Makeover Educationist

Shweta Sastri is executive director of the Bangalore-based K-12 co-educational day/boarding Canadian International School (CIS, estb.1996), ranked among India’s Top 20  and Karnataka’s Top 5 international schools in the EducationWorld India School Rankings 2012. With an aggregate enrolment of 480 students (70 percent are children of expatriates), CIS was the garden city’s first education institution to launch the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma programme. It also offers curriculums of the North American (Ontario) ministry of education and Cambridge International Examination (CIE), UK.

NewsPeg: CIS recently became the first international school countrywide to offer class VIII-XII students a unique, first-of-its-kind 1:1 wireless iPad integrated learning programme, delivered by Apple-trained teachers.

CIS’ green initiatives have also prompted its management to claim that it’s the only school in India which uses a biogas tank to serve the energy needs of its cafeteria — where 500 meals per day are prepared.

Genesis: CIS was promoted in 1996 by two Canadian entrepreneurs — Jonathan and Bernard Goodman — in a small, one-building campus in Hebbal, a suburb of Bangalore. “My family which has been in the real estate business since 1983 took over the promoter trust in 2002. Thereafter, we built a multipurpose campus with facilities on a par with international standards on a lakefront property in Yelahanka, and shifted the entire school to the new campus in 2006,” says Sastri, a business management graduate of the London School of Economics, who took charge as executive director in 2006.

Unique sales proposition: According to Sastri, the school offers IT-enabled education based on international cognitive research. The students’ community — an amalgam of 37 nationalities — is instructed by 70 faculty, 40 percent of whom are expatriates with international teaching experience. CIS has a teacher-pupil ratio of 1:6 and its students enjoy a broad spectrum of 42 co-curricular activities including golf and unicycling, among others.

Direct talk:“Academic excellence has always been a CIS goal with our IB students consistently scor-ing well above the global average. We have nurtured several all-India IGCSE toppers, with one of our students also topping the IGCSE board mathematics exam. Our university placements have also been excellent,” enthuses Sastri.

Future plans: An ambitious expansion plan has been charted by Sastri to promote similar schools in Mumbai and Delhi where the family owns property. “In the meantime, we want to enhance and build upon our good reputation, and continue to deliver globally comparable education,” says this driven educationist who has played an integral role in the growth of CIS.