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Dakshayini Kanna
Dakshayini Kanna

Dakshayini Kanna

Head of School and Principal - Harvest International School

Harvest International School

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Dakshayini Kanna is a member of:

Initiative to develop a country
I feel that as educationalists, we need to believe in the cause and try to implement holistic education for all our kids at all levels. We are fortunate that parents and other members of the society believe in our logic and judgement. Professionals need to be passionate, committed and accountable for the society and do the best that they can in their area of development. This will definitely ensure that India develops fast and moves in the right direction.

Consistency and quality are the most important things that professionals should believe in and implement to lead India towards development. Honest work relevant to the existing society and conditions will yield excellent results.
Degree that I recommend
Though I have done my doctorate in biotechnology, MBA in education management, B.Ed., Cambridge teacher training, IB teacher and coordinator training, Montessori training and Counselling and guidance certifications, the best course that helped me to plan business is MPWE from IIM Bangalore. It made me realize the business angle of academic ventures.
My strongest skill
I feel that my strongest attributes are people skills. I am able to connect to them, understand their capabilities and delegate responsibilities judiciously. I am very positive and self-motivated and have developed the ability to lead the team efficiently. I have the ability to multi-task and prioritize my responsibilities and motivate my team and keep their morale high.
Couple of years from now
I definitely see myself contributing to the field of education in a big way in terms of teacher training, curriculum development and implementation, student and parent counselling. I also have a dream of starting my own NGO which would provide training for rural teachers and make the virtual teaching possible for rural high schools at least for Life-skills and English. My NGO will also address parents regarding their responsibilities and counsel them as to how they can support their children to get the best of education available.
Ensuring success
I ensure that I keep reading, learning and experimenting continuously. I keep updating my knowledge not in terms of degrees alone but by hands on learning and adopting the knowledge in working environment. When I took up a Montessori school project, I did my Montessori course to understand the philosophy of school that I was handling though I had a Master’s in education management and a Doctorate in biotechnology. When I took up my job as a director of business school, I did my MBA and MPWE to understand how I can make these institutions better. I ensure that I attend conferences, training programmes and lectures of eminent people and understand their view points and keep my mind open for ideas and knowledge.
Thoughts on Education system of our country
Education system is undergoing a tremendous change, better late than never! Our system has always been focussed on examinations and marks. Somewhere down the line, we lost focus on the student completely and brought down the quality and employability of our graduates to less than 10%!
Thanks to our exposure to international curriculum and teaching resources, the current system is trying to take the holistic approach. Sometimes I feel that education sometimes, dislocates many people from their natural talents. We are so used to the current model of education that we simply take it for granted forgetting that it caters not to meet the circumstances of this century, but to cope with the circumstances of previous centuries. Customization of and the approach of educational institutions as industries producing batches of products should change into an organic process which provides conditions and for each child to learn. Physical and emotional development, universal values, sensitivity .
Influenced by
My mother has been the most influential person in my life. She has taken a lot of trouble to bring up single handed after my father passed away. There was never a moment where I felt insecure or felt that my mother was giving up. She has been extremely positive, hard-working and dependable person I have ever come across.
Brief description about me
I am an educationalist with 28 years of experience in the field at various levels. I have worked as Director, Head of School, Principal and teacher and am very passionate about what I do. I am expert in start-ups and have an excellent knowledge about different boards across the globe and the best practices used in educational institutions across the world.
Trained by IIMB on Entrepreneurship and management, I have set up a number of educational institutions from International K-12 schools to Business schools. My expertise includes CBSE/CIE and IB curriculum, Affiliations and accreditations from AICTE / UGC, academic audit and feedback, curriculum development and teacher training, Student and parent counselling. I am an expert in start-ups and well versed with the requirements and statutory processes that are required. I have also worked with Ministry of Education - Maldives, Cambridge International Examinations - UK and IB and have done affiliations for all these boards
Qualities needed to become a successful leader
To be a successful leader, you need to have character, passion and empathy. Commitment, competence and communication are also very important to motivate the team and be a leader who walks the talk. Patience, listening skills, and positive approach are very important along with vision and decision making ability. One can be a successful leader only when he commands respect by leading the team from front. Vision, focus, strong strategizing skills and self-confidence add to the success of the leader.
My family background
I come from a middle class family of teachers. My maternal grandfather was a high school head master; father and mother both were teachers. Even my uncles and aunts worked as lecturers and teachers. Our family was very close knit and laid a lot of emphasis on values and emotional bonding. We were taught to be happy and satisfied in whatever was available. Both my father’s and mother’s families were joint families which was a boon for my development. We learnt adjustments, tolerance, fighting and making up, sensitivity towards others, understanding and handling other’s feelings and expectations, taking up our part of responsibilities etc., I relish that experience till date and I could give that environment to my kids. My father-in-law was an IAS officer and mom-in-law is a housewife. My husband is an ex-army officer and now has his own company, my daughter is a medical graduate and my son is doing his engineering.
My achievements
At the end of the day, I am proud that I have become a good leader whom my team doesn't fear but looks up to, I am proud that my students take me as a counsellor whom they can rely on even for non- academic decisions, I am proud of the organizations that I have set up which stand for ethics and values. I am also proud of the value systems that are a part of my family. More than anything, I feel that I have matured as a human being and have learnt to be happy and contented with life.
My role model
As I discussed earlier, my mother is my role model. I will never give up but try to do the best under the circumstances and will succeed for sure. I get inspired by her positivity and the idea of giving 100% to whatever one takes up. She always upheld values and ethics and believed that justice will automatically come when you are correct. Every situation that I face or the decision that I make, my mind automatically thinks of what my mother would have done in such a situation and my decision to some extent will be based on it.
Important lesson learned
1. Believe in your capabilities. Listen to everyone’s before deciding but do not get influenced by someone else idea. Take decision yourself. Your business is your brainchild and you know it better than anyone else.
2. Never lose cool and self-confidence. Have trust in your capabilities and never let failures haunt your future plans.
3. Never look for sympathy when you fail. Talk to people who help you plan your next step rather than showing sympathy.
4. Never have over expectations from people or situations. Take things as they come. Preparation and effort has to be 100% and rest is left to a lot of other factors.
Important decision
Many important decisions regarding the career, prioritizing needs of the family vs. professional growth, risk taking and starting enterprises are some important decisions that I have taken.
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