Kochi, May 8, 2015: GEMS Education, the world’s largest K-12 education provider, set foot in Kerala as part of expanding its global and Indian footprint as Padma Shri Dr. Sunny Varkey, Founder & Group Chairman of GEMS Education and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Education Partnerships, laid the foundation stone for GEMS Modern Academy at SmartCity Kochi, signaling the group’s academic journey into Kerala to offer world class education in the state.
The first school from the GEMS Education in Kerala to come up at SmartCity Kochi will offer CBSE curriculum with an option of International Baccalaureate (IB) in senior classes.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sunny Varkey, Founder & Group Chairman of GEMS Education, said that India will play a principal role in leading the Group’s global expansion,. “The global scenario is changing every day and so are our expectations for our children. By bringing in values and skills-based approaches to education, we want to ensure that our children are truly prepared for tomorrow. India is one of the key destinations where we already lead several educational initiatives including 17 schools in major cities. We plan to own or manage over 100 schools in India over the next few years,” he said.
From Middle East to Asia, GEMS Education now operates leading international independent schools in six regions globally, namely Middle East & North Africa, Europe, Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and South Asia.
The GEMS school is one of the major co-developments in the 246-acres SmartCity Kochi project. GEMS Education has also been given the building permit by the state government's single-window clearance system.
“Creating supporting infrastructure around the business township we envision at SmartCity Kochi is very crucial. Within this township, developing opportunities for education is of utmost importance to enhance community development. We couldn’t have asked for a better partnership than to have a prestigious institution like GEMS Education be a part of Kerala’s dream project” said Gigo Joseph, CEO, SmartCity Kochi.
“GEMS Modern Academy is the first major initiative of GEMS Education in Kerala and we are excited that we are making rapid progress towards making this initiative a reality. The approval for the GEMS School project in SmartCity Kochi comes at a time when GEMS Modern Academy in Gurgaon has successfully begun operations setting the stage for the launch of GEMS Modern Academy in Kochi soon,” added C. N. Radhakrishnan, Senior Executive Director - Varkey Group & Head of Group Chairman’s Office-GEMS Global.
“Education has been undergoing a dramatic change in recent times and as educators, our challenge is to provide our future generations the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. By bringing in values and skills-based approaches to education based on our research and learning over the last 5 decades, we want to ensure that our children are truly prepared for tomorrow,” said Amitabh Jhingan, Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Education India.
Recipient of Padma Shri award and Rajiv Gandhi Award for Eminent Educationist, Dr. Sunny Varkey transformed 'Our Own English High School,' the school set up by his parents, Mariamma Varkey and the late K. S. Varkey, 54 years ago in Dubai, into a global enterprise through his acumen, vision and dynamic leadership. In 2012, Dr. Varkey was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Education Partnerships.
GEMS Education, which has set a Global benchmark for quality education, has been operating for over 50 years now and has a global network of international schools with over 1.4 lakh students from 160 countries. GEMS Education employs more than 13,000 education professionals, specialists and staffs from across 115 countries. GEMS Education employs the largest number of teaching professionals from the UK & India outside their home countries.
GEMS Modern Academy, at SmartCity Kochi
Spread over 8 acres, the school offering World class infrastructure, international standards and facilities, GEMS Modern Academy (GMA) SmartCity Kochi, shall provide a built-up area of 2.2 lakh sq ft with the ability to house 3,400 students. Having a strong focus on experiential learning, the GMA in Smart City Kochi will offer a CBSE Curriculum with the International Baccalaureate (IB) option in Grades 11 & 12 providing tremendous exposure for its students on an international platform.
The school by GEMS Education will be built in the city’s Non-Processing Zone that will house residential, hospitality and education facilities. Not just the children of City’s knowledge workers, the school also aims at reaching out to the children of nearby areas as well. As GEMS Education believes, this confluence of minds will add to the sense of community.
The school will have Little GEMS Programme for Early Years, based on the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS) Curriculum. The programme is based on play-based exploration and inquiry establishing cross-curricular learning across 7 key learning areas, identified internationally as being key to early childhood development and preparing children for lifetime success. Using Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Lev Vygotsky’s teaching approaches to deliver the curriculum the programme is based on children developing new skills.
Being a part of the intended education infrastructure within SmartCity Kochi, the school by GEMS Education will dot the skyline along with technical colleges, higher education institutions and specialized training centres in future. All aimed at creating an environment where quality education, students and hiring companies are all situated close to one another.