How it all began
It all started over a candid discussion among four men on the dining table of their home. With a desire to enter the services space, exploring various diversification opportunities, under the able guidance of their legendry father Mr Pramod K Jain, Praveen, Prabhat and Prashant zeroed in on the education sector. While setting up stand alone affiliate colleges was much in vogue those days, the trio chose to set up a K-12 school that, in comparison, had a longer gestation period and was much more capital intensive and complex to set up. The vision was to become a prominent player in the education space by creating a model that is scalable and sustainable. The dream was to set up a world-class school, which over a period of time becomes an institution second to none and the one that always remains ahead of its times.
The start was made on two very basic questions:
- What is the very purpose of school education? Is it limited to helping students achieve that very important number to get into University? If so, why is it that all the most meritorious students are not necessarily the most successful in life?
- Who should one benchmark with? Having visited some great schools in India and around the world, one day it struck that these fabulous institutions were built decades and centuries ago. If one were to set up a forward looking institution, should one look into the past or peep into the future?
This started a two-year research. The trio met and interviewed some great achievers and outstanding thinkers from different disciplines. Explored and understood various formats of school education prevalent around the globe. Discovered and absorbed various modern researches in childhood and adolescence learning, such as Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences. All this helped in developing a comprehensive understanding of the changing needs and paradigms of school education such as:
- In today's world, where one cannot even imagine the kind of professions and businesses that will exist twenty years from now, the whole pedagogical approach for education should shift from 'teaching' based to 'learning' based, so as to prepare 'life-long learners'.
- A good teacher is no more the one who has answers to all the questions students ask, but the one who ignites students to ask such questions of which even s/he does not have the answers.
- Books, which were at least vetted, are no more the only source of information. Thus, how do you equip children with the skills to be able to filter tons of information that is thrown at them with the click of a button?
- In the classroom, how do you maintain the attention span of this restless and multi-tasking post-internet and cellphone generation that loves indulging in several activities at the same time?
This journey of unlearning and learning was so enticing for the father and sons that what started as a business dream soon became a lifelong passion.
Today, Pathways has completed more than a decade. The journey that had started at the turn of the millennium has never paused. From one location in 2003, we are now present at five locations. The vision that was initially carved out by 4 men is collectively shared and felt amongst thousands today. Having said that, we truly believe that Pathways is a living organism that evolves further with each passing year.