“We plan to expand the school till 12th grade, but in the first year we wanted to keep it till eighth, as we want to walk before we can run,” says Narpat Bhandari, CEO, Global School of Silicon Valley.
At the open house in January, Atul Temurnikar, Chairperson of the Global Indian Foundation, the parent body of the Global Indian International Schools said, “The mission of our schools is to nurture global citizens and impart an international perspective by building entrepreneurial skills from the beginning. We selected Silicon Valley as our U.S. headquarters based on its position as the world hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. The emphasis on science, technology, and global understanding in the Bay Area matches the philosophy of our schools.”
The foundation plans to open 25 branches in the United States over the next five years, received a shot in the arm recently when California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent his greetings the school’s way. Schwarzenegger applauded the Global School for providing an innovative and exciting education program to the children of the Silicon Valley through the launch of its first school in the United States.
In a message to the participants of the second Open House organized by the Global School of the Silicon Valley, Schwarzenegger said, “California’s future is only as strong as its youth, and I applaud everyone who had a hand in making this school a reality.”
The new campus is the brainchild of Bay Area-based entrepreneur Narpat Bhandari, country director of the Global School of Silicon Valley. He has been on the founding team of the Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) in Silicon Valley and is the founder of Aspen Semiconductor in the late 1980s.
The Singapore-based Global Indian foundation was co-founded by Bhandari’s brother-in-law and noted jurist Late Dr. L.M. Singhvi, who was also India’s longest serving High Commissioner to the U.K. The other founders are Justice C.S. Dharmadhikari and Atul Temurnikar.
Bhandari said that he had long discussed with Dr. Singhvi the idea of launching a Global India Foundation-affiliated school in the U.S. In April last year, Temurnikar and had a meeting of the minds on the need for a new “21st century education” for U.S. students.
The Global School is part of Singapore headquartered Global Indian Foundation’s network of 21 schools across Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates, which serve more than 21,000 students combined, including more than 11,000 students in India. Another four schools in India are currently under construction.
Founded in 2002, the Global Indian Foundation plans to open another 100 schools in 20 countries by 2018.
The school in the Silicon Valley school will foster a solid foundation in the core subjects and technology in parallel with emphasis on languages, art, music, sports, and prepare students to compete effectively in the global economy, says Temurnikar.
“The success of a school depends heavily on the quality of teachers. We will send our educators to other branches of the Global School for training and to get an international perspective, that we want to promote to our students,” says Bhandari.
“We will provide stellar education with a global perspective by incorporating standard international curriculums and by exceeding California State Standards. We will parallely honor the culture, character, and values that distinguish Silicon Valley. We shall create an environment that fosters the development of each individual student and his or her core competencies,” says Marianne Kent-Stoll, the founding principal of the school.
“My dream is to make certain that the highest quality education is made available to all who seek it and to ensure that California and Silicon Valley remain the hubs for global innovation. With trends in business, economics, politics, science and the arts all moving towards a borderless system, a global education starting at primary level is vital for success in today’s world,” says Bhandari.
On a need basis and depending on the merit of the students, scholarships will be offered to children with family incomes below a certain level. “As an administrator and a parent, I see a tremendous advantage for children to learn and grow in a multicultural setting, which can have a significant impact on their future careers,” he says.
The Global School’s unique approach to the curriculum includes an increased interconnection among nations and people. It embraces technology to connect with students at sister campuses across the globe on a daily basis. Web and videoconferencing links to other campuses where students can build relationships and share learning experiences virtually. Teachers are also encouraged to engage a network of 1,500 educators around the world for collaboration and idea sharing.
At the Bay Area campus, Hindi and Tamil will be offered as second languages to the students besides which a myriad performing arts of India will be made available as part of the extra-curricular activities.