Welcome to the Podar International School - Cambridge International.

I would like to share my thoughts with you about international education and its relevancein the context of rapid and disruptive change that we are seeingin today’s world.

International education implies two basic concepts - the concept of APPROPRIATENESS and the concept of CHANGE READINESS.

By definition, internationaleducation, involves such learning, which remains relevant, when one moves from one country to another.

Since various countries, have their own culture, their own way of looking at things and their unique perspective, what is appropriate in one country can well be inappropriate in another country. The children therefore need to recognise that right and wrong is to be assessed in the given context.

For example, a sharp knife is necessary for a chef to do his work. But the sharper the knife the more is its ability to cause an injury. Thus it is appropriate in the hands of a chef but completely inappropriate in the hands of a small child. Unlike an attitude which makes us categorise things into good and bad, an appropriateness approach makes us respectful towards even those who may significantly differ from our views. It makes us open to a whole lot of ideas which we may not agree to start with.

If we stand on one side of a hill, we can not say whether it is flat on the top or is pointed on the top. It is only when we move around the hill that we realise that the shape changes as we move and we discover that the same hill seems to be flat from one side and pointed from the other.

If we remain fixated on our own position, we can have a debate and fight over the shape of the hill.

The fact of the matter is that there are multiple ways of looking at things and situations. And they can all be right depending upon the context.

This ability to accept both possibilities as true, simultaneously, is the hallmark of International education.

It allows the students to develop their understanding and yet be open to new interpretations of what they learn.

Over a period of time, this brings about in the students, wisdom to keep both the answers in their mind and apply the one that is appropriate in a given context. This is what I mean by appropriateness.

Let’s now have a look at change readiness:
The world has always been changing.

But the rate of change has been accelerating. The degree of change that used to take 20 years in the early 1900s, took only 5 years around the turn of the century and the same now takes only 2 years or less.

But what is coming now is another level of change altogether – a disruptive change as in case of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI, much like human intelligence, can make sense of its environment and respond appropriately. In many cases, it can do so even if the environment has never been faced by it before. Thus, unlike programmed computers, machines based upon Artificial intelligence can learn new skills on their own. AI usage is growing so rapidly, that it is likely to change the entire concept of work and jobs.

In fact, students who are starting school education now are likely to start working in about 15 years from now. At this rate of change, it is not possible even to predict with any degree of confidence, what the world will be like at that time – and what will be the competencies and skills that will be needed from the workforce. Since knowledge in virtually every domain is evolving so rapidly, no education system can guarantee that what they teach at school will remain relevant over a period of time. There is no option therefore, but for the students to be life long learners.

For this learning has to be seen as a welcome activity and not a drudgery. There must be joy in the learning process that they go through. That is the only way that they will make learning into an integral part of their mindset and become life long learners.

Anjna Sahi
Principal, Podar International School - Cambridge International Nerul