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Education Luminaries share Best Practices for scalable private school education

Luminaries share

Education Luminaries share Best Practices for scalable private school education on a first of its kind platform – BCG School Leaders Convention, Reboot and Retool : Education in times of Change

The high profile two-day School Leaders Convention 2018, Reboot and Retool: Education in Times of Change concluded on 11th September in Mumbai. The  convention was hosted by one of India’s most distinguished and low-profile educationists Bombay Cambridge Gurukul Group Chairman, Vikram Patel, an Internationalist in his outlook and committed to benchmarking  India’s schools with the world’s best. An amazing neutral platform initiated by a school leader for all schools to come together and share best practices and common solutions to common problems. Held on the occasion of 25 years of  BCG group’s Dr. S. Radhakrishnan International School, Malad, Mumbai and curated  by New Millennium Education Partners the gathering  was a spectacle of education  luminaries discussing and debating  how private education in India can shape education in times of change. Celebrating  some advances, there was still much lamenting about the state of education in India in the 21st century. 

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Keynote speaker  Dr. Vasudha Kamat, Member, New Education Policy Drafting Committee and former Vice Chancellor, SNDT Women’s University,  acknowledged for integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teacher education, and higher education, emphasized the need for curricula today to break away from the old, traditional ways of teacher dominated learning to student –centric  learning . The need of the hour was to integrate knowledge across subject disciplines along with 21st century skills development. Pioneering IIT Professor Padmashri, Dr. Deepak Phatak, founder of the prestigious Kanwal Rekhi School of IT , developer of  blended  Mass Open  Online Courses (MOOCs) for students in India, and synchronous distance education for training 10,000 teachers at a time, re-iterated  that schools must prepare for a technology – enabled future in which educators  focus on the learning processes of students and  not on marks, on guided research and innovation, with teachers enabling students to co-operate, explore and communicate.  Dr. Vasudha Kamat was concerned that schools still cling to teaching the ‘who’ and ‘when’ facts rather than encouraging learning of  the ‘what’ ‘why and how’ of subjects. Both stalwarts conveyed the message to school leaders that education in times of change must provide multiple lifelong learning pathways encouraging  students to develop deep knowledge and learn smart and to develop higher order problem solving skills for future jobs not yet created or known.  Dr. Kamat  also spoke of the importance of Global Competence  in light of  the poor performance of  India in PISA                ( Programme for International Student Assessment) among the 73  OECD ( Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development ) countries .

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But with technology now in classrooms, Vipul Redey, Head of School Enablement, Khan Academy led an enlightening discussion on how to design rigorous learning for each student in class. For the panelists, Ujjwal Singh, Product & Innovation Head of Emerging Markets, Pearson India, Lohit Sahu, Founder Phyzok, Prodipta Hore,  Mathematics Head of Aditya Birla World Academy and Sriram Subramanian, Co-Founder, Callido Learning , the discussion  enabled  important knowledge sharing  with the audience on the  question of  how to identify  individual strengths and weaknesses of students; the good news was that with the availability of  tech based,  highly  refined  Big Data , delivery of lessons can be more differentiated and  personalized than ever before in the blended  or flipped learning model.   Ravina Aggarwal,  Director, Columbia Global Centers, Mumbai, pointed out the dual challenge of educating students for a competitive global market while developing responsible adults in a multicultural world,  citing  the relevance of the  democratic ideas of equality  and inclusiveness of Indian Socio-political reformer  Dr. B.A.Ambedkar and American Educationist  John Dewey in preparing students for multicultural work environments.  BCG Chairman Vikram Patel and Alok Mathur, Trustee, Krishnamurti  Foundation both spoke about creating learning environments that nurture goodness, compassion and creativity in young  individuals  towards building  a sustainable society.    


Considering the impending scenario of  greater entrepreneurial possibilities, Yuti Dalal Jhaveri, Founder, The Curiosity Club led the deliberation on creating an entrepreneurial mindset in schools; Monica Bhatia, Principal of  BCG’s Veer Bhagat Singh International School felt that a curriculum to teach entrepreneurial skills would be useful, Tejal Amin, Chairperson Navrachana University and Schools, Arunabh Singh, Director, Nehru World  School, Jaideep Gupta, Founder & CEO Univariety enumerated  skills such as, risk taking ability, perseverance despite failure, and courage as essential. Bharati Thakore, Founder and CEO of New Millennium Education Partners  posed a new question, on how to professionalize and standardize education management, particularly across school groups or school franchises;  Puneet Kothapa, President, Narayana Education Society which operates 500 hundred school branches in 12 states of India, with 13,000 teaching faculty and 350, 000 students stressed how vital it is for a school leader to sit and observe a class  for 20 minutes  periodically,  he referred to developing a scalable curriculum across schools  by a 150 member research and development team of specialists, an SOP and micro-schedule for teaching, quality assurance systems which include infrastructure, safety and washroom hygiene across schools, accountability and transparency,  Debshankar Mukhopadhyay, CEO, ZEE Learn which operates in 750 towns with 124 schools and 2,50,000 students in their network of  franchises,  spoke of  quality assurance standards such as across the board assessment parameters,  equipping teachers with technology and periodic audits, and the need  for schools, like hospitals to be financially sound;   Kishore Iyengar, Vibgyor Schools Cluster Principal described a  quality enrichment framework for ensuring teacher effectiveness,  Kunal Dalal, Managing Director, JBCN and Rahul Deshpande, CEO, Euroschool while stressing  child centredness, also viewed capital investment in quality as imperative, and pointed out the availability of choice at many price points for parents. The need for good private school education is recognized by the government  and parents have found value in private schools said Arushi Jain, Leader Education & Intellectual Property Group  drawing attention to legal diligence such as  registering the school brand name and periodic housekeeping audits across schools, while Imran Jafar, Managing Partner, Gaja Capital brought out the need for private capital investment in scaling up high quality education with economies of scale.  Concluding the conference was the subject of caring classrooms for social-emotional learning led by Fatima Agarkar, Co-founder, KA EduAssociates, with Zirak Marker, Medical Director Mpower and CEO Aditya Birla Integrated School stating that in view of  the frequent cases of suicide and depression among students mental health must be incorporated into the school curriculum.

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