Nordic ECCE spearhead: Pia Jormalainen

EducationWorld February 2020 | People

Pia JormalainenEspoo-based Pia Jormalainen is the CEO and co-founder of New Nordic School (NNS, estb.2018), a Finland-registered education solutions company offering turnkey pre-primary to secondary education solutions to clients worldwide. The company’s objective is to introduce the Nordic Baccalaureate programme that has the famed Finnish school curriculum at its core.

Newspeg. NNS has drawn up a plan to introduce its early years programme in 18 preschools in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bangalore, Mohali and Gurgaon this year. The Podar Education Network (PEN), which runs 500 pre-primaries under the name and style of Jumbo Kids countrywide, will introduce the NNS curriculum in ten PEN preschools to be launched under the title Podar Jumbo Kids Platinum, for infants in the 2.5-5 years age group.

For clients aspiring to set up new preschools or switch to the Nordic Baccalaureate system, NNS offers gap analyses of teacher proficiency, quality assurance maintenance, access to an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled technology platform as part of the company’s full 360 degree consultancy services. “I am very confident the Finnish curriculum can be adapted and implemented in Indian schools to positively transform teaching-learning outcomes,” says Pia Jormalainen.

History. A 1995 graduate of the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Jormalainen acquired an executive MBA degree from the Hanken School of Economics, in 2014. In the same year, she opted for a career in ECCE by launching two pre-primary schools named Small-folks Day-Care, and co-founded NNS in January 2018 together with sister Janne Jormalainen and India-born Suzanne Perkowsky, a graduate of St. Stephen’s College, Delhi (1989), with 30 years of experience in running pre-primaries in the US, UK, China and Saudi Arabia. NNS began its India operations in July 2018.

Direct talk. “Education in most countries is very grades and tests-driven. However, the Finnish system promotes classroom innovations within broad curriculum guidelines. Children learn joyfully through play and discovery rather than textbooks. 

Teaching-learning is not age-based but tailored to each child’s learning needs and style. Our full pre-primary-class XII curriculum is designed to develop children’s critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaborative skills,” says Pia Jormalainen.

Future plans. Given the huge excitement NNS has generated within the Indian K-12 education community, Pia Jormalainen is hopeful of reaching 20,000 students in 160 schools over the next three years. “We also plan to up-skill 3,000 teachers through our professional teaching competencies development modules,” she says.

Dipta Joshi (Mumbai)

Also read: India’s unsung ECCE pioneers

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