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Meet My Principal - The International School of Kuala Lumpur

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Jul 24, 2019, 01:11 AM

School Advisor had a sit down with ISKL's new head of school, Mr Rami Madani. This is ISKL's edition of Meet My Principal.  

Mr Madani's career encompassed a wide range of roles as both teacher and educational leader. Most recently, he had been the Director of Learning at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) and has now assumed leadership of ISKL as the new Head of School.

Before joining ISKL, he was Head of Secondary School at an IB World School in Mumbai, India and prior to that, he held international positions as Curriculum Coordinator, Dean, and IB teacher. Since 2004 he had both conducted and participated in school accreditations and verification visits for the International Baccalaureate Organization, Council of International Schools, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In addition, he has provided consultancy services for international schools and educational conferences in a range of areas related to education and leadership.

He is fortunate that his collective experience has led to a hands-on and in-depth understanding of the needs of 21st-century learners as well as the governance requirements of 21st-century learning institutions. he holds a BSc, Mathematical Sciences (Hons) and an MA, (Education)

What drew you into education in the first place?

My deep belief in the positive impact of education on people and the planet. Educated youth make wise choices and work hard to improve conditions for everyone. I believe in the power of education in shaping a better future for everyone.

What do you think your school needs from its principal?

The Head of School role is someone who honors the past, reflects on the present and leads into the future. Ultimately, the role of Head of School is to lead and inspire people - students, parents, faculty and staff, and to advance the mission and vision of the school to ensure that high-quality learning is taking place for every student.

What are the school’s strengths you will be building on?

In addition to the international orientation of our curriculum, ISKL incorporates programs that represent best practice for 21st-century learners. What makes ISKL stand out among peer schools around the world is our ability to provide a holistic education that meets the needs of all learners and produces confident students who explore and pursue their interests with passion, are self-directed, and successful in managing the complexities of our evolving world.  

What does education need to focus on in the future?

I believe that education needs to focus on the development of 21st-century skills and attitudes in an authentic and meaningful context. These skills and attitudes should be the foundation of learning designs rather than an add-on. At ISKL we have intentionally embedded the six School-Wide Learning Results (SLRs) into our curriculum in order to create a practical toolbox of essential life skills which will equip and prepare our students for their future: Think Creatively, Reason Critically, Communicate Effectively, Collaborate Constructively, Learn Enthusiastically, and Live Ethically. Regardless of a student’s university or career choice, these life skills are essential to long-term success and so developing and practising these skills from an early age gives our students a great advantage.

If we were sitting here a year from now conducting an interview for recent success, what would you hope or want that success to be?

ISKL has a long history of being a successful, safe, and sustainable learning institution and I am excited about building on this platform. In particular, I am looking forward to further exploring the future of learning and providing specific study pathways for students, continuing to refine our programs in the area of inclusion, and developing a more explicit focus on ISKL’s Sustainable Development Goals.

In relation to ISKL faculty and staff, we will continue to support our local staff with training and professional development, further strengthen our connection with the Malaysian culture and heritage, and refine our collaboration and knowledge sharing with Malaysian teachers in local public schools through our Dual Language Program with the Ministry of Education Malaysia.

How do you build a positive school culture? Give examples of how you do that here.

At ISKL the definition of positive school culture is one where everyone feels listened to, respected and supported.  A shared understanding that education is a partnership between school and family underpins all that we do, and collaboration is a critical component in developing a positive and supportive environment we enjoy at our school. Our culture is also based on the premise that everyone has the capacity to learn and students are both responsible for and accountable empowered to make their own choices about their learning journeys. This engenders a culture of possibility which encourages students to “Be All You Are” and our programs provide the opportunities, voice and choice students need to explore and maximize their learning and potential. This, in turn, supports the development of a growth mindset and fosters ISKL’s positive culture of possibility.

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