St. Mary's Catholic High School: Paving the Way for Tomorrow's Innovators

Suresh Kumar L ,  PrincipalEducation plays a pivotal role in shaping individuals' lives and providing them with opportunities to grow and succeed. In the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC)region, education has been a key focus for several years, with many schools offering a standardized and structured curriculum to prepare students for further education in India or abroad. St. Mary's Catholic High School in Fujairah, established in 2002, aims to provide a strong academic foundation in subjects like math, science, and languages while offering various co-curricular activities and sports programs to enhance student's overall personality and skills.

American philosopher John Dewey said, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow”. "Bearing this in mind we strive to prepare our students for the next generation of education, it is imperative that we equip them with the tools and resources necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Our vision for a dream school is one where students can learn from the comfort of their own homes, submit paperless assignments, and receive assessments on screen. Today, the growing importance of artificial intelligence in education cannot be ignored, and we must prepare our teachers to effectively use technology in the classroom. With the distribution of TABS, hands-on device (HOD), to all teachers, we aim to bring the world into the classroom through a simple device connected by Wi-Fi or HDMI”, says Suresh Kumar L, Principal, St. Mary’s Catholic High School.

Balancing Technology & Tradition
Suresh considers implementing a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy for students but wants to start with teachers first. The principal values the role of technology in education and believes that teachers should be prepared to use it to meet the needs of their students. However, the principal also accentuates that technology cannot replace

the important role of teachersin guiding and shaping students. Teachers must still be present to motivate and ensure that students are using technology appropriately. Suresh Kumar believes that the future of education involves combining technology with the guidance of teachers to create an effective and inspiring learning environment for students. St. Mary’s Catholic High School gives equal importance to academic and disciplinary education, resulting in the holistic formation of their students. “The success of our school lies in the dedicated efforts of our teachers and staff, which provide a motivating, guiding, and consoling presence to instill discipline in our students and promote values that go beyond the classroom”, says Suresh.

Every student has unique talents & abilities, & our goal is to create an inclusive & supportive environment where they can flourish

An Approach to Modern Education
Building a good relationship with parents is also crucial for a school's success. St. Mary's Catholic High School has various platforms available for parents to express their opinions and interact with teachers, such as email, a suggestion box, meet and greet sessions with parents, and an open house event. The school as a welcoming community invites parents wholeheartedly to hear and address their concerns. This approach has helped the school establish a good rapport with parents, and during the last inspection, the school received a good rating for its parent relationships.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a critical component of education in today’s world. To enhance the learning experience, St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Fujairah, embraces STREAM activity in all classrooms. The school has introduced tablets for all its teachers which will be more convenient to carry around and use, as compared to laptops. The school is prepared to embrace technology and stay ahead of the curve, as they recognize that students are often more tech-savvy.

Future Roadmap
St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Fujairah, aims with its motto ‘The End Crowns the Work', to provide a holistic education. The school plans to continue improving its curriculum, facilities, and teaching methods to adapt to the changing needs of the world and also intends to promote diversity and inclusivity in its student body and staff. The school also seeks to establish strong partnerships with organizations and institutions to enhance students' learning experiences. Finally, the school aims to foster a culture of innovation, creativity, and critical thinking among its students, encouraging them to become responsible global citizens who contribute positively to society.