Dr. Gopal Saxena, Chairman and Managing Trustee of the Shishya Group of Schools and Colleges, began his association with education 30 years ago when he set up the Shishya BEML Public School in Bangalore. A graduate of IIT Delhi, with an MBA from IMD Switzerland and a PhD in Cyberspace Regulation from National Law School of India University, Bangalore, he has been a Professor of Management and an Entrepreneur. Under his leadership, the Group has grown to 3 schools and 5 colleges throughout India, all of which have established a reputation for imparting education of the highest standard.

Dr. Saxena’s policies have focussed on always striving for excellence, keeping abreast of the latest developments and providing the best learning environment for students. His campaign of “Rethinking Education” which started 5 years ago is a prime example. In this fast-changing and uncertain world where traditional jobs are rapidly becoming obsolete, newer skills would be required 10 or 20 years into the future. This imposes formidable challenges for Educators because old-fashioned concepts of education delivery cannot impart the skillsets required for an uncertain future.

Recognising these challenges, Dr. Saxena conceived of and spearheaded the campaign of “Rethinking Education”. It was aimed at completely re-orienting and revamping our approach to education so that we could prepare children to succeed in the new age. It involved re-evaluating all parameters that impact quality of education, and led to the following innovations:

Content: While recognising the importance of the prescribed Core Curriculum, we felt it needed enhancement. Therefore, we designed and implemented a Supplementary Curriculum with innovative and co-scholastic programmes. This was further strengthened by a Value-Added Curriculum aimed towards enhancing learning outcomes and introducing children to new age skills.

Pedagogy: With AI becoming increasingly pervasive, the skillsets of the future would be those that cannot be replaced by AI such as critical thinking, creative thinking, communication skills, and collaborative innovation. For this, we adopted two methodologies:

Experiential Learning: We created a sustainable learning environment through innovative learning approaches, contemporary teaching techniques, special programmes and examples from everyday life, to develop the students’ understanding beyond textbooks. By encouraging active engagement we nurture conceptual, lateral and innovative thinking.

Technology-enabled learning: We introduced technology-based learning solutions to enhance learning outcomes and aid in the development of 21st-century skills.

Technology: New Age technology-enabled pedagogy requires robust technological support to be effective. At Shishya, we embraced technology in a big way with the latest interactive touchscreen smartboards, sophisticated software-driven teaching aids etc. We have also started experimenting with AI in education by select senior faculty.

Faculty Enablement: No academic endeavour can succeed without the requisite faculty engagement. Therefore, all faculty at Shishya are well-versed and trained in the respective pedagogical concepts and the optimal use of technology. Teachers are provided training continuously to keep them abreast of the latest in their field.  

The “Rethinking Education” campaign has already started yielding results – learning outcomes have improved considerably, and scores in the board exams from the last 2 years have been the best ever. More importantly, the 2023-24 Times of India survey of Bangalore schools ranked our Shishya BEML Public School no. 2 in the area. Shishya has also been consistently ranked as the top school in the country in Digital Technology adoption.

According to Dr. Saxena, Education –  which was a sedate and slowly evolving field for the last 2 centuries is no longer the same. It requires the foresight to anticipate future academic challenges and a dynamic strategy to address them. His mantra of success is: Formulating a Long-Term Vision, Constantly Focusing on Quality, Adopting the Latest Techniques and a Continuously Improving environment. Under Dr. Saxena’s dynamic leadership and total commitment to quality of education, the Shishya group is confident of scaling new heights in the near future.