Take a group of global Indians that are prospering in their adopted countries, add a generous dose of burning passion to give back in a substantial way to India, stir in some of the best minds in education worldwide, and throw in a dash of some of the most cutting-edge innovations in education. Let the dish marinate for half a decade, and then flash fry it in the ground reality of actually operating in India. What you get is the Global Discovery Academy network of schools.
These successful graduates from the world’s best known universities and holding senior positions in the corporate world were passionate about shaping the future of Indian education.
The founders dreamed of schools that would serve the masses rather than classes. It took substantial research for the Global Discovery Academy to join the dots on these seemingly incompatible goals. This included benchmarking against some of the best school systems in the world.
The GDA Process
The USP of Global Discovery Academy is that they aspire to help children discover their strengths and play to them for the rest of their lives. Doing this well, even on a small scale, is challenging. GDA is attempting to do this for 400 schools pan India. A medical metaphor is followed in how this is achieved. The dominant strengths of each student (Diagnosis) are observed, a development trajectory for them (Intervention) is chalked out and their progress on that trajectory (Monitoring) is continuously checked.
“The innovation that GDA offers is in our pedagogy, our learning space design, our technology and finally, in the way we brand the entire product,” says Vipul Redey, Chief Product Officer, GDA.
“As far as quality teachers are concerned, we draw a lot of our inspiration from the Rocketship Education model for running schools in the US. We hire the best, train them thoroughly, give them quality mentoring and performance feedback continuously, reward them for outstanding work, and show them a long term personal growth trajectory,” he adds.
The technology used by our instructors includes Smart boards, prototyping tools, educational software to teach Mathematics and foreign languages. GDA’s Technology & Entrepreneurship Lab initiative will offer our students a multitude of avenues to pursue their interests through the effective use of technology, whether it is in the creative arts or in commerce or in solving a specific multi-faceted problem that intrigues them.
We have been offering a few certified needy students with the assistance to bridge the gap between what we charge and what they can afford. However, with the low standard fees, this is usually unnecessary as we make sure that the fee charged from a student stays highly affordable.
At GDA the basic CBSE curriculum confirms to the CCE standards. However, we have an additional remediation layer on top of it called Aha Packet by us to teach
• Difficult topics
• Foundation topics and
• Extra-curricular topics like those related to technology, entrepreneurship or other careers.
With the changing times the role and responsibility of the teacher has also undergone a drastic change. This can best be illustrated by how we use the reputed Khan Academy Mathematics model that turns the traditional role of teachers on it’s head – Students learn concepts by watching Khan Academy videos and then practice problems under the watchful eye of their teachers in class. This makes teachers infinitely more useful and effective as facilitators for APPLYING knowledge rather than being a person that offers a sterile administering of meaningless data.
The entire GDA education hinges around our “Roadmap to my Dreams” philosophy that seeks to ensure that every child plays to his or her strengths throughout their lives. This involves, first of all identifying that child’s strengths, accentuating them through our unique education process and then monitoring the child’s progress.