Dr C Ananda Vayaravel: Championing Quality Education

Dr C Ananda Vayaravel
Dr C Ananda Vayaravel

The principal plays a vital role in ensuring a school runs smoothly and provides high-quality education to its students. They oversee all higher-level operations and set performance goals for both students and instructors. Additionally, they must create a safe and nurturing learning environment that fosters academic and personal growth, ensuring that the school has the necessary resources and infrastructure to support student learning.

The principal’s responsibilities also include setting performance goals for students and teachers, ensuring they are measurable, achievable, and aligned with the school’s mission and values. Once goals are set, the principal monitors the process to ensure they are met, working closely with teachers and staff to identify areas of improvement and provide the necessary support.

Dr C Ananda Vayaravel is one such distinguished educationist and healthcare professional dedicated to serving the community through his work in education and healthcare. His passion for education and commitment to lifelong learning began early in life as an alumnus of Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School, known for its academic excellence and holistic approach to education.

Dr Vayaravel pursued higher education in medical laboratory technology and medical biochemistry from the prestigious Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), earning his doctoral degree in Medical Biochemistry from Puducherry Central University and an MBA in Hospital Administration from Tamil Nadu State University.

Despite his impressive academic achievements, Dr Vayaravel believes in the importance of lifelong learning and is pursuing a diploma in Anesthesia and a master’s degree in health professional education. He inspires generations of students and healthcare professionals to strive for excellence and make a positive impact in the world through his dedication to education and healthcare.

Devotion of Lifetime

Through his innovative teaching methods and tools, he has devoted the past 23 years of his professional career to educating students of Health Care (Medical, Dental, Nursing, Pharmacy) and other Allied Health Science disciplines. Alongside his primary role as an educator, he has also contributed to the field of research, particularly interdisciplinary research, with more than 40 publications to date. He has performed multiple roles, serving as an Editor, Editorial Board Member, and Peer Reviewer for a number of reputed national and international journals.

He has been serving as a Professor and The Principal of Sri Venkateshwaraa College of Paramedical Sciences, Ariyur, Puducherry, in a leadership role over the past five years.

Highlighting the Significance of Quality Education

Dr C Ananda Vayaravel firmly believes that investment in knowledge always multiplies infinitely. Providing education is akin to teaching someone to fish, a source of lifelong sustenance, rather than providing a one-time fish meal. He ventured into the field of education purely by accident but learned its significance in due course, which has helped shape his approach to the teaching-learning process.

Being an educator for over two decades has made him realize the enormity of a good teacher’s impact on society. His beloved Professor, Dr Sundaresan, Retd. Head, Department of Biochemistry, JIPMER, has been his role model who always taught him how to break down the core concepts of a complicated subject so as to make it comprehensive and interesting from the point of view of a student.

Creating a Healthier Society

Sri Venkateshwaraa College of Paramedical Sciences, a sister concern of Sri Venkateshwaraa Group of Institutions, was established in the year 2010 and currently offers BPT, MPT, MLT, MRIT, and diploma courses in Radiology, Cardiology & Dialysis. Several other courses like Cathlab Technology, OT & Anaesthesia Technology, Optometry, Accident and Emergency Care Technology, Perfusion Technology, Physician Assistant, Critical Care Technology, post-graduation in Medical Laboratory Technology, and Epidemiology are all in various stages of curriculum development and will be offered shortly.

Developing skilled Technologists and other allied healthcare professionals who are vital to “Creating a Healthier Society” is at the core of its vision. Its mission is to foster an inclusive and conducive environment by providing quality education, hands-on training, and professional guidance that would translate into the best learning experience for all students.

Rags to Riches

The institution caters to the needs of low-income and middle-income students who have secured mostly 50 per cent in their higher secondary examinations. So, it has adopted a student-centric teaching method, focusing on what the students need to learn through small group teachings and student seminar sessions.

It strongly encourages them to participate in academic events and competitions conducted in other institutions. A lot of emphases are placed on their hands-on training and acquisition of technical skills during the various laboratory postings that will help them develop into skilled technologists.

Personalized Learning

Dr C Ananda says that at the elementary and middle school level, inperson face-to-face teaching’ needs to be the primary mode of teaching, barring unusual circumstances like the recent pandemic, while the more mature students at the high school level could be taught infrequently using online and modern methods.

Virtual and in-person modes of teaching could be given equal importance for undergraduate students, while the online and modern ways of teaching could take centre stage for the more independent post-graduate level students. In-person sessions could still be held for these students as and when warranted. Heutagogy or selfdetermined learning needs to be encouraged among post-graduate students and beyond.

Resilience in Unprecedented Times

The recent pandemic has thrown normal life into chaos, and the education sector was not spared either. Students forced to stay home had ample free time, which went unutilized for self-improvement. At this critical juncture, Dr C Ananda Vayaravel was able to motivate and help more than 50 students (including students from other institutions as well) to author chapters on their subject of interest and get them published for which he was recognized and awarded a ‘Certificate of Empowerment’ by SCIENCE (ISBN 978-81-949421-9-1).

He persisted with similar efforts even after the worst of the pandemic had passed, this time compiling and publishing the works of the faculty and students of my group of institutions into two books: Recent Advances in Health Sciences (ISBN: 978-81- 955557-3-4) and Recent Advances in Health Sciences II (ISBN:978-93- 94766-29-7), for which he served as Editor-in-Chief.

He was able to revise and update the curriculum on par with the other premier institutes during the board of studies conducted in 2020.

Keeping the Ancient Culture Alive

“Annadanam Mahadanam, Vidyadhanam Sarva Dhanam Pradhanam.”

Sri Venkateshwaraa College hails from an ancient culture that places the teacher even above God. However, it needs to be emphasized that the education sector does not compensate handsomely. Therefore, youngsters entering this industry need to do so with a basic understanding of the self-sacrifice and compromise involved in this profession. Dr C Ananda is reminded of the famous dialogue between Lord Shiva and the poor poet Dharumi in the blockbuster Tamil movie ‘Thiruvilaiyadal,’ which states that poverty and intellect always coexist, and the notion of a wealthy intellectual is but an illusion.

He believes that the immense selfsatisfaction that one derives from helping guide the thought process of young minds, nudging them towards behaving responsibly as good citizens and watching all the hard work come to fruition when the students go on to revolutionize and mould this world into a better place is compensation enough for a civic-minded educator. Therefore, Dr C Ananda advises anyone entering the education sector to come in with enriching, extraordinary ideas and open arms without prejudices but tempered with reasonable expectations of personal gain. Empowering and educating the students, bringing out their individuality, and helping them attain their fullest potential, thereby transforming this great nation of ours for the better, remain at the heart of his and his institute’s long-term ambition.

In the Race with Time

Dr C Ananda emphasizes that technology has turned out to be a boon for several sectors, including education. The advent of technology has expanded access to education. It has leveraged the opportunity for communication and collaboration, thereby breaking the walls of the classrooms that were acting as barriers for a longer time. It also has brought a paradigm shift from sage on the stage to guide by the side where the students are encouraged to self-directed learning.

The emergence of Educational Technology (EdTech) has brought flexibility in modes and times of learning among students. The various Learning Management Systems (LMS) have given 24×7 availability and accessibility to learning materials. Also, EdTech has improved personalized learning, aiding teachers with automated grading, paperless classrooms, and data-driven insights.

He describes that virtual learning environments, video, augmented reality (AR), robots, and other technological tools can not only make lessons more interesting but also more inclusive learning environments that encourage collaboration and inquisitiveness, as well as give teachers the ability to collect information on student performance.