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Glocalising India

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“We look at the education sector as an opportunity to showcase a new type of education,” says Sri Krishna, Managing Director, Birla Edutech Ltd, in an exclusive interview with Nikita Apraj

Please tell us the idea behind the setting up of Birla Edutech.
Birla Edutech is a subsidiary of Birla Shloka Edutech, an education company set up to improve formal education. Under Birla Edutech, we have a combination of preschools and high schools. We use our own model in our schools. Our pre-school brand is called Globe  Tot’ers. Under high schools, we have two brands: Open Minds and Shloka. We have also come up with Elevate, an after-school  programme for students. Elevate is not just a hobby class, but an exclusive enrichment programme to build students’ life skills to help  them make better choices in life.

How have you designed your curriculum? 
We look at the education sector as an opportunity to showcase a new type of education. Our curriculum has been designed after  choosing from the best of the curriculums.
We are proud of India’s diversity and we try to bring that to our curriculum as well. We do not want our schools to be like a burger,  which tastes the same wherever you go. I think we are unique because we have something local in us. We have a standard curriculum  but with wide diversification. And we encourage localising it. IB curriculum allows customisation and localisation. We think that  knowing what happened during the Maratha rule in India is more important for our students than something that happened in some  corner of the world.

Should the education sector be run on for-profit or not-for-profit basis?
If the education sector is allowed to make profit, it will improve the quality of the services provided by the private players. It will weed out the non-competent players and students and their parents will get value for their money. It will trigger a healthy competition and improve the system.

What are your future plans?
Over next 10 years, we plan to open more than 100 schools across the country. We will start a range of higher education institutions  offering multidimensional programmes involving experts from the industry, apprenticeship and floor visits, thereby bridging the gap between the academia and the industry. These colleges will also provide a unique opportunity to school leavers to attain economic  independence and discover their hidden potential.

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