Education Briefs

Decks cleared for ISLI launch

Three well-known education not-for-profits — Central Square Foundation, Akanksha Foundation and Teach For India — launched the India School Leadership Institute (ISLI) with support from the US-based KIPP Foundation, on January 16. The prime objective of the Delhi-based ISLI is to train school leaders to deliver high quality education to children of disadvantaged communities.

“Leaders are trained and developed for every sector except education,” said Ashish Dhawan, the promoter-CEO of Central Square Foundation, speaking on the occasion. “ISLI will train and nurture school level leaders to reform education in India. We cannot afford to continue delivering poor quality education to 27 million children starting school each year.”

According to Dhawan, ISLI will adapt international best practices in school leadership to the Indian context. The first batch of 30 school leaders will be inducted into the institute in May this year. The institute’s leadership development programme offers a combination of academic and experiential learning, and provides a forum for learning from experienced trainers and educators.

iNurture-VELS concordat

The Bangalore-based iNurture Education Solutions Pvt. Ltd (estb. 2005), one of India’s leading developers of career-oriented degree and postgraduate professional study programmes, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chennai’s VELS University in Bangalore on January 28. Under the terms of the MoU, iNurture will offer its MBA (advertising & creative management), M.Tech (IT infrastructure management services) and M.Tech (mobile applications development) degree programmes to VELS Univ-ersity students from the academic year beginning 2013-14.

Speaking on the occasion, Ashwin Ajila, promoter-managing director of iNurture Education said: “This is our first knowledge partnership in Chennai and we are looking forward to working very closely with VELS University to establish a Centre of Excellence on its campus.’’

NILA gets going

In collaboration with UK’s New College, Nottingham, the Delhi-based Batra Group launched a centre for career-oriented professional courses christened New College Nottingham International Lifestyles Academy (NILA), in Gurgaon on January 21. New College, Nottingham, is the largest higher education college in the UK offering a wide range of vocational courses. Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, New College will provide curriculums with quality assurance to NILA.

“The launch of NILA is significant in light of the poor condition of the Indian vocational education system and its lack of correlation with employability. The government has set a target of preparing a whopping 500 million skilled workers over the next decade, which the current education system is ill-equipped to do. Against this backdrop, this initiative of the Batra Group assumes great importance,” said Ashok Naidu, chief mentor of NILA, addressing a media conference in Delhi.

“We are happy to partner with the Batra Group which has a credible presence in the Indian business landscape, and has promoted the right institution to impart the high-end training that we offer,” said Amarjit Basi, principal, New College Nottingham (UK), speaking on the occasion.

VFI programme launch

In collaboration with the Columbia Business School, USA, Venture for India (VFI), a not-for-profit organisation, has launched a programme to enhance the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem by training talented Indian graduates to become enterprise builders and job creators. This is a concept modeled after Venture for America.

Under the terms of the agreement, VFI will provide scholarships to 15 graduates to attend a three-week entrepreneurial workshop at Columbia University in New York city, following which they will be guaranteed a two-year job placement. The programme is led by Dr. Jack McGourty, director of community and global entrepreneurship at the Columbia Business School.

From May, VFI teams will visit leading graduate and postgraduate schools across India starting with Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata to select the 15 students. Applications will be entertained until March 15, 2013.

Durham Infinity International Schools

The Durham School, one of Britain’s oldest and most distinguished independent boarding schools, is coming to India. The 600-year-old English school has signed a partnership agreement with Kolkata-based IKC Holdings (Infinity Group), a multinational conglomerate, to promote “outstanding education” of international standards for boys and girls from the ages of three-18. Durham School was rated by the UK government’s Office of Standards in Education as ‘outstanding’ (2009), and commended by The Good Schools Guide as the best school in England for A level English language and literature (2011, 2012).

The new partnership christened Durham Infinity International Schools, will work with investors worldwide to plan, build and operate day and boarding schools based on the established Durham School model.

IKC Holdings brings its significant real estate development expertise to the joint venture, together with a vast international business network. Notably, it undertakes a host of CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities to provide educational opportunities.

Addressing a media conference in Kolkata on January 30, Martin George, headmaster of Durham School said: “I am confident the new global Durham School community will provide extraordinary opportunities for pupils in Durham and overseas. From the moment I met Mr. Chamaria, I was captured by his vision for education. Now I look forward to the challenge of delivering on our promises.”

Ravindra Chamaria, chairman of Infinity Group, is equally enthused by the joint venture. “The partnership with Durham School offers the opportunity to provide outstanding school education around the world. It’s in consonance with our vision to enhance opportunities for tens of thousands of children worldwide. We look forward to seeing our plans come to fruition,” he said.