Head of School
Nahar International School, Mumbai
Vandana Arora, Head of School at Nahar International School, has a professional background of over 23 years of experience, in the field of education. Her Educational Qualification is Bachelors in Geography and Economics, Bachelors in Education, Post Graduate Diploma in Computers and System management and Masters in economics.
She began her career teaching Humanities at the initial 10 years of experience in the CBSE curriculum. Subsequently, she served as the Head of High School at the Rudolf Steiner philosophy-based school, Tridha, in Mumbai. She has also served as Joint Secretary of the Executive Committee of Members of International Schools’ Association (MISA). At Nahar International School, where she currently serves as Principal she has played a founding role, working alongside the Board of trustees of the Sukhraj Nahar Charitable Trust. She leads the school on academic matters with a particular focus on students’ holistic development as well as faculty recruitment, marketing, external and strategic planning, and development of the School.
She has completed IGCSE, A levels, and IBDP training in the following areas: Economics, Global Perspectives, India Studies, Developing leadership with Cambridge, Leadership in National Assessment, Theory of Knowledge IBDP leadership Training.
Her vision for NIS has always been to create a progressive, learning-centric space. She is both a mentor to her academic team and a pedagogical leader, designing the school curriculum by combining the best of holistic alternative schooling systems as well as progressive educational curriculums around the world. Her credo accepts that ‘every child matters equally’, hence she strongly enforces principles of equality, equity, and fairness. In developing and implementing the curriculum, she expects her entire task force to commit to these principles. According to her, different interests, aspirations, histories and preferred ways of learning must be accounted for, however, every child should be given the best opportunities possible to achieve his or her full potential, which may mean compensatory curricular provision for those who are at an educational disadvantage. She motivates her staff, as well as provides training, to ensure that their knowledge is updated and their instruction is based on the latest research being conducted in education.
Ms. Arora is responsible for promoting the very progressive IGCSE subject – Global Perspectives, by providing and supporting teacher training for it, believing that the subject has the potential to equip students to be empathetic global citizens of the future. Her zeal for reflection and improvement led to Nahar International School becoming the first school in the country to undergo the Cambridge School Self-Evaluation Survey.
Under her leadership, the school has had the honor and good fortune to be awarded the ‘Great Place to Study Award’ in 2018, the ‘ISA Award’ for 2018-2021, by the British Council, the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award for Education Excellence’ by AIAF, the ‘Innovation in Teaching Methodology Award’ by the 11th DNA Innovative Education Leadership Awards. The school has been ranked 1st in India under Top International Schools, Parameter wise, for ‘Individual Attention to Students’ by Education Today, 16th for ‘Best International Curriculum’ by the Times School Survey of 2019, and regarded as the ‘Best International School of the Year’ by International Achievers’ Conference.
Magazines such as Education Today, 50 Effective Principal, IB Yearbook, CEO Insights, and Great Indian Schools have published articles featuring Ms. Arora’s learner-centric, socially responsible pedagogical attitude.
She believes that Education is the only tool for young minds who want to make a difference in the world, by being proactive citizens. She strongly believes in the need for students to give back to society and enjoys working in that direction by getting high school students to contribute time and effort to NGOs, hospitals, cleanliness drives, and awareness creation campaigns. Her perspectives on social participation and contribution inspire her students to be creators of a better tomorrow by beginning today, with social efforts such as the installation of the community fridge to help the hungry in the neighborhood, the inclusion of children with special needs in sporting events, the collection of funds to be donated during Diwali fairs, the distribution of food to daily wage earners during the Covid-19 crisis, and many other such efforts that ceaselessly make students cognizant of their potential to make a difference.
She served to bring a highly effective response to the closure of school during the pandemic-induced lockdown, implementing immediate measures to transfer the teaching-learning process online, including technological bandwidth and teacher preparedness. Her goal was to make the online learning process an engaging and enriching one, hence insisted on homogenous planning, to design creative activities and engaging content to take forward the learning of the locked-in academic year. She was confident of the new learning possibilities that the online platform provided and pushed forward her belief in the project-based model of learning, which had already been initiated effectively in the Primary grades, and established itself successfully in the Middle School grades during the online learning period. She played an active role from the physical premises, ensuring the administrative functioning of the school, and its constant state of readiness to open, in terms of sanitization and adherence to state protocols, keeping in mind the fluctuating opening dates conveyed by the government. Her students, teachers, and heads of department greatly appreciated her support in terms of her active role in ensuring everyone’s mental well-being through regular sessions with highly recognized mental health professionals and discussions with the school’s mental health team.