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Sandeep Goenka - Chairman, CP Goenka Group of Institutions Mumbai

Where would you place education on your national list of priorities?

It is my #1 priority.

 

How best to upgrade government schools?

The most important area that needs upgradation is professional development of teachers. Only when teachers are well-trained will they be able to transfer knowledge effectively to learners.

 

Thinker/philosopher you admire the most.

 Aristotle who said: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

 

Your favourite Nobel laureate

Undoubtedly MalalaYousafzai. For a young girl from a small conservative town, to have such conviction and self-belief is monumental.

 

Your leadership style.

I am a hands-on leader who leads by example. Although I delegate and believe in giving everyone operational autonomy, I pay very close attention to the inner functioning of the institutes I run.

 

Your favourite book on education.

How Children Fail by John Holt, which has greatly influenced my understanding of education.

 

For or against the RTE Act’s 25 percent reservation for underprivileged children in private schools?

In principle, the idea of including underprivileged children in mainstream schools is noble. However, the RTE Act requires a whole new method of implementation which hasn’t been thought through in its entirety.

 

Should the education outlay be doubled by cutting defence expenditure?

We need to take all possible precautions to protect ourselves and maintain our territorial integrity, whatever the cost. Therefore we need to use our education outlay more judiciously.

 

How satisfied are you with the growth and development of the CP Goenka Group of Institutions?

We started our journey as a franchisee with only 19 students in 2000. Today, we have our own brand and have successfully promoted nine high schools with over 20,000 children mentored by 2,000 teachers.

 

Pessimistic or optimistic about the future of education in India?

The growth curve of Indian education and literacy is rising steeply. I am very optimistic.

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