Extraordinary Achievement in Education Leadership Award: G.S. Madhav Rao

EducationWorld January 2022 | Pictorial Essay


GS Madhav Rao with Dr. Kannan Gireesh (left) & Sumer Singh (right)

G.S Madhav Rao (GSMR) is an unsung hero of Indian education who is a friend, philosopher and guide of K-12 educators in India and abroad for over half a century. During his long and continuing association with primary-secondary and early childhood education, GSMR has enabled the promotion of several private schools in rural and urban India and in the Middle East and has helped them raise teaching-learning standards to global norms.

A science, education and English postgrad of the Regional College of Education, Bhubaneswar, Central Institute of Education, Delhi University, Utkal University and MARJONS, Plymouth UK, GSMR began his career as a science teacher in the Sri Venkateshwara Public School, Horsley Hills, Andhra Pradesh (1967-71) followed by the highranked Delhi Public School, Mathura Rd, Delhi (1971-79).

In 1979 responding to an appeal from farmers of Sambalpur District, Madhav Rao ventured deep into rural India to promote and establish the Kosala School, Nuakhairpalli entirely funded by the community desperate to provide good quality English medium education to their children. Five years later after the Kosala School was operationalized and mainstreamed, GSMR responded to a request of the DPS Society and Nalco (National Aluminium Company) to establish a Delhi Public School in the company’s captive township in Odisha. “Good quality foundational education is the essential prerequisite of national development and progress. Therefore it is my philosophy to respond to people and communities anxious to provide acceptable quality education to their children, tomorrow’s leaders,” says Madhav Rao.

G.S. Madhav Rao’s next invitation came from the GEMS Education, Pictorial Essay (Part II) Dubai, arguably the world’s largest chain of K-12 institutions. Reportedly hand-picked and selected by Sunny Varkey, the legendary Chairman of GEMS Education, in 1992 GMSR was appointed Executive Principal of Our Own English School, Dubai, the flagship institution of GEMS. After serving with GEMS Education for 15 years (1992-2007), Madhav Rao returned to India and after a brief stint as Chief Academic Officer of GEMS India, he signed up as CEO of the Delhi NCR-based Synergy School Systems Pvt. Ltd which builds and manages schools for investors countrywide (2008-18). After that GSMR went solo and currently is the Chief Advisor of Mumbai-based Kothari Group and Vasal Education Society, Punjab. These groups run 11 schools with an aggregate enrolment of 18,000 students mentored by 1,300 teachers.

Looking back at his long career in K-12 education in India and abroad, G.S. Madhav Rao is disappointed with the inadequate investment and faulty policies in public education. “America’s education policies are heavily influenced by powerful national associations of school principals. Unfortunately in India school principals and teachers are hardly involved in the process of formulating education policy. The entire academic community needs to unite to influence and shape early childhood and primary-secondary education,” advises Madhav Rao.

For his sustained and dedicated effort to raise teaching-learning standards and learning outcomes in K-12 education in India and offshore, the Editors and Board of Directors of EducationWorld are pleased to present the Extraordinary Achievement in Education Leadership Award 2021-22 to G. S. Madhav Rao.

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GEMS Cambridge International School, Hoshiarpur

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