|by The Business Standard on 05 February 2023|
The Principal of the school, Ramesh Mudgal, an accomplished education administrator with more than 25 years of experience, shared his vision and mission for Glenrich in a conversation with The Business Standard.
With digital technology thoroughly permeating every sphere, the education model is changing rapidly, and so are the roles of schools. Keeping the needs of the future generation at heart, Glenrich International School is all geared up for its inauguration at Sun Valley Residential area, Dhaka. The Principal of the school, Ramesh Mudgal, an accomplished education administrator with more than 25 years of experience, shared his vision and mission for Glenrich in a conversation with The Business Standard.
What is your opinion about the quality of education in Bangladesh?
Bangladesh’s education quality has been improving over a period of time. The people, as well as the government, have realized that education is an important element in a country’s progress and development. So significant improvements and changes are taking place accordingly.
Actually, the concept of education is changing worldwide. While the contents of most fundamental knowledge like sciences, mathematics, and others remain the same, how students apply this knowledge in real life changes.
So, even in Bangladesh, the students who are in the school-going age right now are preparing for the job market over the next 10 or 15 years. Consequently, apart from knowledge, skills are also getting a lot of importance.
Why did STS Group launch Glenrich International School?
STS group launched this school because there is a need for a global standard education in Bangladesh. Many parents and students are seeking to avail the best kind of quality education possible. So STS has realised that there is a need for a school that not only focuses on academics but also prepares the students for life. As the tagline of Glenrich says, “School of life.”
We call it a school of life because we want to prepare our students for life. Which means they will be mentally strong, emotionally intelligent and morally empathetic. They will have the necessary skill sets. Knowledge, of course, is always there, as that’s fundamental. And subject knowledge can be found in any school. However, Glenrich offers much more than that.
Photo: Modelled Images
How will specialised education in curriculum impact students and the education system?
In Glenrich, we will mainly focus on four elements: knowledge, attitude, skills and habits. We believe a school should help build the right attitudes and vital skills in the students. We are ready to teach them essential skills like communication, creativity, collaboration, leadership, critical thinking, habit-building etc. So these are the core areas we are going to work on. These are the extra things that will prepare our students into well-rounded individuals.
As I said, education today is more than just academics. Knowledge is now available and free for anybody. With a smartphone and internet connection, anyone can learn anything from thousands of youtube videos and web pages. We are offering specialized education which will prepare them for the new era.
Photo: Modelled Images
What are your thoughts about teachers who are set to teach at Glenrich International school?
Our teacher recruitment process is underway, and we are looking for teachers who are willing to learn, and who have a strong grip on their subject matters. And most of our teachers, 85 to 90 percent, will be recruited from Bangladesh, while the rest will be recruited from outside the country.
To ensure the highest quality, we are selecting those with at least four to five years of experience. However, we will also give exceptional freshers an opportunity because they also have to start somewhere. I started my career somewhere, at some point in time, at something I didn’t have any experience in. I was not born a teacher. Somebody saw some spark in me and gave me an opportunity. Now I am a principal of an international school. Similarly, if there are exceptional freshers, they can also be considered if they come with an open mind and strong command over their academic content.
Photo: Modelled Images
What is Glenrich International School’s ambition?
Along with providing an excellent infrastructure, this school will also unleash the power of creativity in students. For example, today students always consume different content. We will focus on building creativity in them so that they can also become creators. In the future, we will be setting up a studio house for this. We are also starting a robotics curriculum in the first year, which makes us unique.
Every student from grade one will have a Robotics program. And it will be compulsory, not like an after-school activity. Apart from that, we will create something called a maker space in the long run. Suppose a student has an idea and wants to build a machine. But he doesn’t have the necessary tools or equipment. He doesn’t know how to go to the next level. Our maker space will have the required materials, and our teachers will guide him through.
Furthermore, we will be setting up a design lab in the long run. Not only that, our students will also be scripting, recording, editing and podcasting. We are going to integrate things of this generation into the school activities to build a savvy generation. They are born with gadgets. Let’s educate them on how to utilise them.
In 15 years, we precisely do not know what is going to be needed. But, as we are seeing, technology is going in a particular direction. We want to prepare our children to live in that kind of world, without losing moral grounding, genuine emotion, and proper attitude.
What curriculum are you going to follow?
We are going to follow the Cambridge curriculum through and through. We have decided to start the Cambridge international primary program and Cambridge lower secondary program, and we are even launching the Cambridge early-year program. The entire year is going to be divided into two terms. And we are also going to follow Cambridge’s timeline.
What would the tuition fees look like?
Tuition fee is placed at a very competitive level because we believe that the best quality education should be affordable. If you keep a very high fee, the very purpose with which we are starting will not be achieved. The yearly fee starts from TK2.16 lakhs at the beginning, for the playgroup. And it goes all the way up to around TK2.85 lakhs, max, for grade 8. Parents could pay yearly or monthly, as they wish.
Why have you chosen this area in the city?
We consider that this side of the city is going to grow, and there is more space available in this area to build a holistic campus with better infrastructure. In addition, nowadays people prefer a calmer environment, so people are moving towards this corner of the city. Many properties are coming up over here, and these people are looking for good-quality schools.
When are you going to operate fully?
The classes will begin at the end of July 2023, and everything will be in place by then. From classrooms to the grounds, everything will be fully operational, and we have already started taking admissions.