Autar Nehru (Delhi)
Dr. Rosetta Williams is the Delhi-based CEO of the Dalmia Vidya Mandir (DVM, estb.1924) chain of eight schools promoted by the Dalmia Bharat Group of cement, sugar and refractory companies (annual revenue: Rs.1,210 crore). Currently, the CBSE-affiliated Dalmia Vidya Mandir schools educate an aggregate 15,000 students in six states (Rajasthan, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Bihar and Meghalaya) across the country.
Newspeg. In July, DVM schools became the first countrywide to introduce formal teaching of a Desh Bhakti (patriotic) curriculum named Bharat Gaurav Yatra. Children learn about India’s heritage, history and heroes through print narratives and animated videos. “Currently, this curriculum is for primary and middle school classes. We will soon add modules for secondary and higher secondary students. We plan to offer this carefully designed curriculum to 5,000 schools countrywide through free-of-charge licensing agreements,” says Williams.
History. An alumna of Agra and Middlesex (UK) universities, Williams has brought with her over 30 years of rich K-12 academic and administrative experience in India and abroad. She started her career with the reputed Delhi Public School Society (estb.1939) where she served as founder-principal of several DPS schools in Delhi NCR, UAE and Singapore (1991-2010) followed by a six-year tenure (2010-2016) as regional director (north India) of Zee Learn. In 2018, she was appointed CEO of the DVM schools chain with the mandate to rollout operations countrywide.
Direct talk. “Our objective is to take high-quality English-medium CBSE education to children in tier-II and III towns with priority given to places where Dalmia Bharat Group manufacturing facilities are located. The curriculum is designed to develop children into respectful, socially conscious and productive global citizens and leaders grounded in Indian culture, traditions and ethos. For instance, a distinguishing feature of DVM schools is that all of them teach children Sanskrit from preschool onwards,” says Williams.
Future plans. With the centenary year around the corner, in 2024 — the first DVM school, Dalmia Vidya Mandir, Chirawa (Udaipur) was promoted in 1924 — the trustees have drawn up an ambitious plan to promote additional primary-secondaries in Tamil Nadu, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
“When schools are permitted to reopen in the post-pandemic era, there will be a surge in demand for culturally rooted quality education of the type DVM schools provide. I’m confident we will have no problem in filling our schools to capacity,” says Williams.