We at Square Panda India have always believed that high quality early childhood education paves the way to future success, turning early learners into productive citizens that directly impact national growth. With this in mind, we partnered with Times Network’s India Economic Conclave (IEC), held on March 25th and 26th in New Delhi to highlight the latest and greatest advances in education.
Here are some highlights from this momentous event:
SPEAKERS FROM SQUARE PANDA
- Ashish Jhalani, Square Panda India – Managing Director
- Andre Agassi, Tennis Legend, Chairman & Founder – The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, Chairman of the Board – Square Panda
GALLERY OF EVENT PHOTOS
“Education is what takes a person, nation and economy to greater levels. It is the very backbone that supports growth and prosperity,” states Ramesh Pokhriyal, Minister of Education #IEC2021. @IDFCFIRSTBank pic.twitter.com/Q6waSZJ8kP— ET NOW (@ETNOWlive) March 26, 2021
“The pandemic has not just caused loss of 1 year of learning for the children but also several years of social development,” says Ashish Jhalani (CMO Global), Square Panda (USA) & MD, Square Panda India #IEC2021. @IDFCFIRSTBank@squarepanda_edu @tanvishukla pic.twitter.com/RzXI5MTVAb— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) March 26, 2021
“Without education, there’s no choice. No choice means they go in a downward spiral. And so, I took a 40 million mortgage and opened a school in Las Vegas. Because kids aren’t failing. We’re failing them.” @andreagassi at #IEC2021, speaking about his passion for education.#ECCE pic.twitter.com/UJ8EHhkojW— Square Panda India (@squarepanda_edu) March 26, 2021
He added, “My request to the government is to involve innovative, research-based private players early on so that our nation can execute the NEP rapidly.”— Square Panda India (@squarepanda_edu) March 26, 2021
“The challenges that exist are daunting. We need to educate teachers too, it’s important. The most efficient way of reaching kids is investing in early childhood. It offers the greatest social return on capital.”— Square Panda India (@squarepanda_edu) March 26, 2021
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM IEC 2021
Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal: The Union Education Minister of India, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal, took centre stage and delved deeper into his passion for learning and education. Echoing the ideas and growth put forth by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, Dr. Pokhriyal reiterated the need for inclusive education at all levels across India. This was only possible with the alignment of each stakeholder in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) ecosystem, namely educators, parents, early learners, Anganwadi workers, and administrators.
He also underlined the importance of imparting education in one of our many mother tongues and regional languages, with multilingualism given its due. The Minister elaborated on the importance of native-language instruction, and expressed a desire to make India a hub of global education, just as it was centuries ago.
Ashish Jhalani: The Square Panda India MD discussed the importance of ‘Investing in Education’ with Sampark Foundation’s Founder, Mr. Vineet Nayar. Read a synopsis of their talk here.
Andre Agassi: The closing address at the IEC was delivered by world-famous tennis legend, educational facilitator, and Square Panda’s Chairman of the Board. Citing his lack of education and thereby, lack of choice, as the inspiration behind his educational efforts, Andre believes the world is failing children at the moment. Building 125+ charter schools across the United States has made a substantial impact, but there are multiple roadblocks to overcome, a challenge compounded by the lack of innovation across this segment.
Remarking on the need to innovate across the education spectrum, he said, “You bring someone from the past, someone who lived 200 years ago, and walk them into an airport, a train station, or a hospital, and they won’t be able to recognise these places. You walk them into a school, and they won’t have even a moment of confusion. Education is the only industry that has remained stagnant and without innovation for 200 years.”
In keeping the recurrent theme brought up across multiple discourses that evening, Andre pointed out the myriad benefits of public-private partnerships in education, including access to resources philanthropy cannot always provide, and an ability to innovate at scale.
At Square Panda India, we recognise the crucial need to empower educators and Anganwadi workers if they are to have a better impact on early learning outcomes. This was a sentiment echoed by Andre during his near hour long deliberation.
Pondering the road ahead, he noted that, “The challenges that exist are daunting. We need to educate teachers too, it’s important; and the most efficient way of reaching kids is by investing in early childhood. It offers the greatest social return on capital.”
A quick Q&A session with an eager audience later, Andre signed off, and with that the curtains came down on another thought-provoking edition of the India Economic Conclave.
Watch Andre’s speech here:
Square Panda India was honoured and energised by the presence of leaders from across industry, government, academia, and civil society, and only served to reaffirm our commitment to take the entire early learning ecosystem to greater heights.
Learn more about Square Panda India, our mission and goals, and how we envision transforming education for millions of children, educators, and Anganwadi workers, here.