Francis Joseph is on a mission: to connect schools. His 'School Leaders Network' aims to help schools connect with each other better in order to enrich the student experience.
Joseph, a Keralite born and brought up in Mumbai, has more than 20 years of experience in school administration and has set up several schools in India and abroad. He holds the record for managing the fastest school admission process (10 days) in India and was selected as an emerging edupreneur (2013) by the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (UK) for his efforts in affordable and low-cost education.
School Leaders Network is a professional network of people working in the education sector. “In general the idea is to connect all schools,” says Joseph. “ A student in Kerala, after school does not limit himself to Kerala, he goes around the world. So, I want the school in Kerala to benefit from the best practices of other schools in say Delhi or Bengaluru. Learning is beyond boundaries.”
The members in the network are principals, management representatives, school CEOs, COOs, etc. The group also have several distinguished mentors who are passionate about creating a student friendly environment.
The Network already connects 170 schools across the globe, and Joseph says several schools in Thrissur have shown an interest in hooking up.
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He is in Kerala to attend a seminar in Kozhikode on October 1, the Early Childhood Association India conference, where he will speak about the problems in early childhood education and the burden it puts on children. “We are not just a platform for schools to talk to each other but also to work together, he says. “We are not a market place, not into activism, but simply a network of people who want to help improve each other.”
Ask him what prompted him to start the network, and quick comes the response, “Just the fact that schools don't talk to each other.”
“I have set up several schools in India and abroad, I realized that it is all about competition. I want to disrupt this consulting market and instead help schools, teachers and leaders to collaborate with each other.”
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Joseph is already in touch with the ministry of human resource and development to implement this idea as a program all over the country. “It will go beyond me,” he says proudly.
At Kozhikode he will talk about early childhood education, basically the pre-primary sector. “It is one of the most neglected sections in our eduction system. We will be focusing on how education puts a heavy burden on students in this group while internationally countries are decreasing the burden on students,” he says.
Schools and educationists interested in connecting with the network can email firstname.lastname@example.org.