The co-ed day TGAA, Chembur (estb. 2013) has quickly established a reputation as a progressive 21st century school providing students well-balanced child-centred education employing the latest IT-enabled pedagogies – Dipta Joshi
Nestling in a leafy green oasis in the Chembur suburb of Mumbai, is the futuristic campus of The Green Acres Academy (TGAA, estb.2013), promoted by Rohan Parikh, founder-trustee of the Acres Foundation — registered in 2012 by the Mumbai-based Apurva Natvar Parikh (ANP) Group with business interests in transport, real estate and hospitality.
Since TGAA admitted its first batch of 14 students in 2013, this K-X co-ed day school affiliated with the Delhi-based Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has quickly earned a reputation for providing holistic ICT-enabled education rooted in Indian values to its 2,047 students including 927 girl children. In the Times School Survey 2018, TGAA was conferred the ‘Fastest emerging National Curriculum School in Mumbai’ award. In 2017, TGAA was conferred the EducationWorld Grand Jury Award in the ‘new technologies usage’ category.
“The institutional objective of TGAA is to provide a safe, secure and tech-enabled learning environment for children through our unique 8-4-8 curriculum. Based on eight core principles for students, four for parents and teachers, and eight for the school, we ensure that all children develop eight essential competencies — academics, sports, music, logic and debate and arts and crafts among others — required for success and leadership in our rapidly globalising world. By also spelling out the responsibilities of parents, teachers and the school, we are well-prepared to nurture physically strong, emotionally stable, free-thinking, confident and competent graduates equipped to assume leadership positions anywhere in the world,” says Rohan Parikh, director of TGAA.
An economics graduate of the Wharton Business School, USA with an MBA awarded by INSEAD, France, and a decade of business and management experience in ANP Group companies, in 2013 Parikh promoted TGAA and simultaneously signed up for a Masters in education at the renowned Johns Hopkins University, USA.
Unsurprisingly, given his blue-chip education and organisation management experience, TGAA has quickly established a reputation for being a progressive 21st century school providing its students balanced child-centric education employing latest IT-enabled pedagogies and well-trained teachers. With public response to TGAA “exceeding expectations,” Parikh has expanded the group’s footprint and promoted TGAA schools in Mulund, Mumbai (estb.2015), affiliated with CISCE and TGAA, Pune (CBSE). Moreover in July, the ANP Group’s Cambridge International (UK)-affiliated Seven Rivers International School, Mumbai, admitted its first batch of 57 K-class II children currently studying on the TGAA Chembur campus.
Invested with Parikh’s storehouse of business management and education experience, the flagship TGAA, Chembur, housed in a cluster of five earthquake-resistant seven-storeyed buildings with large colourful windows and 60 double-height zero-echo Smart classrooms featuring light-shelves that stream abundant sunlight and ventilation, is setting new standards in K-X education. The state-of-the-art infrastructure includes three 21st century science labs plus a hi-tech multipurpose laboratory, two well-equipped computer labs, a teachers’ resource centre and music and art rooms. The library houses 8,650 books and subscribes to 15 magazines and e-journals. Moreover, specially designed spaces on every floor of the seven-storey buildings serve as hubs for extra-curricular activities. Paint is minimally used to avoid use of lead and anti-skid tiles ensure student safety. The wi-fi enabled campus designed by well-known architect Tushar Desai won the ‘Best Architecture’ award at the Artists at the Concrete Awards Asia Fest, 2015-16.
Sports education is also a priority of the school’s management with 11 well-qualified coaches mentoring students in several sports including football, basketball, yoga, taekwondo, gymnastics, skating, squash, swimming and rifle shooting. Other sports facilities include lawn tennis and basketball courts, a football ground and swimming pool, which the school shares with the contiguous Acres Club. Indoor games options include table-tennis, carom and chess. Co-curricular education is also a major focus area with speech and drama and a wide range of visual and performing arts incorporated into the curriculum.
“In TGAA, we have integrated academics with sports and co-curricular education with special emphasis on values education. The school’s culture of continuous learning and systems upgradation applies not only to our teachers and administrators, but parents as well. All teachers have to undergo 25 days of training every year while regular workshops on child development, health and parenting are conducted for parents. Currently, education experts from Australia, the Netherlands and US are working with us to develop school and teacher training programmes,” says Rachna Laxminarayanan, an alumna of Rohtak’s Maharishi Dayanand University who was appointed principal of TGAA last year.
Enthusiastic parental response in the nation’s commercial capital to TGAA has encouraged the ANP Group’s management to replicate the TGAA model school. “The Mumbai public’s response to TGAA, Chembur is very stimulating. With demand for admissions exceeding expectations, we have drawn up a plan to establish 20 TGAA schools in Mumbai and Pune over the next five years, and to complete the construction of our Seven Oaks International School campus within the next three years,” says Parikh.