Sunitha Nambiar: The entire Kunskappskolan Program which is a KED program is based on a personalized learning as its center of education that believes that each child is different and each child is unique, each child learns differently, has got different skills, has got different aptitudes. In a normal class room we teach an average student. When a teacher teaches there are some who learn more and there are some who learn less and therefore get left behind. So this normally happens when we are not teaching to each child but teaching to a group. In that case some children learn and some don't. So because of this what happens is that every child does not actually grow as per his or her capability. But what we believe is that each child is unique and has the capability to achieve a lot more - provided he is guided in that manner so that he can achieve much more than he thinks he can. So the entire program focuses on what an individual child wants and then try and provide that to each one of them.
So we in this program will provide personalized coaching. This coaching is not tutuions but this is the session of 15 minutes per week where one teacher who will be assigned to each student is going to be a personal mentor. So every week this mentor will sit with this child and get to understand what are his goals, what he is going to learn, how much he has already learned, what he has done to learn that and then help him in growing in that direction.
Citizen journalist: So will this personalized in starting of the session or in the end?
Sunitha Nambiar: Every week throughout the year this personalized coaching will be given to each student. What happens to the child at the begening of the year is that we set goals for him and it is very important to keep track of these goals and help the child to achieve them. For example, he or she can set a goal to achieve 100 marks in maths.
Citizen journalist: Will you be helping them in setting up their goals?
Sunitha Nambiar: Yes! Setting up a goal is very important. Goals are set in two ways one at the beginning of the year and that is done with the parent and child and to track that goal we do developmental meeting between child, parent and teacher, and during this meeting they discuss about the interests, hobbies and qualities of the child and based on that they decide goals of the child together. And that is sub divided into weekly goals which is decided among teacher and student, and in the session of 15 minutes, they decide what the student will be doing in a week.
Citizen journalist: What challenges are you likely to face in this kind of personalized teaching in India, which is a multicultural country?
Sunitha Nambiar: I think this make it more easier. Whether multicultural or not, it will make no difference in learning. Because each child is different, our model is based on this assumption.
Citizen journalist: In what ways will you use technology to enhance learning in the school?
Sunitha Nambiar: We are no text book school. Nowadays childrens' bags are becoming heavier so what we are thinking is that content of learning will be on our learning portal. Every child will be given access to that learning portal and children from higher classes i.e. class 4th onwards, will be given laptops.
Citizen journalist: What kind of learning portal will it be?
Sunitha Nambiar: We are based on the CBSE pattern and the entire curriculum is aligned to CBSE. So in terms of content we will be having the same content on our learning portal, which the CBSE has in its curriculum. But the difference is how it is going to be taught so we are creating out own curriculum in our organization.
Citizen journalist: CBSE's curriculum is according to the traditional teaching patterns of India then how will it be aligned with your style of teaching?
Sunitha Nambiar: I think there is nothing wrong with the curriculum as such and that's where we differ. CBSE has created best minds for our country but I think the difference is how this curriculum should be taught. So we are not questioning 'what' but we are questioning 'how'. So how we are going to teach the same curriculum will make a difference.
Citizen journalist: From where will you be hiring teachers?
Sunitha Nambiar: Teachers are going to be from Gurgaon itself but we also looking for people having an international background in teaching but the most important part is that all of them will be trained by the people coming from Sweden, and there will be a very rigorous training for them so that they understand the entire process.
Citizen journalist: Will there be any teacher coming from Sweden permanently?
Sunitha Nambiar: Not permanently but yes for short periods of training they will keep coming and there will be regular interaction between teachers here and teachers in Sweden through Skype so that they are always in a contact, and are aware about the latest developments.
Citizen journalist: Why Gurgaon in whole country for the school?
Sunitha Nambiar: I think there are two reasons. One is that because it is the fastest growing city, and has got a pretty large population exposed to a global environment with the coming up of large number of MNCs. So it makes this particular concept easier in adaption.
Citizen journalist: But if you look at the present situation of the city - with water and power crises as the major issues - do you think the decision to come to Gurgaon will be good one?
Sunitha Nambiar: In that case in all over India we go, we can find some or other these kind of infrastructure problems or issues. Whether I go to Mumbai, Banglore or any other city there will be some or the issue. But I think here we have got some competition, which is very nice. We have got Amity, Goenka, Gems International and many more, and it is good to have competition.
Citizen journalist: Any plans for further expansion?
Sunitha Nambiar: Yes, plans are there but nothing concrete has been decided.
Citizen journalist: What will be your fee structure?
Sunitha Nambiar: It will be the same as of the other average schools of Gurgaon.
Citizen journalist: What about the architecture, what will be special about it?
Sunitha Nambiar: Yes, it will very different from traditional schools of country. I think we will go with the understanding that a child can learn anything sitting anywhere." So there will be no standard class rooms. There will be an open space for a child to sit and study, there will be closed spaces where a child can sit alone and study, and there will be group spaces where he can study with groups and friends. So there will be scope for every kind of learning.