After completing my MBBS, MD and Masters in Hospital Administration, I worked for a decade in the pharmaceutical and the food industry.

Swimming against the tide, with a carefully designed intent, I forayed into the Health Care sector by establishing Marigold Hospital and Research Centre at Bangalore. I understood at a very young age, the power that only education can bring. Along the way, my passion to create an educational space where holistic development is the norm, where lifelong learning is the ultimate goal, and where, through progressive, personalized learning methods, the student is the centre of all endeavours, became my purpose and Marigold International School was born in the year 2020 . I dedicate this labour of love that is aimed to meet the educational needs of children belonging to all strata of the society to my beloved father Late Shri Nagaraja Rao R Jagdale. I deliberated and chose the school motto - Vidya Dadati Vinayam - from knowledge comes humility. I truly believe that learning is never complete and the true desire to learn is lifelong. This belief, the mission statement and the core values define the learning process at MIS.

I wanted to create a space for children to feel happy and free at school. I want them to ask questions. Otherwise, they would never know where they went wrong. I aspire that this dream school inspires the students to adopt an “I can” mindset. All the students to get an equal opportunity to learn which shall extend beyond classroom as in the spheres of performing and visual arts, sports and games so that they are prepared for life.

I believe that we're born human by chance, but we become humane by choice. The idea of the “e” that makes us humane is really the value proposition that we use at our school- which is empathy, ethics, excellence, elevation, and evolution. More so now than at any other time, a lot of us recognize that content is not king. Grappling with big questions, listening to others and sharing an idea is going be the whole purpose of education.

What were some of the obstacles you faced towards the beginning of your journey and did you strive to overcome them?

Inevitably in life everyone faces challenges. I too had my share of challenge. It is the past that prepares one for the future. I strongly think that my days at medical school and life circumstances has taught me composure, crisis management, and self-belief that stand central to all my driving operations at work and dealing with the ordeals that life throws in. I take them in my stride. Once I get out of the nesting period, I wing out high and sky becomes the limit for my success. We all know how difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations. I feel my journey has been blessed and one-of- a-kind.

Could you tell us about the pedagogy followed at your school?

Marigold International School believes in the process of self- discovery and learning, thereby honing individuality and uniqueness in each child. The focus is on creating awareness in students, providing them with experiences that they could apply to real-life situations and make informed choices for themselves. This world class education is delivered in state- of- the- art environs and add to the overall excellence the school stands for.

At MIS, curricular and co-curricular activities are given equal importance and every student's needs – intellectual, physical and emotional- are met through a curriculum followed by the school. The approach to learning and students is inclusive and integrated with the teachers leading from the front in imparting value-based lessons aimed at sensitizing the students right from the primary level.

How are you ensuring the mental well-being of your staff and students?

Ensuring overall healthy well-being of students, teachers and all the stakeholders is our prime responsibility. Cooperation, effective coordination and teamwork among special educator, health and wellness teacher and the staff members to address the psychosocial needs of the students is effectively in place.

We make it a point to educate all school staff about trauma and mental health challenges, be able to recognise signs of distress, the importance of allowing our children to fail and learn from those failures, thereby building their resistance and improving their problem- solving techniques. The school observes Mental Health week in the month of October by inviting leading psychologist to address the teachers, students and the parents on the importance of mental health. The students engage in numerous activities mainly naming creating a Wall of Kindness. Just a month back, the students were roped in for a short film on International Day against violence and bullying to raise awareness of the issue and to promote healthy relationship amongst students .

As the Chairman I take equal responsibility of providing a welcoming and student-centered environment at school that fosters an atmosphere of trust, tolerance, co-operation and empathy. We as a team ensure a positive and a safe school environment.

What are the awards and accolades your school has won over the years?

We are glad that the students in the middle section of the school have already made us proud by winning at city and zonal level of various contests. Our students are no less than anyone else in terms of their energy and motivation to take part in state and national level competitions to prove and enhance their prowess. One of our students from grade 6 reached finals in Math's Premier League held through Counting Well App and also won the bronze medal.

Added to this, in a short period of time, our school has bagged the award for “Excellence in Quality Education” by the Times Group.

If there's one change you could bring about in the Indian education system, what would it be?

In our education system, the academic performance of a child matters the most whereas the scholastic attributes are left subtle. Another lacuna in our education system is the absence of uniformity throughout the country which makes it a loose end of this system.

Maybe, introduction of more personalised learning so no two students are treated the same. This might entail a lot of bandwidth and effort, but this will go a long way in ensuring the growth of every individual. Rote memory should be largely discouraged. I have often wondered as to why many children mug up balanced equations.

A common curriculum with adequate chance of customization could make way for acclaimed standard. I am aware that the New Education Policy -2020 is aimed at plugging the deficits and is aimed at students acquiring specialization in disciplines.