IES Principal receives ‘CBSE Teachers’ Award’
Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, passion for excellence. This dictum is true about T Premkumar, one of the most successful CBSE principals in the Middle East. His immense contribution to the field of education has now earned him the most coveted ‘CBSE Teachers’ Award 2016’ instituted by the CBSE to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the great educators.
The Award Ceremony
The CBSE award ceremony was held on September 11, 2017 in Delhi in the presence of newly appointed CBSE Chairperson Anita Karwal IAS, Member Secretary NCTE Sanjay Awasthi, Director NCERT Dr Hrushikesh Senapaty, Secretary of CBSE Anurag Tripathi and several other distinguished dignitaries from the MHRD, representatives of NVS, KVS and Government schools. The only awardee from abroad.
The Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD), Government of India, Upendra Kushwaha felicitated the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) teachers for their contribution to the field of education. Thirty-Three teachers from across the country and abroad were conferred CBSE award for their innovations in classroom teaching for the year 2016-17. The selection of the awardees is based on the academic efficiency and improvement, interest, reputation in the community, perseverance, and commitment towards education, said a statement from CBSE. Premkumar stands tall among the awardees as he was the only awardee from abroad.
The minister congratulated all the awardees and said that their contribution in nation building and liberating generations is unparalleled. “The Board is pleased to present the annual CBSE teachers awards 2016-17 to reward those teachers who go beyond their call of duty to inspire students to greater heights, have accomplished milestones in their profession and contributed in uplifting the overall performance of their respective institutions,” said Anita Karwal Chairperson, CBSE.
Humility meets excellence
Premkumar is an educator par excellence. He has painstakingly yet passionately designed the career of his students for accomplishment. He chiseled them for success and endowed them with the seeds of greatness. He is indeed a prized blend of humility and excellence. A young Premkumar grew up in Tamil Nadu. He attended Kendriya Vidyalayas across the nation and graduated from KV Kalpakkam. He brought laurels to the institution by being the athletic champion of the school. The title ‘Athletic Champion’ followed him to the neighboring state Karnataka as well. “Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students”, said Premkumar. He attributes his love for science to his teachers in the Kendriya Vidyala who instilled scientific temper in him. He smilingly added. “Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.” The great teacher-trainer became eloquent when he reminisced about his student days. “My teachers had a profound impact on me. I made up my mind to follow their footprints despite my family’s wish.”, said the veteran educator basking in the glory of his notable achievement.
Premkumar began his career as a research assistant at the Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Centre, Chennai. His diligence enabled him to work on ‘the extraction of uranium in spent fuels’ at the Tarapur Nuclear Reactor, Mumbai, India. However, he forsook the well-paid government job to follow his heart and to become a teacher. He found little happiness in dealing with exanimate chemical elements and decided to pursue his dream. Without a pinch of regret, he resigned the lucrative job and embraced pedagogy wholeheartedly. The newly recruited middle school teacher rose to the rank of a senior PGT within no time and in due course of time, he was promoted to the position of the Head of the Faculty, Department of Chemistry following his ascension to the position of the vice principal of the higher secondary section of one of the largest coeducational school in the Gulf region - Indian School, Muscat. The enthusiasm for the progress of the school and utmost dedication were rewarded fittingly. Premkumar was unanimously chosen to lead the Indian School Al-Seeb in Muscat. It is indeed a matter of pride for this aweinspiring educator that he was the only homegrown administrator of ISM till date. His contribution to the field of private education in Muscat, Oman earned him a letter of commendation from Simmon’s College, Boston, USA. A matter of great pride indeed for the entire Indian diaspora in the Middle East!
He was entrusted with the responsibility of the then budding Al-Seeb School in Muscat by the management. He took charge of the school as the Principal and helped the school become one of the best schools in Oman today. His love for sports never ceased. On the other hand, his love for sports and games reached its pinnacle during his tenure in the Indian School, Muscat. He represented Indian Schools in Oman Cricket League and played in the Division level. He was also the founding member of Vigyan Bharati (Science India Forum) and remains as the educational advisor
Premkumar also served the CBSE Muscat Chapter as the Educational adviser. He was nominated as the convener of the Oman Chapter for two years consecutively. Another feather in his cap was when he was chosen by the Indian school board of governors as their trainer for the subject Chemistry for all the teachers of Chemistry in Muscat. “I pay tribute to the five principals in Oman with whom I worked. They taught me the various attributes to be a successful teacher and an efficient administrator,” said Premkumar.
A major milestone in the career of Premkumar was his decision to be a part of the renowned Bhavans group of Institutions in the Middle East. He joined Indian Educational School in 2010 as the principal of the flagship school owned by the Abu Dhabi based Bhavans Middle East which runs nearly a dozen premium schools across the Middle East. One of his early ventures in Kuwait was to establish Science India Forum (SIF) or Vigyan Bharati in the soil of Kuwait. Under his guidance, Bhavans Kuwait rose to the first position within a very short span of time. The formerly academic centered institution established itself as a center of multidimensional learning shortly. Bhavans Kuwait since then marched ahead towards perfection through the shimmering light of resounding success under his able leadership.
No stone was left unturned in his pursuit of perfection. Bhavans Kuwait found itself as the ‘Gulf Topper School, Center for CBSE Math Olympiad, and many more. He was appointed as the CBSE Counselor by the CBSE. He garnered many more accolades and memorable recognition to his credit. Bhavans Kuwait also won plaudits in the field of sports.
Clusters to Nationals have seen Bhavans flag fluttering higher and higher in the skies of sports and games. Bhavans nearly monopolized all the literary and language events in Kuwait. Balakalamela championship, Xpression Championship, St.Berchaman’s Extempore Speech Competition and what not? Bhavanites have even left their footprints in Slovenia where they have proved their might and mettle in the International Debate Contest. The educational visionary of our times - N K Ramachandran Menon (The Chairman, Bhavans Middle East, Abu Dhabi) is the guiding spirit behind Premkumar.
Premkumar gratefully acknowledges his invaluable guidance in transforming Bhavans Kuwait into a school with a vision and a mission for the global learners of the 21st century. “My award is dedicated to my chairman, N K Ramachandran Menon”, said a grateful Premkumar when asked whom he would dedicate his award to. He also added that he owed his success to his highly professional team at IES - pedagogues par excellence and the most talented students of Bhavans Kuwait apart from his dear family members.
“I always valued somebody calling me a teacher more than being called an principal or an administrator.” “My first love is teaching,” said the proud awardee. Achievements after achievements have made Premkumar only humble. He rules out the age-old authoritarian theory of management. He is always seen in and around the corridors motivating his team members and students alike. He believes that leadership not about glorious crowning acts but about keeping the team focused on a goal and motivating the teammates to give their best to achieve the goal.