LINA ASHAR, Founder-director, Kangaroo Kids Education Pvt. Ltd
Where would you place education on your national list of priorities?
There’s a dire need to have education and the social welfare of children at the top of the national agenda.
How best to upgrade 1.6 million government anganwadis into preschools?
Allow NGOs and corporate organisations to transparently operate anganwadis with the funds allocated for them by government.
Thinker/philosopher you admire the most.
Albert Einstein. I love his thoughts on learning and education, the importance of imagination and the intuitive mind.
Your favourite Nobel laureate.
I admire all the Nobel laureates who worked to bring peace to the world. Especially Albert Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore.
Your leadership style.
I do the dreaming and visioning and communicate my thinking with as much inspirational energy as I can muster. I then give plenty of space and room for the team to execute and implement.
Your favourite book on education.
It is not a conventional book on education, but it should be read by every child caregiver: The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton.
For or against the 25 percent reservation for underprivileged children in private schools?
I am for the right to education for all children. But I believe we should examine what has worked and what has not worked around the world. In its current format the RTE Act has opened doors to even more corruption and manipulation.
How satisfied are you with the growth and development of Kangaroo Kids Education Pvt. Ltd?
We started the journey with no capital and one preschool in Bandra, Mumbai with a batch of 13 children. Today KKEL provides its services to 55 Kangaroo Kids preschools and 18 Billabong High International schools in 24 cities in India as well as Dubai and the Maldives. That’s not so bad!
Pessimistic or optimistic about the future of education in India?
This is a challenge to answer as it all depends on government policy and how much autonomy it allows private schools. The positive development is that education is widely discussed now.