Vanita Uppal, principal (secondary), The British School, Delhi, was recently awarded the Order of the British Empire, a civilian honour for distinguished public service. At a ceremony at his residence, the British High Commissioner to India James Bevan presented the award to her on behalf of the British queen. Uppal is the only Indian woman currently working in India in the field of education to hold the honour.
"This award is a recognition of what the school stands for. Out of the 50 years of its existence, I have spent nearly 23 in the service of the institution," says Uppal. "If I were to map the various milestones of my journey, I would say the highlight was the introduction of the International Baccalaureate (IB) system in the school in 2005."
An international educator, she is working closely with schools in India on curriculum development for IGCSE and IB Diploma programmes. Currently, the school is hosting a training programme for teachers from Jammu and Kashmir, as part of a programme led by INTACH and funded by the Tata Trust. Focused on integrating art with the curriculum, the programme is meant to create master trainers who will train other teachers from the state.
According to Uppal, a holistic education is not about just grades or offers from Ivy League universities. "It is important for us to ensure that a child reaches where she aspired to," she adds.
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