EducationWorld-C fore Survey of India's Most Respected Schools 2011

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Gorsi Parekh is the chairperson and managing director of the Gandhinagar (Gujarat)-based Arraycom (India) Ltd. Arraycom is a well-known name in the telecom integrated broadcast systems and seismology industries in Gujarat and beyond.

A family and child welfare postgrad of the reputed Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, Parekh intended to build a career in social work. But the untimely death of her husband in 2002 imposed the responsibility of taking charge of Arraycom (annual turnover: Rs.100 crore, headcount: 300).

Newspeg. With Arraycom firmly on the rails in its traditional businesses, Parekh has undertaken the company’s first social sector initiative — an e-learning project. The objective of Project E-Path is transformation of education through technology, by digitising content mapped to the syllabuses of state school examination boards.

Direct talk. “Though people in urban areas are also showing keen interest in the project, our focus is on reaching rural students in remote areas. Karnataka was the first to test E-Path through a pilot project for classes V-VIII, followed by Gujarat for classes III-IX and Uttar Pradesh for classes IX-XII. In all these states, students’ response has been excellent,’’ says Parekh. “In Gujarat we are also testing a mobile e-learning lab in six districts contiguous to Gandhinagar. There’s a clear possibility of Project E-Path revolutionising school education,’’ she adds.

History. Although Parekh’s attention was primarily focused on Arraycom, she managed to spare time for socially beneficial education projects. In 1995, she established the first Toddlers Den (Todden) — a preschool activity centre — in Ahmedabad. Today, 120 children are enrolled in six Todden centres statewide.

After her marriage in 1990, Parekh relocated to Gujarat and registered a non-profit organisation to promote an institution for education and child development. In 2000, the society promoted the Ahmedabad International School (AIS), a K-12 world school affiliated with IBO (International Baccalaureate Organisation), Geneva. “AIS is the first school in Gujarat with affiliation to IBO, Trinity School of Music, London and CIE (Cambridge International Examinations), UK,’’ she says with justifiable pride.

Future plans. With the launch of Project E-Path last year, Parekh is fully committed to its outreach. “Rolling it out to cover all states is likely to occupy our attention in the foreseeable future. This is a period of consolidation in the education space,’’ says Parekh.

Fair winds!

R.K. Misra (Gandhinagar)

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