EduCHATS – Kanak Gupta, Director, Seth M.R. Jaipuria School

preeti Event News Leave a Comment

In the seventh largest country in the world, educator Kanak Gupta strives to make quality private education available to children in Tier 2/Tier 3 cities of India.  In this series of “EduCHATS”, he shares about the strategies and processes that are implemented to give students the quality education they deserve.

The Jaipuria family has been active in education since 1945, when Jaipuria College was inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in Kolkata. Subsequently, the family went into establishing schools and colleges across the country. Since 2014, the group realized that to make a true dent in education, impact has to be made in the geographies that truly need excellence in education. We work in Tier 2/Tier 3 cities of the country. Our attention has been on ensuring that every child has access to highest quality of education irrespective which town or city they’re in. Presently, we have 25 schools running and 8 more coming up in academic year 2020, by when we should have 35000+ students studying with us.

On a daily basis, I work closely with my team to ensure that not only are we adding value to all stakeholders through process implementation, but also invest heavily on creativity and innovation.

I strongly believe that it’s important to want to do better things. I work strategically towards the future, with awareness about changing trends, and with an innate willingness to change myself as per need. It’s not about what has happened, the mistakes one may have made, or the success one may have had. It’s about the next thing one’s going to do. Plan. Prepare. Focus. Be prepared for all of it to not work out as per your plan, and take up the challenges with the same zeal.

Whenever we start a new educational institution, our focus is on how we can give a differentiated learning experience to the student. We strongly believe that education has to be learner centric and participative. My vision is to make quality private education available to students across towns and cities in India. For far too long, quality institutions have been concentrated only in metropolitan cities and a few state capitals. This must change.

I believe that as educational institutes, we have responsibilities towards all stakeholders in the teaching-learning process: student (most important), the parents, teachers, staff, media, society at large. One needs to be privy to and responsive towards attracting, adding value-to, and retaining each of the stakeholders.

The greatest challenge is to improve access of quality education. We need to build schools that invest in improving the skills of teachers, and give students the skills to be successful in today’s and tomorrow’s world. There are very few institutions that are able to do this outside metropolitan cities.

Hands down, catering to every stakeholder with customized solutions without compromising on quality is the biggest challenge for any educational professional not just in India, but anywhere in the world.

I also feel that the real issues are being ignored in the classroom. For instance, we all know the problems India faces with air pollution. Being asthmatic, I believe that a lot of work needs to be done and work closely with #MyRightToBreathe. We go to schools to educate children about various pollution related issues, do’s and don’ts etc. The most shocking thing is, the resistance from the grown-ups, who believe that pollution IS an issue, however, feel that the school course-work is too much for students to actually focus on it at all! THAT is what needs to change.

Focus on quality, service, and value — not the lowest price. I am very bullish on documentation, processes, following structures. However, I understand that the one true asset every organization has is its people. My biggest mantra is to keep the focus on people, on making them better, and everything else will fall in line. I believe in being empathetic, and in empowering those around me.

To say the often said, technology is an enabler and cannot replace the teachers in the classroom. However, instead of looking at it merely as a tool, one must see the bigger picture. The user interface makes the digital natives adapt faster than the previous generation. Instead of being averse to it, all stakeholders must embrace the fact that technology has become a hygiene factor for today’s youth. And once we do that, it would become easier to work with technology in our classrooms.

The most important skill in today’s world is the ability to learn itself. We try to inculcate self-learning in our students, and try to make them self-motivated from a very young age. In today’s world no success is possible without the ability to work with people and in teams. This requires empathy and listening skills. It gives not only a pathway to success but also makes one a better human being, who understands and helps people around himself or herself.

I believe that as educators, we need to have a voice and make a difference to real issues. beyond the books and courseware. Understanding the community around us is an integral part of a good education. We have multiple programs and opportunities through which our school and college students reach out to the community around them. These include community service, group projects and cultural activities.

I would be speaking about how we have helped create schools of excellence in Tier 2/Tier 3 cities of the country by creating a very unique service delivery model that ensures that every child, irrespective of which city they’re at, have access to top of the line lesson plans, qualifies & trained teachers and defined processes. And, they’re sustainable, high quality and economically viable schools.

Success and failure are two sides of the same coin. I try to learn from both. There’s always room for improvement, scope for perfection. We work hard, plan processes and make sure that we don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make any excuses for any shortcomings. We try to keep the focus on doing things better. We’ve setup 25 schools in the last 5 years; we have 20,000+ students studying with us, a number likely to go up to 35000 in the next 7 months. We are honoured to have received numerous accolades from across the world. All this has happened only because of our focus. I feel one can accomplish things only when there is clarity in thoughts, passion for excellence and positivity in attitude.

I believe there would be SO many more stories at EdTECH Asia for me to learn from, and try improvise and innovate at our schools the learning from the best of the best worldwide.

 

Kanak Gupta is an alumnus from the prestigious Purdue University, USA and St Xaviers’ College, Calcutta. He has lived and worked in India, Germany and the UK working with top-end consultancy firms and educational institutes for over 12 years.He is currently serving as Director of Seth M R Jaipuria Schools, which have been recognised as the Best School Chain in India by Indian Education Congress consecutively for the last three years, and also gotten acclaim from University of Berkeley as School of Greater Good in the World. Today, Jaipuria Schools has now grown to 25 schools, 24000+ students and 2500+ educationists associated with the group pan-India.  He’s co-founder of Theatrecian, the most prolific English theatre group of India. For his works, Kanak has been felicitated as ‘Young Creative Entrepreneur’ by the British Council  in India. He’s also an active member of # MyRightToBreathe , a social cause to fight pollution issues in India.

At EduTECH Asia, Kanak will be presenting at #teachtechtalks on how his school has successfully provided sustainable quality education in tier 2/3 cities of India

It’ll be an exciting conference – be sure you do not miss out!. Sign up before 2nd August to enjoy 15% off. In addition, bring a group of 2 or more to enjoy additional savings. So wait no longer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *