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36th CBSE Principals’ Conference At Hilton Hotel, Colombo Sri Lanka

Feb 10, 2024 ICSK Senior

The Kuwait Chapter hosted the 36th CBSE Principals’ Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 7th February to 10th February, 2024. The conference themed ‘Visionary Leaders in Times of Change’ was the first ever CBSE Gulf Sahodaya Principals’ conference to be held outside India and the Middle East. The CBSE Gulf Sahodaya, established in 1986, comprises 200 principals from six Middle Eastern countries—Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates—making it one of the largest academic leadership bodies in the region, dedicated to maintaining high standards in academics, sports and co-curricular activities. The Annual Conference serves as a platform for stakeholders to convene, participate in various events, and benefit from the expertise of seasoned educators within the Sahodaya.


The Kuwait Chapter of CBSE Gulf Sahodaya warmly welcomed distinguished guests, esteemed speakers and Principals from prestigious CBSE Schools in the Middle East to the inaugural ceremony on 7th February, 2024. The ceremony witnessed a SEA of great minds and the excitement was palpable. The occasion was graced by the dignified presence of the Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, esteemed Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Dr. Satyanjal Pandey, Deputy High Commissioner of India to Kuwait was the Special Guest.


Amidst ceremonial drumbeats, trumpets, and cymbals, accompanied by traditional dance, the attendees were escorted to the auditorium. Adorned with vibrant lights, the auditorium exuded an atmosphere of joy and serenity. The conference was formally inaugurated by lighting the lamp of knowledge by Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena and Dr. Satyanjal Pandey, symbolizing intellectual and spiritual energy. The gathering paid tribute to the nations of Sri Lanka and India by honouring the National Anthems. 

The young pillars from the reputed schools of Sri Lanka presented a soulful rendition of prayer invoking the blessings of Almighty. They mesmerized the audience with an enthralling classical dance, a replication of Sri Lanka’s rich culture. Highlighting the pivotal role played by the visionary leaders in shaping educational landscapes, Dr. V. Binumon, Secretary of Gulf Sahodaya presented an august welcome to the gathering. Mr. Palaniswamy, Chairman of CBSE Gulf Sahodaya, in his Presidential address appreciated the educators for inspiring generations and encouraged them to continue serving the society by spreading the light of knowledge. 

Mr. Ravi Ayanoli, Chapter Convenor, Kuwait gave a formal introduction of the esteemed Chief Guest, Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena. In his address, the Chief Guest acknowledged the significant role educators play in shaping society. He also highlighted the strong bond between Sri Lanka and India, sharing a personal connection by mentioning his parents' involvement in India's independence movement and their imprisonment in Mumbai. Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena commended the collaborative efforts of CBSE Gulf Sahodaya in education and officially launched the CBSE Gulf Sahodaya Mobile App. The Sri Lankan cultural extravaganza presented by the young talented buds of Sri Lanka was a treat to the eyes of the spectators. Vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Prashant Vasudevan, Treasurer CBSE Gulf Sahodaya drew curtains to the inaugural ceremony of the Principals Conference.

With the motto ‘Learn Together and Grow Together’, the 36th CBSE Principals’ Conference aimed to update visionary leaders on modern trends in the field of education. The conference provided a forum for Principals to network, exchange ideas, and refine their skills. Discussions encompassed recent innovations, achievements, trends, practical issues, and challenges, fostering growth and solidarity.


Multiple speakers, trainers and mentors shared a common platform to connect, educate and inspire the visionary leader adding glory to the 36th Principals’ Conference of CBSE Gulf Sahodaya. The engaging four-day event comprised sessions on strategic vision and system improvement. 


Mr. George Karunackal, a certified Law of Attraction Trainer, inspired attendees with his session on the 'Role of Principals in Schools as Leaders.' Through captivating videos, first-generation entrepreneur Mr. Sultan Ahmed, an award-winning filmmaker and fearless explorer, discussed the 'Importance of Drama in Education.' Renowned psychologist Prof. Anto Michael, Director of Self Improvement Hub, conducted a 3-day training session on 'Ho'oponopono - A Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness,' honoring participants with certificates.

Dr. G. Balasubramanian, Chief Mentor (Academics) for Global Indian International Schools in Asia, and former Director Academics (1997-2006) for the Central Board of Secondary Education, ignited leaders' spirits on the theme 'Visionary leadership required in the present scenario in the context of the New Education Policy.' Prof. Dr. Debashish Chatterjee, Director of the Indian Institute of Management, Calicut discussed the 'Role to be played by Principals for the mental development of children and the Importance of empowering teachers.' Prof. Anil Srinivasan, a music educator with a strong background in cognitive neuroscience, encouraged leaders to connect with music while exploring the theme 'How Proper Education can be Extended through Music.'


Mr. Sanjib Das, Regional Director, CBSE updated Principals on forthcoming projects and plans, highlighting the Safal project for structured assessment of learning from grade 5 to 8. He informed that that assessment for Middle Eastern Countries would take place in September. Mr. J K Yadav, Director (CTET), shared expertise on 'New Policies of CBSE' and the care and plan required for implementing the New Education Policy. A special session by Dr. Unnikrishnan Balakrishnan, a Certified LIFE Coach and Master Spirit Life Coach affiliated with the Certified Coaches Alliance, Canada, inspired attendees on the theme 'The enlightened Principal – A journey to Self-transformation.'


Along with knowledge enhancement and skill development sessions, special programmes of entertainment were organized to amuse and rejuvenate the gathering. An entertainment segment by Indian Mentalist, Magician and Youtuber Master Anandhu captivated the audience. The event also featured comedy show by Indian actor and comedian, Ali Asgar and musical extravaganza by Stephen Devassy.


The Valedictory Ceremony on 10th February, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. marked the conclusion of the conference. The ceremony included the national anthems of Sri Lanka and India and prayer song by the students of Sri Lanka. Hon. Suren Raghavan, State Minister of Higher Education of Sri Lanka, the Chief Guest for the Valedictory function of the conference commended the educators for their contributions and guided them towards positive societal change through educating the young minds.  Principals from the esteemed CBSE schools in the Middle East were presented with memento for their active participation in the conference.



The award ceremony honored the Gulf Toppers, Chapter Toppers, National and Sports Achievers. The young pillars from the Kuwait Chapter were awarded for their exemplary achievement in academics   among the Gulf Toppers comprising six Middle Eastern Countries. Abida Rafiq Chikte of The Indian Community School, Kuwait and Fida Ancy of Indian Educational School, Kuwait bagged the third position by scoring 497 marks out of 500 in class X CBSE board examination. From the Science stream Class XII, Taha Rafiq Chikte from the Indian Community School, Kuwait was awarded the third position with 495 marks out of 500.  From the Commerce stream, Sakina from The Indian Community School, 

Kuwait was awarded the second position with 489 marks out of 500. Irene Mary Kuruvilla, from the Humanities stream of The Indian Community School, Kuwait bagged the first position with 494 marks out of 500. 


The 36th CBSE Gulf Sahodaya Principals Conference was a remarkable success, providing Middle Eastern educational leaders with a platform to Connect, Learn, Grow, and Inspire.


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