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In January – February 2012, accompanied by his wife Ellen Winner and his son Andrew Gardner, both educators, Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education made a seven city, three and one half week trip to India.

To meet the demand for primary and secondary education, India needs to add 20,000 new schools each year for the next ten years. Gardner and Winner spoke candidly and informally of their impressions of education in India, based on their visits to a variety of schools – including both government funded schools and a number of high-performing private schools. They visited Sujaya School, founded by Jerry Rao in Bangalore, the Muktanga Foundation Government School in Mumbai, and Riverside School founded by Kiran Sethi, in Ahmedabad, among other schools.

Gardner led a discussion on how to scale up new educational initiatives. All of the different schools the team of educators visited – particularly the private schools – were trying to address disparities in educational quality in India. Many of these entrepreneurial educators have succeeded in building high quality schools, but the question of scalability remains pertinent. Can these schools and educators scale up to tackle the systemic challenges of Indian education? What part should the government play in addressing educational reform, and what will the role be for NGOs, innovators, donors, or the private sector?

Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School and Director of SAI, chaired the event.

View photos from the event:


Watch the video here:

Indian Education As Seen By An American Educator on His First Trip To India from The South Asia Initiative on Vimeo.