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Today’s women are flying high and dreaming big with their ambitions – be it the service, education, industrial or economic sectors, women are now striding confidently into these fields to mark their presence. While we see many successful women leaders in the education sector, there is a need to encourage and tap the potential of talented women. Vimala Chandersekhar finds her spot among such leaders – known for her explicit thrust towards imparting quality education, and her welcome willingness to transfer her wisdom to her students. Vimala Chandersekhar is the Academic Director at Ganges Valley School and has been in the school education sector since 1992. She has initiated and guided the creation of the school’s own teaching-learning resources from K to 3, as she wanted to focus on skill building and conceptual understanding.

Motivating The Young Minds

A seasoned and accomplished academician who has served schools of repute in Hyderabad in academic and administrative leadership positions for over two decades, Vimala Chandersekhar is greatly admired by her colleagues and loved by her students for her positive attitude that creates the ideal environment for experimentation and innovation. In keeping with the present day need for 21st century skills, she encourages children to be self learners and think out of the box. She mentors the staff and is closely involved with curriculum planning and its execution. Ms Vimala believes that interacting with students is something absolutely delightful. Enunciating in her own words, Ms. Vimala stated- “You just step into a classroom and it really rejuvenates you, and I believe there is more to be learnt from the students than for them to learn from us. They are so tech-savvy, aware of things around them and there is nothing that they can’t do.” Also she believes that her generation and a generation after that were less confident and probably not as exposed to the world as much as today’s generation.

As a classroom practitioner, Vimala Chandersekhar focuses on imparting conceptual rather than rote learning. She has been serving Ganges Valley as the Academic Director since 2013, and her experiences in classroom transaction, school administration and management have helped in guiding the school to become a progressive institution of today. A constant source of inspiration to all students at the school, she is a change maker and challenger who urges her students and colleagues to be risk takers in every aspect. Furthermore, she focuses on making learning more interactive so that children get enough freedom and space to learn and question fearlessly. As a key instructional leader at Ganges Valley School, she performs her role as an educator with passion and ensures that the learning designed at school must help her students develop a positive and adaptive attitude that will help them embrace any and all challenges in the future.

Making a Difference Through Leadership Skills
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the overall approach to learning and teaching. At Ganges Valley School, the pandemic was used as an opportunity to upgrade the skill sets of teachers and students alike. “It has been a bit of a challenge. Everybody abhors change. Fortunately for us, our staff, the parents, and the students adapted quickly to the rapidly changing circumstances. Either we learn to swim or we sink and suddenly technology, which was looked at with a bit of suspicion, played a major role in our lives,” shares Vimala Chandersekhar. In the first year of the pandemic, the school focused on teacher training, imparting the technical skills the teachers required. Eventually, following the orders of the government, the school shifted to the hybrid method of teaching. The curved ball thrown by the pandemic was handled adroitly by the very competent Principal of the school, ably assisted by the entire team and supported by the management . “I always looked askance at technology but I now realize it is an absolute essential. There was no running away from it, since it was the only option and suddenly, technology became a boon – an angel, in such unprecedented times,” stated Vimala Chandersekhar, on the importance of technology during the pandemic.

Sharing her thoughts about women empowerment during the celebrated month of International Women’s Day 2022, Ms Vimala summed up the whole conversation by stating – “In the final analysis, it is in the hands of women alone whether they want to change the society they live in. At the end of the day, not discounting the fathers’ role, the mother certainly plays a very crucial role in the upbringing of the child. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world is an adage that has held true for all times and ages and is no different now.” Lastly, she added – “Men have had a headstart over women in every field so naturally it will take some time to catch up with them but wherever women have made a foray, I think they have shot through the glass ceiling pretty quickly.”

Overall, proving her apt leadership skills and attitude, Vimala Chandersekhar encourages everyone at Ganges Valley School towards using innovative methods to motivate all individuals, with the aim of guiding students to gain fruitful experiences, which they will cherish for the rest of their lives. In keeping with the Ganges mission statement – To create a community where learning is a joy and a way of life – she gives her best shot to being a lifelong learner and looks forward to continuing doing what she enjoys, i.e, being amidst children and colleagues. She aspires to enhance the overall experience at school by nurturing better lives, one student at a time. Ms Vimala motivates all students to be themselves, be totally fearless, ask questions, take ownership of their learning, revel in their rich Indian heritage, be in tune with nature, be caring individuals and responsible members of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.”

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