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Jain Schools, Bangalore and Hyderabad, India

By Yvette Vignando - 25th July 2010

I've visited three schools run by the JGI Group in India this week; the founder of these schools is Dr R. Chenraj Jain. An integral part of the Jain schools' philosophy is the development of the whole person and an intention to nurture in every student a love for learning, a strong sense of self esteem, personal integrity and a respectful, caring attitude towards others.

I'm here in India via an invitation from The Achievers' Program (TAP); and found myself in three interesting schools all run under the JGI (Jain) umbrella. My first visit was to Jain International Residential School (JIRS) - a kind of oasis out in the countryside 45+ km from the centre of Bangalore.

As I was driven up the main drive to the school, I marvelled at a green lawn that looked like a golf course ... I later found out that it was in fact a golf course, and was subsequently shown an incredible array of facilities including an Olympic-standard pool and diving pool (complete with underwater cameras), gyms, billiard rooms, massive cricket grounds, table tennis rooms and even an indoor computerised AMF bowling alley! The latter are only summaries of an impressive and astounding number of facilities for students to play sports and to learn.

The staff at JIRS were welcoming and, like all the staff at the Jain schools I visited, very receptive to the importance of teaching social and emotional skills to children. Their generous feedback about the usefulness of the workshop buoyed my spirits as I was feeling quite tired from arduous travels through the challenging traffic conditions, security-laden airports and creative driving practices on the roads.

I then visited Jain Heritage School in Bangalore.This school is only a few years old and is currently adding more rooms to its already quite substantial size. Once again I was hospitably and warmly welcomed and the workshops were a delight. Jain Heritage is a day school but also supplies meals to the children; they are strongly focused on the concept of teaching to meet (Howard Gardner's idea of) children's multiple intelligences and, like JIRS, also emphasise the importance of sports for developing their students' social and personal skills as well as their physical strengths.

Flying on to Hyderabad, I then presented a third workshop to the Jain Heritage school there; described as a "Cambridge School", like many schools teaching in English here in India, it provides students with the opportunity to graduate from the Cambridge International Examination (CIE). I was beautifully welcomed with a short ceremony of lighting of a 'candle of knowledge' (the brass candlestick surrounded by saffron and orange flower petals) and in spite of humid and warm conditions, the teachers and leadership team of the school were active and enthusiastic learners during the workshop. I was grateful for their input and receptiveness to the importance of social and emotional education for their students.

On a final note, I was especially impressed and appreciative that in these schools the COO (CEO) and/or Principals of the school (and other associated schools) took the time to attend the workshops. It was further confirmation to me of the commitment of their leadership to explore the potential of incorporating more emotional intelligence skills in their curricula. My next stop ... Delhi - watch this space.

Comments (4)

Models for Oz?

Hi, Yvette,
Looks like our schools here in Australia could learn a lot from some of those schools you visited. I hope our Education Ministers, national and state, get to read your blogs and other articles, and initiate the integration of EI into our National Curriculum.

Travels

Hi Yvette,
Great descriptions of your experiences in India. The school facilities sound amazing and unreplicable here! Your EI input must be the icing on their cake. Happy and safe travels.

YvetteVignando's picture

Thank you Saroj

I appreciated your warm hospitality and care during my stay with your school and look forward to staying in touch. I have been to Hyderabad and Delhi and now in Chandigarh. Today I ran a workshop at a school in Patiala. It was so humid - I felt like I was melting in front of the audience!

Saroj's picture

hi

hi Ms Yvette,
thanks for such a wonderful writeup on the JGI family.hope you are relaxing after hectic week.

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