Disillusioned by an education system that seemed not to care for the children that went through it, Kiran Sethi set up what has been lauded as one of the world’s most transformational schools. She tells POOL how the Riverside School in Ahmedabad has designed an alternative model that focuses on student well being as much as learning.
“When I started the school 16 years ago – she says, – I didn’t have a three- or five-year goal. I just lived for today. When I started, I had no ambitions to be the best school in the city or the world – all I wanted was to get a better education for my son. Over the years Riverside has designed, implemented and shared a unique user-centered curriculum that is providing schools with an alternative model that focuses on quality of learning and student well being. The practices have been recognized worldwide and the school has regularly been honored for its academic achievement as well as its unique philosophy of ‘Doing Good AND Doing Well’. We have a true 21st century model, with our students consistently outperforming the top 10 schools in India.”
Kiran believes, that the last 10 years in India have been exciting:
“There is a lot of talk about how technology is a great game changer, but I think technology is only one part of the piece. In India the numbers we have can become a challenge, but it can also become an opportunity for multiple approaches and models of education. Clearly we have seen that one size does not fit all, because India’s diversity and complexity will require multiple solutions. In the last 10 years, we have seen exciting experiments such as Gandhi Fellowship, Teach for India, Pratham and even Riverside emerge. I believe that a lot more experiments will help roll out further innovation.”
“Success is a dangerous word!”, she says. “It makes you believe that you have achieved something. I think that great success is when we don’t think we have achieved anything, and we believe genuinely that we are a ‘work in progress’. It is therefore an opportunity to constantly be on a refinement journey, and this I believe will continue to be a great success.
Every day is an opportunity to be an EduHero, an actor, a magician, an explorer, an artist, a dreamer, and a learner. And it keeps telling you how much you don’t know. So it becomes a pursuit, which is a good journey to be on.”
Read this story in POOL 88.