KUNSKAPSSKOLAN GURGAON OPENED IN 2013 AND HAS ALREADY BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED FOR ITS HIGH ACADEMIC STANDARDS AND STATE-OF-THE-ART LEARNING SYSTEM. DEBAMEETA BHATTACHARYA REPORTS

IN Swedish, “Kunskapsskolan” means “the knowledge school”, wherein the drive is to provide excellence in learning and knowledge for the next generation. Its Kunskapsskolan Education (Ked) programme — a coherent and proven formula for personalised education — operates in 36 schools in Sweden, five schools in the UK and in the Innovate Manhattan School in New York City, USA. The first school in India, Kunskapsskolan Gurgaon, opened in 2013.
In this short span, the Gurgaon unit has been acknowledged for its high academic standards and state-of-the-art learning system. The establishment is renowned for its fresh approach that ensures excellent student performance. Having already created waves in other countries, Kunskapsskolan set up a private limited venture with Gyandarshan Eduventures to launch the Gurgaon school to offer K12 education to Indian and international students.
Peje Emilsson, founder and executive chairman of Kunskapsskolan Education, shares some information in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:

How is the Kunskapsskolan School-India programme designed to align and integrate with the existing curriculum and teaching pedagogy and support the programme?
In the 40-plus schools where the Ked programme has been implemented, the national curriculum is transacted through this methodology. In the UK, a International General Certificate of Secondary Education and an A-level is offered through this. And in Sweden, this happens to be the national curriculum. In the case of India, it is the Central Board of Secondary Education. That is how it works. We are a CBSE school and we follow the National Council of Educational Research and Training curriculum closely. The Ked programme lends itself well to the structure of the CBSE curriculum and is organised to assess students — both formatively and summatively.

There is a joint venture called Kunskapsskolan Eduventures. What is this all about?
Kunskapsskolan India is slated to play a crucial role in the development of curriculum for our schools. India has always been known for its well-qualified and knowledgeable human resource and technology acumen.
Currently, the Indian curriculum development team is working on a CBSE curriculum. However, Kunskapsskolan Sweden envisions India&’s development as a knowledge hub.

How many expatriates are currently involved and how many are being targeted in the upcoming session? Also, what about the countries from where these expats come?

Out of 280-plus students, we have 39 expatriates. They are from the Ukraine, Australia, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, South Africa, America and Norway.

What is this “Unique Kunskapsskolan Ked Back to School Parent Volunteering Programme” all about?
The school believes in building strong relationships with all its stakeholders. Parents are one of the key contributors to the development of their children and are enthused to participate in and contribute to events in school. They have volunteered in the yoga programmes and continue to accompany their wards on field trips in and around Delhi. For example, expatriate parents have involved themselves in a week-long Japanese endeavour that teaches origami, calligraphy, sushi-making, etc.

What are you planning next? Any expansion plans?
Yes, of course. After Gurgaon, we are looking to open more Ked schools — taking the concept to metropolitan and other two-tier markets.

How does one seek admission?
The admission process is based on vacancy availability. After filling in the registration form, the admission counsellor takes prospective parents around the school and explains the pedagogical value that we add.
We believe that parents should understand the programme and feel sure of the school&’s ideologies. They are encouraged to meet the admission team, the head of the school, and get a feel of the institution prior to deciding on admitting their wards. Students undergo a level evaluation that helps the core teachers to begin at a level students are comfortable with.

What about the changing phase of the Indian education system where where practical learning systems have become important? And where customised education systems are important, considering the transition from book-based to practical?

The Ked programme fosters skills in students to meet the demands of a modern world and the complexities of an unknown future while studying the national curriculum. This curriculum is experiential and activity-based and provides them with the opportunity to apply knowledge in real-life situations that helps in inculcating life skills.