It has been 25 long years since I started my first preschool in Bandra. It has been one hell of a roller coaster ride, one in which there were various ups and downs. Nonetheless, the journey has been fantastic. Being able to touch a bunch of children’s lives and being a part of their journey has taught me a lot.
When I came to India in 1993 for a sabbatical, I landed a job with a well known suburban school and I was appalled by a lacklustre system of education that upheld only the high-flyers. Crammed classrooms, disinterested students, over-stressed parents inspired me to work on a model of education that is fulfilling, effective and yet stress-free. My conviction to offer an education which sets the child as its centre began with a preschool in Bandra (Mumbai) in the year 1993 with 25 students. Today, we’re one big family internationally as well. I have a phrase that I use and feel at the very core of me: “I have one biological child and thousands of karmic children”.
It is extremely important to introduce a learner centric methodology and innovative ways of learning via integrated and theme based learning. This enables a natural and seamless progression into higher schooling and is based on the same philosophy and pedagogy (research-driven, brain compatible education).
We have a long journey ahead, many milestones to achieve; however, I have never planned the road ahead. I have always been pulled in a direction that I have trouble keeping up with. It is necessary to constantly be in tandem with the changing times. Hence, the education system always requires a curriculum that will equip our children to face the age they will need to work and flourish in. This is known as ‘The Conceptual Age’ or ‘Creative Age’ or ‘Age of Imagination’. We have to break the status quo of conventional schooling and reinvent our learning vision where the focus is on creativity, critical thinking (including being aware, mindful and responsible consumers) collaboration, problem solving, connecting the dots, imagination and conceptual reasoning.