Friday, June 18, 2010

Rich Students Start School for Poor Students: An Indus International School Initiative

Students of Indus International School, Bangalore, display extreme capabilities by starting a new full-fledged international school for less fortunate cousins, under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Arjun Ray PVSM, CEO of Indus Trust, and powered by microfinance. The model has been appreciated by even HRD Minister Kapil Sibal.

Education at international schools like Indus costs upwards of Rs. 15,000 a month. Education at the new international school started by Indus students cost Rs. 120 a month.

And it is no ramshackle, poor kids’ school. How about Smart Board equipped classrooms? Or one laptop per child? Or a Wi-Fi campus? In fact all the core elements that make up Indus International School are there, including the IBO syllabus in primary school. The size is also impressive at 300 students. The school starts functioning from June 18th.

However, the structure of the school has so many practical, down-to-earth innovations that make this miracle possible for economically less fortunate students. Like its three-shift structure, its feel-at-home cottage architecture, its teachers from lower middleclass backgrounds who have been trained by Indus in IB curriculum, peer tutoring by Indus students, and a shift to the more affordable CBSE curriculum in higher classes.

But the care goes deep. In order to ensure that there are no dropouts due to difficult situations at home, all students are being provided educational insurance and even medical insurance in association with Bangalore’s leading hospitals.

The most unbelievable charm of the project is that the idea for the school, the detailed plans for the school, and even monitoring the execution of the project were by Indus students in classes 9 to 12. Structured on a microfinance platform, the students even ensured that their new school got sponsors and building designers. Says Lt. Gen Ray, “We felt that if any technology or curriculum claims to be the best in the world, it should not be exclusive to the rich.”

This much decorated former General had even presented this model before Kapil Sibal, Central Minister for Human Resource Development, and won appreciation.

Indus International School’s Unique Value Proposition is leadership development. Their motto – In Omnia Paratus – meaning ‘Prepared for All Challenges’ reflects this philosophy. Such ideas are not just educational jargon at Indus, but actively pursued frameworks. With around 1000 students from 28 countries, imaginative co-curricular programs, and excellent performance in international exams, the School is surging ahead in its mission to create better leaders for tomorrow.

Imagine study tours to Leh & Ladakh. Climbing atop battle tanks, and river rafting in the Indus River. Or imagine assisting less-privileged students in other schools, with camps and training. Or imagine writing science articles for the in-house Science Magazine. These are just samples of the kind of ‘beyond the classroom’ education being followed at Indus International School, Bangalore.

The Indus Trust operates on a powerful idea – that those who are aspiring to groom future leaders should be exceptional leaders themselves. Indus International School embodies this towering vision in promoters like high-flying Silicon Valley technocrat Kumar Malavalli, noted industrialists HB Jairaj & Sushil Mantri, and a CEO like soldier-scholar-author-speaker Lt. General Arjun Ray. While Malavalli was the first Indian to be inducted into the celebrated ‘Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame’, a select club of 48 outstanding engineers; Lt. Gen. Ray, a recipient of Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM), the highest award in Indian Armed Forces, has an exceptional academic & military track record behind him. Together with an equally illustrious group of Trustees & Executive Team, they created an exceptional school in every sense – ranging from outstanding values to sheer architectural beauty.

Indus is a full-spectrum IB School. The Principal of Indus, Mrs. Sarojini Rao, is a University Gold Medallist and a double postgraduate in Education & Economics. She is trained in all the three IB Programmes (PYP, MYP, & DP).

Admission to the Indus International School for grades 6 and above is based on written aptitude tests. Indus believes that all children possess specific intelligences in which they are strong. Consequently, admissions will be based on the proclivity of the student especially mental organization, creativity and critical thinking skills. This concept is based on the idea of multiple intelligences. Indus has developed assessment yardsticks which will be applied to determine the proclivity of each child. The school accepts both boarders and day scholars.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Recent Posts Widget