also celebrate various functions, such as grandparent’s day and parent’s day. However, what makes us different from other schools is that while students in other schools just showcase their performances on those days, we, on the other hand, call the grandparents or parents depending on the respective day and talk about the importance of respect and how culturally it should be. We also make our students facilitate or do something for their grandparents and parents on those days. We have received tremendous responses, especially in midsized and smaller towns,for these kinds of activities.

What is the future roadmap envisioned for Sri Chaitanya Schools?
Coming to our short term goal, Sri Chaitanya initially started its operations in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and has experienced gradual growth over the years. The school had branches in six states, such as Karnataka, TamilNadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana until last year and currently has branches in 12 states. While we have around 60 branches in Bengaluru itself when it comes to northern states, we have only around two to three branches. As part of our future roadmap, we want to expand further in those states. Our goal is to open around 50 to 75 new branches by next year and 200 new branches by the year following the next year.

As part of our long term goals, we have just started this initiative called Future Path ways. The new curriculum is going to be either CBSE or IGCSE and depends on whether we can get permission for IGCSE or not. We want to go the Cambridge way and also have introduced a different kind of curriculum and methodology in Future Pathways. We have named the methodology Mavericks curriculum and have already done pilot programs in Sri Chaitanya Techno schools, where the response has been tremendous.

Our students, as young as six to seven years old, were able to get World Records based on their sharp memory skills. We have done it in the past, and this year, we are targeting 3000 students memorizing tables from 1 to 100 and reciting in front of a judge, which, if done successfully, will be a new world record.We have already started four branches operating on the curriculum of the Future Pathways. On the other hand, we also have a digital platform and have plans to expand it in the next two to three years.

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