LAHORE: Faizan Hussain - Shagufta Khan, the Principal of Cathedral School Gulshan-e-Ravi Branch, has a vast experience in the field of education. She is a dedicated lady who has spent 32 years of her life in teaching. She has done master’s in English and Urdu. Before taking charge as principal, she served as teacher, head of department, examination controller, head of secondary department, dean of study and vice principal. She joined the Cathedral School in 1999 as a teacher. Under her leadership, the school produced excellent results.

In an exclusive interview with TheNation, Shagufta Khan shares many experiences of her professional life and how she is managing the affairs to get 100 per cent result. Talking about her passion for teaching, she said that though she was on a management seat and had a lot of responsibilities, she still spared time for teaching.

“Being a principal, it becomes difficult to get time for teaching but my passion for teaching forces me to spare some time for it. Mostly, I teach the senior most class of our school. I also give final touches to their exam preparation and give some useful tips as to how students can secure good marks,” she said.

About any distinction the school had won under her leadership, Shagufta laid stress on teamwork to achieve the excellent result which the school is producing. “We are producing 100 per cent result of 9th and 10th classes every year and in this regard, we have also won Champion School Flag last year. It is another distinction we have got among the 25 schools in the competition.”

About homework during summer vacations, she said it bore fruit. “It is a debateable topic. Some speak for it, while others against it. But homework for summer holidays is a useful activity. It keeps the students in touch with what they have studied. But teachers should not burden students because unnecessary workload spoils the real purpose,” she maintained.

Shagufta said there was no concept of homework during holidays abroad. “Schools do not assign homework. In some countries, students even do not carry their books with them at home. They leave their books at school. But in Pakistan, the situation is different. We have to give some homework to engage students during summer vacations.

Secondly, if a school does not give homework it is regarded as negative by some parents who believe there is no teaching in that particular school. So giving homework is also to some extent for the satisfaction of parents,” she added.

Answering a query, she said the school administration briefed parents about the new methods of teaching in parent-teacher meetings. “Yes on parent-teacher meeting day, we brief them on the new trends and developments in the field of education. For example, we have launched tech phonetic at the second and third levels. We briefed parents about the tool and told them as to how teaching methods of phonetics have changed. We have an excellent trainer who is playing the pivotal role in this regard.”

About the teacher training component, she said there is proper system for training and refresher courses. Teachers are trained on new teaching techniques and modern methods. Sharing her managerial experience and vision, Shagufta said: “I watch out in-house exams to judge the quality of education and the performance of teachers.” She said the school promoted the artistic talent of its students and rewarded them on this basis.