Budding champions educator: Mahesh Rao

EducationWorld September 2021 | People
Dilip Thakore (Bengaluru)

Mahesh Rao (left) & Sardesai: established proof of concept

Mahesh Rao is the energetic promoter-director of the Bengaluru (aka Bangalore)-based Prose Education Academy Pvt. Ltd (PEA, estb.2017). This company provides online academic education to class VI-XII children enrolled in sports academies across the country. Its prime objective is to provide “necessary academic education” to children aged 11-18 intent upon making careers in international sports arenas and playing fields.

Newspeg. In 2017, PEA signed an agreement with the Kolar (Karnataka)-based TSG Academy (TSGA), promoted in 2018 by nationally renowned golf coach Tarun Sardesai, and described as “India’s first professional golf, sports science and educational institution driven by a singular training and learning philosophy”.

TSGA is a co-ed day-cum-boarding golf academy with a current enrolment of 40 students. Among them: Aryan Roopanand, winner of the National Amateur Championship 2019 and record holder, Viraj Madappa, youngest Indian to win the Asian Tour 2018 and Aditi Ashok, who almost won a bronze in the Tokyo Olympics, 2020. Moreover, with proof of concept now established in TSGA, Rao is set to sign similar online academic learning agreements with several other sports — including cricket — academies mushrooming countrywide.

History. A commerce graduate of Bombay University, the Jewellery Institute, Rhode Island, USA and Kaizen Institute, Tokyo, Rao started his business career in 1981 in Mumbai and is former promoter-director of the Bengaluru-based Peakok Jewellery Pvt. Ltd (estb.1991). The company quickly established the Carbon brand of affordably-priced jewellery whose USP (unique sales proposition) was based on “design rather than intrinsic value of gems and stones”.

After a highly successful run of 21 years (1991-2012), Rao exited the gems and jewellery business to “heed his inner voice” to venture into education. The first initiative in his new vocation was the K-10 CBSE-affiliated Excel Public School, Hootagalli, Mysuru aka Mysore (estb.2018) which currently has 450 students and 25 teachers on its muster rolls. But his more ambitious and innovative initiative is PEA, which he believes can release the huge latent sports and games potential of the world’s largest child and youth population.

Direct talk. “PEA’s solution is to offer class VI-X children the option of a stripped down curriculum comprising core subjects such as English, science and maths, and several electives with NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) certification. PEA is India’s first online school which gives children intent on making careers in sports and games, plenty of time to focus on sports training and practice,” explains Rao.

Future plans. With all the wrinkles of the PEA’s online education delivery programme ironed out at TSGA, Rao is optimistic this model will enable hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of primary-secondary students to invest sufficient time for developing their competitive sports and games skills and intelligences. “If the now tested PEA-TSGA model is replicated countrywide, India which has a huge pool of high-potential sports champions will take its right place among the world’s sporting nations and bring home many more Olympic medals,” says Rao.

It’s a consummation devoutly to be wished!

Also Read: Child rights champion: Shikha Agnihotri

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