Opportunities, Change and Challenges

Posted by on Aug 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Nelson Mandella once said that ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change
the world’. As Global Pathways Matriculation School launches into the 2017 – 2018 academic year I am
more convinced than ever that he was right. In June the school opened with 370 students in seventeen
home room classes ranging from Lower Kindergarten to grade 10. Each and every one of our students is
on a journey of change. Some of our students are the first members of their family to attend school.
Others are the first to make it to high school. All are embarking on new experiences, new knowledge,
new responsibilities, and new challenges.
According to data from UNESCO, six million children and young people in India do not attend school of
any kind. Forty seven million will drop out before they complete grade 10. Millions more attend poorly
equipped schools without access to basic learning materials. The students at Global Pathways have the
opportunity to attend a well equipped, clean, and safe school. Change here has been occurring since our
inception, but the pace of change this school year has been rapid and dramatic.
Our forty new lower kindergarten children started the school year with the normal mixture of
trepidation and wide eyed wonder. It only took a few days before they had embraced the new routines
of school and started enjoying the wonderful opportunities a new school offers. Stories, playground and
sandbox, books, puzzles, songs, rhymes, and fun have become a new part of their lives. Children in the
Junior School have spread out into brand new classrooms on the recently completed second level.
Additional space has allowed the school to create two sections of every class up to grade three. The
grade five class will be working toward a culminating exhibition at the end of the year. The grade six
class has become a creative hub that will bridge the gap between Primary and Junior learning methods
and the rigors of Upper School and state exams.
The library has moved into its permanent location and now has over 2500 books catalogued and
shelved. The younger children come for story times twice a week and older students are regularly
coming in to sign out books and do research. It’s already become very much, the heart of our school.
We’re very excited to have a brand new Workshop Lab this year. Here, students will learn by doing.
Designing, building, and creating everything from model bridges to mango jam, the Workshop Lab will
be another creative hub for project based learning. Along with our three new science laboratories,
Global Pathways is offering the very best in education that will allow our students to develop to their
fullest potential.
A large part of their development is the acquisition of social and emotional skills such as perseverance,
self control, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking which are encouraged through inquiry
and concept based learning. These twenty first century competencies will allow our students to have
more fulfilling lives and be able to succeed in India’s rapidly growing economy. They will be capable of
adapting to change and coping with uncertainty in an increasingly ambiguous world. They will develop
character traits such as courage, resilience, creativity, mindfulness, and leadership.
Global Pathways is providing so many high quality opportunities for our students that it is sometimes
easy to overlook the enormous challenges that lie ahead for them. This year our grade ten class will

write their state exams. These are high stakes exams that are frankly, poor assessments of learning.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose the exams our students will write. It is widely known that the
Indian state exams are flawed. Instead of encouraging students to demonstrate higher order thinking,
they are graded using an answer key. If key words are not used in a student’s answer, it will be marked
incorrect. These exams not only restrict critical thinking, analysis, and creativity, they confine even the
vocabulary that can be used to those used in the state mandated text books.
So, the challenge this year is how to prepare our grade ten students for success on these exams. They
have accomplished so much already but the journey is far from over. I’m really pleased that those
twenty first century competencies have already risen to the surface .The students and faculty are
committed to working extra Saturdays, and for three days during the Quarterly Holiday. We’ve found
question banks of past exams. Everyone is persevering and committed. I’m confident our first
graduating class will be just fine next March and April!
In the meantime, there is much more to school than exams. We’re off to a great start in 2017 -18 and
delivering a wonderful educational experience that is transforming our school community. To our
supporters and friends, thank you for making this all possible!
Jim Brickell, August 2107

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