One of the areas that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic is early childhood education. Preschools have explored multiple innovative ways to stay engaged with their students virtually and continue with their learning. With its presence extending across 5 countries, 350+ towns and cities, 1100+ pre-schools, and 30 K-12 schools, EuroKids have contributed to the growth and development of over 5,00,000 children. Looking forward to becoming the pioneers of Reinventing Education in the country, EuroKids have thought of several innovative ideas to keep their students engaged through multiple activities keeping in mind that the content for a pre-schooler must take into consideration the needs and the attention span of a young child.
In conversation with Prajodh Rajan, Co-Founder and Group CEO, EuroKids International
- Tell us about EuroKids. How did it start out?
The EuroKids story is one of a transformation from a children’s book publishing company into a company focused on early childhood education and K-12 education. The journey into the education services segment began in 2001 when we set up the first EuroKids pre-school in Mumbai. From 2 pre-schools in Mumbai in 2001, today we have spread our network to more than 1100+ Pre-Schools, over 350 cities and having nurtured over 300,000 children. In 2009, we entered the K12 segment with a series of EuroSchools, today, we have 30+ schools with EuroSchool & Billabong High.
- What are some of the best practices followed at EuroKids?
Our identity has evolved continuously to provide both children and parents with a superlative pre-school experience. In this journey, we have been very fortunate to find passionate individuals who partner along with us as franchise partners, and we work with more than 1000 partners from across India who are aligned to our mission of providing a nurturing environment for children, thereby aiding the cause of learning.
As an organization, we have evolved to keep on course with the changing trends in how to drive effectively and age-appropriate learning amongst children. But one thing that has remained a constant is our Child-First ideology. We have a team of experts who have dedicated years towards understanding the needs of young children and have refined the delivery of curriculum at our pre-schools, to make it new-age and engaging. When we forayed into the K-12 segment, we on-boarded the right mix of team members who had expertise in this segment and we also strengthened our team to include specialists with direct delivery experience since EuroSchools were directly owned and managed by us.
- Considering the recent developments, how has EuroKids been reaching out to students?
As a responsible educational organisation, we are constantly mindful of our duties towards the next generation at all times, and especially during such an unprecedented pandemic. Over the last few years, our investments towards creating digital assets have come to good use just in time for deployment across our chain of schools. We have been using technology and digital platforms to enable and enhance the learning experience for our students, and to remain in touch with students and their parents. Even during the lockdown, our schools have been engaging with students ‘virtually’ since the beginning of April. In addition to academic and non-academic learning engagements, we have rolled out programmes to help children stay positive during the lockdown phase.
- Could you elaborate more on the technologies used by EuroKids for teaching young students?
The need to engage with our children across all our schools is as imperative as it is to stay connected and help all the parents across the country. And for this, we are using video conference classes for the K-12 children and we have begun our new academic year. We are using our proprietary Learning Management System (LMS) Argus and Billabox to share digital textbooks, Q&A sessions and home assignments with the students. These apps provide students with a platform for constructive project-based discussion and collaboration online.
We have also taken our in-class curriculum – EUNOIA and used our existing technology and mobile applications to offer it to toddlers and their parents, while at home. Every piece of content that is being shared has been carefully curated keeping in mind practices such as Attention, Resilience, and Kindness that will form the basis of a strong foundation to imbibe 21st-century skills. As for parents, we have rolled out a number of tools that are age-appropriate, fun-based tutorials for our pre-school parents to help them engage with their children at home.
- With the Internet being so easily accessible to all, what role has EuroKids played in creating awareness about Internet Safety to parents?
With the proliferation of internet usage across all age segments, at EuroKids we understand the positive and negative aspects for today’s youth. Through our pre-schools and K-12 schools, we have been holding Internet safety and cybersecurity awareness sessions for our parents on an ongoing basis at the school every year for each grade.
- With the Nationwide Lockdown affecting all sectors, how has EuroKids been coping with it? What steps have you taken to keep everything smooth running?
Once we were able to ensure the safety of all our students and staff when the lockdown was announced, we then moved into determining how we could continue the learning path for our students. We deployed our existing technology and digital platforms to enhance the learning experience for our students and to help parents track developmental milestones for their children. Now, even as our physical schools have remained closed since mid-March, our virtual schools are engaging our students. In addition to academic and non-academic learning engagements, we have rolled out many programmes to help children stay positive during the lockdown phase, such as counselling sessions with our school advisors.
- Tell us about what EuroKids has in store for us.
The EuroKids journey has focussed on the idea of bringing the ‘Joy of Learning’ to young children by making learning a fun experience. Our ‘Child First Ideology’ emphasises development, safety, security, creating a hygienic and clean environment for nurturing young minds in close coordination with parents. All of these when synergized made EuroKids the Child’s Second Home!