Outstanding Achievement in Education Leadership Award 2017
Arun Kapur is one of India’s most distinguished preschool-class XII educationists. A history postgrad of Delhi University, Kapur began his career as a teacher in The Doon School, Dehradun, routinely ranked India’s #1 boys boarding school in the annual EducationWorld India School Rankings (EWISR), followed by a stint in the Uppingham School, UK. After he returned to India, he was appointed principal of the British School, Delhi.
In 1990 he was invited by media tycoon and India Today publisher Aroon Purie to conceptualise and launch the group’s Vasant Valley School (VVS), Delhi. Since then over the past 27 years, Kapur has nurtured and developed VVS into the country’s most respected school, routinely ranked — among India’s Top 3 co-ed primary-secondaries and #1 in EWISR 2013. Moreover, VVS has been ranked #1 on the parameter of leadership/management quality for three consecutive years (2015-17) among all day schools in EWISR — an indicator of Kapur’s leadership skills. Kapur is also executive director of Learn Today (estb. 2000), the education division of the India Today Group, which focuses on the professional development of teachers, conceptualisation of teaching-learning materials, school audits and improvement programmes.
His work with VVS and Learn Today apart, Kapur is founder-chairman of Ritinjali (estb. 1995), an NGO which works with more than 500,000 children in schools of Rajasthan and Delhi; runs a Second Chance School in Mahipalpur, New Delhi, which offers vocational training and schooling through the National Indian Open School system to young adults; a night school in Delhi and provides free legal aid and conducts counselling and rehabilitation programmes for juveniles and women inmates of Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
In addition to all these initiatives, in 2001 Kapur promoted Pallavan, a chain of three preschools in Delhi NCR which are routinely ranked among Gurgaon’s Top 3 preschools. In 2006, this indefatigable educationist founded Pallavanjali, an organisation dedicated to promoting inclusive education and a rural school in Jhalawar, Rajasthan. His other notable initiatives are the Centre for the Escalation of Peace (estb. 2013), International Summer School, New Delhi (estb. 2013) and authoring two books — Transforming Schools — Empowering Children (2007) and Leading Out (2011). Currently Kapur frequently travels to the Kingdom of Bhutan where he is director of the Royal Academy, a K-12 initiative of His Majesty the King of Bhutan.
For his extraordinary contribution to the upgradation and development of private and public education in India, for introducing contemporary best practices and strongly propagating a shift from academics and exams obsession to all-round development of children, and in particular for nurturing Vasant Valley School into the country’s top-ranked primary-secondary, the Board of Directors and Editors of EducationWorld are proud to present Arun Kapur the EW Outstanding Achievement in Education Leadership Award 2017 and induct him into the EW Hall of Fame of Indian Education.