Ms. Minal Gala joined B.D. Somani in 2011. Prior to joining B.D. Somani, she worked as an Early Years educator at Godrej Udayachal Preprimary School, a school that valued equity and provided best quality education to the children of the employees at Godrej and Boyce Company. Ms. Minal loves the idea of school and learning but abhors the idea of ‘being schooled’. Being a self-directed learner and eager to deepen her understanding of the education field, she chose to pursue her Masters in Elementary Education at the esteemed Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
Ms. Minal found her hero and mentor in Professor Emerita Dr Maxine Berntsen, TISS, Hyderabad, while doing her fieldwork at Phaltan, Maharashtra. During her fieldwork she got an opportunity to witness first-hand how a learning community – parents, teachers and the leadership team – prioritised and responded to the needs of students belonging to various strata of society by creating a respectful, safe, authentic learning environment that fostered their academic as well as social-emotional growth. The days she spent at Apni Shala and Kamla Nimbkar Bal Bhavan have had a lasting impact on her.
Ms. Minal believes school systems should prepare students for the unknown – a world beyond school, to find solutions to known and unknown problems, should be trust and relationship based, should focus on learning and learners’ empowerment, and evolve with changing times. Besides working for students, she is interested in teacher development as teachers are the backbone of the education system. Partnering with teacher-training colleges and providing future teachers an opportunity to see a different form of education and teaching-learning, she believes, may ignite a change, though small, in the Indian education landscape.
An ardent traveller who loves to explore the world, and every nook and corner of India, she does not miss an opportunity to visit different schools during her travels. She enjoys listening to thought leaders and educators who have adopted innovative practices.
Coming from a big Indian joint family, she enjoys dinner table conversations and debates on myriad topics with her family and meeting with her cousins and having a good laugh. A dedicated Iyengar Yoga practitioner, in her leisure time, she likes reading books and latest research in the field of education, working on her artistic literacy and culinary skills, and listening to music.