[Parmeet Shah CEO & Founder of NEXT School, Mr Elliot Washer Co Founder of Big Picture Learning at launch of NEXT school in Mumbai]
Mumbai: Parents are losing faith in the prevailing education system as 75% admit to alienation of school learning from the real and practical world, a study by upcoming NEXT School suggests. Mumbaikars feel that our schools are not preparing our children for their future as learning in schools has very little to do with what makes people successful in the real world job market and economy.
The survey was conducted by NEXT School, with an objective of understanding the perception of education system in India and gaps in the current education system.
In order to bring the paradigm shift in the education system, NEXT school has brought in a US based nonprofit organization called Big Picture Learning, which focuses on building real world skills that go much beyond just academic and bookish knowledge. From an early age students connect with organisations and professionals from the real world, taking up projects and internships in their field of interest.
The project is supported by Marathon Group, the Mumbai-based leading real estate company.
Research from the NEXT School survey conducted by renowned agency IMRB found that 46% of parents feel that the current education system did not help them figure out what they wanted to do in life. 79% of the parents felt that freedom is lacking in our school system and 59% felt that the school system does not sufficiently cater to every child in the classroom.
The Big Picture Learning framework is based on addressing these issues in the education system. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have announced that Big Picture is their favorite program, and has provided them with multiple rounds of funding to replicate their model throughout the world. President Barack Obama has said that the US will “follow the example” of Big Picture schools. Marc Ecko, billionaire entrepreneur and founder of Ecko enterprises, has called Big Picture “The iphone of education to the Walkman of the old”.
Big Picture’s core principle is to personalize education, so that schools can focus on the individual needs of each child, ensuring that every child is given attention. And by personalizing education, Big Picture schools can focus on unearthing and developing the talents and passions of each child. Each student has a personalized learning plan, which captures not only individual needs and areas of improvement but also identifies their talents and passions.
Parmeet Shah, Founder and CEO of NEXT School, who spent over six years researching on the existing education system in India and abroad said, “We are still following a 150-year old school education system at a time when the world has changing rapidly due to technology and globalization. Our education system is desperately in need of new ideas and new paradigms that makes it relevant to the modern world. Every aspect of our lives has undergone drastic change and it is time to revolutionise education.”
The NEXT School survey also says that 45 percent of the city dwellers felt that the examination system is not good enough to measure the students and 54 percent felt that lectures in school are boring. 67% said that marks and examinations have gained undue importance and a similar proportion said that the current culture of tuition classes is unhealthy.
Big picture Learning
Big Picture is a nonprofit organisation that started 20 years ago in the US, and now has 165 schools in 9 countries all over the world. Big Picture schools feature in Business Insider's list of the 13 most innovative schools in the world. It is considered by many to be the best educational model in the world. It has received acclaim from none another than President Barack Obama himself, and has received multiple rounds of funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who consider Big Picture to be their favourite model for school education. Many other experts and thought leaders have heaped praise upon Big Picture. Big Picture Learning’s mission is ‘One student at a time’. The Big Picture Learning framework personalises each students’ education and connects their learning to the real world making learning more authentic and engaging.
NEXT school is a non-profit school supported by Marathon Group, a prominent real estate developer in Mumbai, through it’s charitable enterprise – Ramniklal Zaverbhai Shah Trust. NEXT will be India’s first Big Picture school. It is currently under construction and slated to open in the next academic year. It’s located in Mulund West. The school is pursuing accreditation from the International Baccalaureate (IB) and will open for admissions for Nursery to Grade 7.Marathon Group’s extensive real estate experience has resulted in a world class school design with state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities.