Dr Dinesh Sabnis: Changing the World with the Transformational Power of Educational Diplomacy

Dr Dinesh Sabnis
Dr Dinesh Sabnis

The future reflects your life choices deeply inspired by the real person within you. As the Ex. Ranji Player, Senior Educationist, Sports Mentor, and Educational Diplomat- Dr Dinesh Sabnis’s life echoes his choices inspired by his innate love and passion for education & diplomacy. He philosophizes it in Nelson Mandela’s beautiful quote, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Education has always been an evolving field with various concepts of the learning process; however, it is also believed that education has been an important and vibrant field for many generations, not only in India but at the global level. Good education inspires individuals and builds self-esteem and overall quality of life. From childhood, Dr Sabnis was always passionate towards teaching and learning concepts and doing something for the society. His mom was in the education field, and she was his first inspiration, which made him choose this field as he strongly believed that education was a vital tool in building a good and developed society.

He began his career as an Indian Customs official and was a passionate Sports person. In his early teens, Dr Sabnis represented Ranji Trophy (National Level) for Mumbai Team under the leadership of Senior players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sanjay Manjrekar and Coach Balwinder Singh Sandhu. During his playing period, he also gave equal importance to learning and completing his studies.

The Power Play

Later as his playing career was on the verge of retirement, he opted for Bachelor’s in Physiotherapy and later completed a Master’s and Doctorate in Physical Education. He didn’t stop there but he also completed Executive Masters in International Studies & Diplomacy. His learning journey was always amazing, and as he completed his doctorate, it was his giving back time of knowledge and experience in education and diplomacy to the society.

After working for almost 15 years in Indian Customs Department (Ministry of Finance-Government of India), Dr Sabnis shifted his career from government official to education. He began teaching Physical Education as a subject in IB, IGCSE and ICSE schools in Mumbai. In the past 18 years, he achieved promotions from teacher to the Head of the Department to the Sports Director and has now served for the last seven years as Asst General ManagerSports and Activities in Ashoka Group of Schools, Nashik, India.

Dr.Sabnis worked in the core subject of Sports Science and Physical Education for almost 18 years, mostly teaching and delivering lectures in IB, IGCSE and ICSE Board patterns of studies through various schools. He also simultaneously continued working for various International NGOs & IGOs on projects related to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) such as Quality Education, Peace Mediations, Diplomacy & International Relations. This exploration of various fields in Co-curricular Activities and UN SDG projects gave him experience beyond boundaries and an opportunity to mature his educational concepts and international relations other than Sports & health as a core topic.

The Turnaround

During his educational career, Dr Sabnis realized that professional development requirements are not only in the core subject but also topics that are co-related to the teaching subjects such as Leadership, Communication, Time Management, Creative Thinking, Teaching Methodology and Conflict Management. This overall development helped him cope with the daily issues or problems he faced in efficiently handling the work.

During his teaching educational journey he also realized that educational diplomacy has been also equally important concepts for the growth of not only the organization he worked for but also the State and Country. This passion of Educational Diplomacy gave him honorary appointment in United Nations Geneva Office through IGO WFDP (World Fund for Development and Planning) and put him in esteemed position of Secretary General for India in UN Peacekeepers Veteran Association- AISP SPIA.

According to Dr Sabnis, In today’s world education diplomacy has become an effective tool for favourable and reciprocal ties between nations, as education is and has been one of the most important aspects to bring development and peace in any country. He explained Education Diplomacy in today’s world plays important role with the aim to utilize diplomatic skills and right cooperation’s between public sector, private sector, educators & education institutions with an agenda of promoting education all over the globe as a basic human right and accessibility to all. He also mentioned that United Nations has also given top priority to the education diplomacy through its SDG Goal-4(Quality Education) so that the sustainable and achievable planning can be implemented in quality of education all over the global world.

Indian Education sector has been a vibrant and constantly developing field and Dr.Sabnis’s vast experience allowed him to look at his field at very different levels and also through global prospects. Indian Education system has been a great potential to grow and create excellent opportunities to apply Educational Diplomacy concepts that could enhance the quality of education in India and connect Indian students with teaching methods and concepts of various new learning and research methods at the global level. In recent years he got the wonderful opportunity to connect Indian educational concepts and ethos through students to international platforms and the UN academic learning systems, wherein students could learn communication and research-based skills and gain life skill experiences through exchange programs with students from various countries at online and offline level.

Dr.Sabnis has not only created transformation in regular education system but also created sustainable development platform for the Indian students to learn education through channel of diplomacy and international relations.

A High-Flying Inning

As a Teacher, Education leader & Educational Diplomat, he always had different challenges at different stages. As a teacher, he always enhanced his professional skills in core teaching and assessment areas to make teaching more impactful and clear, however as a leader and an administrator, he always had to develop his core skills in communication, presentation and conflict management that could help him to establish professional educators team who could be self-motivated to their best capacity and abilities to enhance the quality of teaching. While as a Educational Diplomat he had to create a sustainable tie-ups’, collaborations & treaties at organizational level, University Level & Government level.

Sharing future strategies, Dr Sabnis says that as the Government of India’s NEP emphasizes collaboration strategies between subjects and research-based learning, it has become vital for the educators of Co-Scholastic subjects and Academic subjects to develop their teaching methodology and proficiency skills through imbibing right connectivity with possible collaborative channels at national and at global level. Also, the right infrastructural needs and staff’s professional development has been important to keep the education quality at the highest level. He mentioned “I strongly believe that if educators are skilled, motivated and well trained with global experience they can create miracles in the education system and its required development,”.

He also feels that if we want growth, we need positive changes that could enhance the quality of the teaching and education system. The education system has been changing with new day-to-day research and development that has been taking place in the education field, whether we talk about changes and growth in the teaching-learning process or the application of technology and teaching aids through possible educational diplomacy concepts. “I see very positive change in the education system such as training and enhancement of educators, utilizing new technology and research for better quality education and even new infrastructure that is giving educators and students special edge during the learning process,” he adds. Indian system has been consistently transforming, especially in the Teaching-Learning and assessment methods. The introduction of NEP and Educational Diplomacy is seen as a excellent future for an Indian education system that will create good holistic development in the child that is required to work on knowledge and developing life skills that are needed in child overall development.

The Winning Strategy

Speaking about the future, Dr Sabnis says he always wanted to be an educator or lecturer who could share knowledge related to his known topics in the society and school or college system. Educational Diplomacy has been his passion always and will be till the end of his life. If a situation arose wherein he could not have been able to stay in the education or diplomatic field, he would have landed jobs related to the health & fitness systems.

In his advice to the young generation trying to create change or achieve something in education Dr Sabnis quotes John Dewey, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

He, strongly believes, “Don’t look to education as a job or career tool rather look to it as a lifetime passion that could create better prospects and ideas for creative innovation in the given field. He also mentioned that, If you are passionate about learning, you will find a way to learn and give away lot of learning to the society, and the satisfaction achieved from this process will be amazing.”

 Dr Dinesh Sabnis’s Hall of Fame: 

*Awards and Accolades

  • Highest Royal Order Award “The Most Honorable Order of Omukama Chwa II Kabalega” from Royal Majesty of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom- Uganda.
  • Commemorative Medal of Peace – UN Beret Veteran Association (AISP-SPIA) in UN Geneva
  • RajyaPuraskar– Govt. Of Maharashtra
  • Atal National Award-ABSCA in Sports Promotion
  • Global Teacher Award- AKS Education, Delhi
  • Teacher Innovation Award-ZIIEI
  • India Influential People’s Award 2021 & 2022- The Crazy Tales Publication & Fox India
  • India Prime Top 100 Researcher Award 2021- Fox Clues Publication
  • India’s Iron Men Award 2023- MTTV New Media Pvt. Ltd

*Honorary Designations and Positions in International NGOs and IGOs

  • WFDP- Peace Envoy and Addl. Representative to UN Geneva Office.
  • SOAD- Ambassador to India
  • Commonwealth of Kentucky- Colonel (Honorary)
  • AISP SPIA Indian Delegation- CEO and Secretary General.
  • Lazarus Union- Commander in Chief and Ambassador of India and the Far East.
  • Extraordinary Plenipotentiary and Special Advisor of The ARKBKof Education Affairs-Uganda.
  • Ghana United Nations Association –Hon. Permanent Goodwill Ambassador.