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‘Be it research work or community-outreach initiatives, Apeejay School International encourages individuality of thought’  

Prisha Jain, an IB Diploma Programme student talks about her research project on psychology, menstrual hygiene awareness initiative, love for art and more

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Daughter of Dr Priyanka Jain, Associate Director at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Mr. Rajat Jain, a commandant in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Prisha Jain will soon be completing her schooling from Apeejay School, International (ASI) – South Delhi. The Diploma Programme–II student, who opted for Visual Arts, Psychology and English as standard-level subjects and Computer Science, French and Mathematics as higher-level subjects, aspires to conduct research in the field of psychology. Looking back at the two crucial years she spent with the school, Prisha says, “The IB curriculum has allowed me to engage with subjects in a critical and research-oriented manner.” In an interview, she shares her experience with the school and more. Edited excerpts: 

How has your experience been at Apeejay?

We recently started with our offline classes and my experience has been very fulfilling so far. Since the time I am back in school, I have been able to engage in a lot of co-curricular activities and thought-provoking discussions.  It’s also easy to seek guidance from my teachers in person. 

Are there any learning techniques which are unique to ASI?

Yes, we have a very open culture at the school. This is something I haven’t experienced in my previous school. We are free to discuss and speak our minds and I think it’s a very good way to make students learn new perspectives. In the classes, our opinions are taken into consideration and we are seen as young, thinking minds. Our teachers encourage our individuality of thought.

Do you think the IB curriculum at school helped?

Yes. Till class 10, I was in a different school studying a different Board. I started the IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma Programme–I from class 11 in 2020. Before making this switch, I had heard about the IB curriculum from some ex-students. I thought it was an exciting and unique way of learning. IB is a research-based curriculum and since that is my area of interest, I joined Apeejay School, International – South Delhi when my father was transferred to Delhi from Pune. If I talk about my growth, I now engage with my subjects in a more detailed and critical manner.

After the completion of your schooling, are you looking at studying abroad?

Earlier, I was planning to go to the United Kingdom to pursue an under-graduate degree. But since the Covid-19 health, I changed my mind and would like to continue my study in India. Later, I might look at some courses in the UK or Canada at the Master’s level. At school, we have been given ample opportunities to attend webinars hosted by universities from different countries to resolve our queries and doubts regarding the courses offered outside India. We have had sessions from the best of Indian universities as well.

What would be your career aspiration?

I would like to do research in the field of psychology. At the school-level, I have been fortunate to learn more about schizophrenia and its treatment approaches in India. Therefore, I would like to pursue a degree in the subject. I also try to capture and pair my knowledge of psychology with my art.

How do you combine Art with Psychology?

I like to represent different ‘states of mind’ through my work. My art may not conventionally be ‘eye-pleasing’ because I want to portray the experiences of people who have suffered mental disorders. I am influenced by Dadaism, the anti-art movement of the 19th century which intended to draw attention and contemplation to the importance of art in society.  

Community-outreach is an essential part of the IB curriculum. So, have you been part of any social initiatives?

Yes, I have worked with non-governmental organisations such as CRY (Child Rights and You) and Rahi. In one of the advocacy initiatives, we raised awareness about menstrual hygiene in the rural areas around Delhi. Through this, we raised funds for rural women to have easy access to sanitary products. When I visited them, my key takeaway was how social conditioning has led these women to believe that menstruation is a taboo. I interacted with these women there and understood their line of thought. However, I advised them not to link menstruation to the notion of ‘shame’. It’s a natural and biological process which must be handled with special care and proper sanitation. 

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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