Fr. Mathew Kunnel CMI
Nirmal Higher Secondary School, Jagdalpur
Profile :
A CMI Priest and an Educator dedicated 24 years in managing academic institutions.
Principal - Nirmal higher secondary school, Jagdalpur 2011 to till date
Principal - Vidya Jyothi Senior Secondary School, Jagdalpur 2005 -2011
Principal - St.Michael's Higher Secondary School, Kanker 2003 - 2005
Principal - Prakash Vidyalaya, Kirandul 1998 -2003
Vice Principal - St.Michael's Higher Secondary School, Kanker. 1993 -1998
Favourite Book :
Holy Bible
Tell us about your current school. What were particular challenges the school faced? How you handled those challenges in the role of a Principal?
Nirmal Higher Secondary School, which is the oldest English medium school in Chhattisgarh established on 1972. It is a CBSE school under the management of Catholic Diocese of Jagdalpur and has more than 4000 students studying this academic year.

Since many students are coming from tribal area, the most difficult problem was lack of motivation. The students were not aware of importance of education and not much concerned about the career. For inducing a positive impulse, we organize career orientation and motivation classes for both students and parents very often in each academic year and also allows teacher-parent interaction on every Saturdays 11.30 am to 1.00 pm. I spend time with individual students for friendly interactions and inspirational talks.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Considering the entire school as Nirmal family, I Like to work among them and work with them as a family member, not as a leader, and want to ensure everyone’s participation. As a Principal, it’s imperative to maintain a good Student-Teacher-Parent relationship.
What advice would you give to a new teacher on his or her first year and what qualities you seek in a new teacher?
Teaching is not merely a job, it's an indulgent and compassionate task that asks them to pour their heart out in front of their students. Every child is special, with unique combinations of abilities and needs. Teachers should treat children equally as their own children, and should mould them properly with love and affection.

Qualities I expect from a new teacher are love and affection towards the students, good subject knowledge, willingness to adapt new methodologies, passion, patience and perseverance
What advice would you give to a veteran teacher in need of improvement?
Teachers should be always willing to enhance their knowledge. The moment they stop considering themselves as students, they cease to be teachers. They need to keep on acquiring and updating knowledge and should adapt new teaching methodologies rather than typical teaching mode. It is pragmatic and useful to conduct training programmes to enhance and improve their teaching techniques.
Describe the roles you feel parents should play in the operation of the school?
The parents association in a school should works with the principal, staff and board of management to build effective co-operation and partnership between home and school. Understanding the concept that parents are the child’s first teachers, it is essential to establish a link between students, teachers and parents. It is very effective to conduct seminars for parents. To frame an efficient P.T.A, conduct frequent meetings.
What would be your ideal school environment, and how would you encourage that kind of culture?
An ideal school environment accepts the notion that it supposed to be like a family as our Nirmal family where every learner can learn, every child gets the belongingness and care.
Your view on current education standards and quality improvement mechanisms in India?
Our present education standards are adequate right now, but need more improvement in quality. Teachers should get more workshops to upgrade teaching methodologies. All promotion system should amend in order to recuperate student’s quality.
At the end of your career, what do you think your students would say about you as a leader?
The principal who always stood up for students. Not as a leader, but as a family member.