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Andersen’s challenging brief

EducationWorld May 2020 | People

AndersenCopenhagen-born Allan Kjaer Andersen is the Bangalore-based director of the new age K-12 Chaman Bhartiya School (CBS) — the first education initiative of the Gurgaon-based real estate heavyweight Bhartiya Group
(annual revenue: Rs.1,300 crore). Construction of two of the three integrated complexes of the state-of- the-art Bhartiya City sited on a 125-acre estate in suburban Bangalore is finished. On full completion of Bhartiya City its population is estimated to reach 30,000.

Newspeg. CBS is all set to admit its first batch of KG-class V children on June 29, subject to the current Covid-19 national lockdown being lifted.

History. A public administration, Danish language and literature, business management and history alumnus of the University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen Business School and Roskilde University (Denmark), Andersen began his career in 1974 as a teacher of Danish language and literature at Tietgenskolen, a vocational business school in
Odense. This was followed by stints in senior administrative positions in Danish youth education institutions
including business schools, a social and healthcare school and several gymnasiums (higher secondary schools).

In the new millennium Andersen was appointed founder-principal of the government-run Orestad Gymnasium
School, Copenhagen. Since then over the past 15 years, Orestad — defined by its circular staircases, open learning spaces, fully digitalized teaching material and advanced pedagogies — has evolved into the world’s 15 most innovative schools according to the US-based website Business Insider. Andersen is also the founder of the Roskilde-based Global Schools Alliance (GSA) — a select group of 15 innovative member schools from nine countries.

In May 2018, Andersen was invited by the Bhartiya Group chairman Snehdeep Aggarwal to conceptualise and establish a globally comparable K-12 school in Bhartiya City with the brief to “transform Indian education”. Confident that his wide experience enables him to discharge this brief, Andersen translocated to India.

Direct talk. “The prime objective of CBS is to prepare children for leadership positions in the uncertain and complex world of the future. Combining the best of Indian and Scandinavian education, our We Lead curriculum is concentrated on making learning joyful and stimulating without compromising academic rigour. We believe this is best done through projects and play-based pedagogies. To this end, we have partnered with LEGO Education
to develop academic competencies through play. Moreover, CBS’ learning ecosystem is developed by Apple
Education Solutions Provider and teachers are given digital professional development by Apple-certified trainers,” says Andersen.

Future plans. Andersen has ambitious plans to internationalise CBS through its induction into the Global Schools Alliance. “We plan to leverage this network and introduce international exchange programmes and internships for our students. Moreover, member schools also benefit from professional development programmes, international
workshops and teaching fellowships of GSA,” adds Andersen.

According to a recent study by Universitas 21 (U21), Denmark has the world’s fourth best higher education system because it is supported by a strong and carefully designed K-12 school system. The chances of Andersen discharging his brief to transform K-12 education in India are good!

Paromita Sengupta (Bangalore)

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