The Big Five Talk Show

“Education is a passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today” - Malcolm X

7 th November, 2020 was like a beautiful starry night in the calendar of St. Teresa’s Institute of Education, albeit the session was held in the afternoon. This is because we were privileged to have experienced on one common forum, six shining shooting stars return back to the online portals of their prestigious Alma Mater.

The Second Year student-teachers and faculty of S.T.I.E participated in the much awaited Annual Intellectual feast- ‘The Big Five Talk Show’, where year on year, a panel of distinguished alumni holding reputed positions in schools affiliated to the 5 Boards of Education in India, is constituted to share their wealth of knowledge and expertise. This event is organised in a bid to help the budding teachers gain deeper and richer insights into the curricula, syllabi, evaluation patterns and highlights relating to these 5 Board types.

This year the session was organized as an online symposium which lasted for an enthralling 3½ hours and was given a global dimension with 2 panelists representing schools in the U.A.E. This Talk-Show was conceptualised and anchored by Assoc. Prof Dr. Giselle D’Souza who left no stone unturned to bring together a panel of eminent educationists from the different Boards of education, possessing the right blend of charisma and proficiency and more importantly all alumni of S.T.I.E.

Principal Dr. Sr. Tanuja Waghmare welcomed the alumni and expressed her gratitude to them for their noble gesture of sharing their resourcefulness as panelists on the virtual forum. Sr. Jenifer Almeida invoked the blessings of the Almighty and thereafter the session was declared open. This galaxy of stars comprised of dignitaries namely, Mrs. Jane Kotian (Principal of Bombay Scottish School, Powai), Mrs. Anns Stanley (Assistant Teacher at Divine Child Convent High School, Andheri), Mrs. Tracy Cardoz (Vice President, Curriculum, VIBGYOR group of schools) and Mrs. Sonia Cardoza (Head of Department, Social Science at the Delhi Private School, Ajman, U.A.E), Mrs. Kirtida Kale Swami (PYP Coordinator, Crossroads International School, Udaipur) and Mrs. Rachael Vaz (Assistant Head of Primary KS2, Al Salam Community School, Dubai, U.A.E.) representing the I.C.S.E., S.S.C., C.B.S.E. I.B., and I.G.C.S.E. respectively, who very willingly shed light and gave us a telescopic view of different features of their Boards covering practical aspects like curricular transactions, job prospects and qualifications required for recruitment.

Each panelist beautifully oriented and educated us about their Board type dwelling on the highlights about each of their schools. They also explained how they have adapted to the ongoing pandemic using a spectrum of online teaching strategies and shared openly about the existing struggles, challenges as well as the benefits of online teaching.

Through a rapid fire round of questions addressed to each panelist by Dr. Giselle D’souza, many burning issues pertaining to the 5 Boards in question were touched upon. Thereafter, the forum was opened for further deliberations and queries were put forth by the future teachers-the S.Y.B.Ed. students, making it an intellectually stimulating session. The enthusiasm and attention of the audience was laudable and evident through the number of questions that emerged for discussion as well as the heart-warming compliments expressed to the panelists in the chat box.

A special shout out to Ms. Teresa Chettiar, Ms. Amruta Pereira, Ms. Jonita D’britto, Ms. Janice Gonsalves, Ms. Rebecca Dias and Ms. Sheetal Gavand for co-hosting the event and introducing the speakers. A word of appreciation to Ms. Eshwari Satish who moderated the Q&A session confidently and tactfully and ended it on a phenomenal note with her vote of thanks.

All-in-all, the Big Five Talk Show will always hold special memories as it provided us with a panoramic view of the educational landscape with adequate scope for comparison of the salient highlights of the 5 main Board Types. As the session drew to a momentous close, many anxious hearts were put to ease and a new spark was ignited in each of our minds as the possibility of teaching at one of these schools surfaced on the horizon.

Each panelist shared that the real point of becoming a teacher isn’t to replenish one’s bank account but rather to fill our world with kind-hearted, value-driven and well-rounded human beings. They drove home the message that ‘Teaching is more about the outcome and less about the income’. It is only then that life’s true mission will be accomplished!