Shivika Goenka's Foray into Education Aims at Shaping a Brighter Future for The Next Generation

Shivika Goenka's Foray into Education Aims at Shaping a Brighter Future for The Next Generation

By: WE Staff | Friday, 28 July 2023

The foundation of every nation’s development and growth is its education system, especially school education. But schools today need to keep in touch with the changing beats of life and society. Be it aligning with the digital revolution, supporting students’ mental & emotional growth or incorporating tech trends such as AI & ML in education, schools today must be future-ready.

Serial entrepreneur Shivika Goenka agrees. She believes in giving back to society and thinks of high-quality education to be one of the most critical contributions one can make to shaping a brighter future for the next generation. With her new venture RP Goenka International School, she intends to do just that. Shivika and her team have emphasised on being mindful about every component of their educational effort, which has been designed to guarantee quality teaching, personalised attention, and a comprehensive approach to education.

Shivika herself is a graduate of Babson College, specialising in entrepreneurship. She has earlier helmed ‘The Loft,' an exclusive pop-up facility, 'The Gift Studio,' a digital gifting portal in partnership with Nature’s Basket and 'The Wardrobe,' a multi-designer shop.

In a conversation with Women Entrepreneur India, Shivika delves into the evolution of Indian school education system in the modern world, her journey as an entrepreneur and much more.

Your professional journey spans across various industries including fashion, retail, gifting, etc. Can you give us a brief account of your journey as a serial entrepreneur?

My interest has always been entrepreneurship, and my path began at Babson College, a renowned institution committed to encouraging entrepreneurship. Eager to explore diverse prospects and build new initiatives. I founded 'The Loft,' an exclusive pop-up facility meant to host events with famous worldwide luxury companies, recognised designers, and distinguished artists from across the globe.

When the COVID-19 epidemic occurred, I saw a chance to fulfil consumers' changing demands. As a result, I collaborated with Nature's Basket to establish 'The Gift Studio,' a digital gifting portal. My idea was to build a platform that offers a meticulously curated range of exquisite gifts, including gourmet delicacies, fresh flowers, cutting-edge gadgets, branded merchandise, and unique experiences. 'The Gift Studio' now serves consumers across India.

As a big believer in fostering new talent, I also founded 'The Wardrobe,' a multi-designer shop showcasing the best of the Indian fashion industry. 'The Wardrobe' has become a destination for individuals looking for the newest trends and styles in Indian fashion, with a carefully chosen range of Indian pret-wear designers.

Throughout my entrepreneurial career, I have embraced innovation, learned from the ever-changing market environment, and modified my businesses to suit the ever-changing demands of our valued clients. Each of these ventures shows my constant commitment to creating unforgettable experiences, cultivating important relationships, and making a positive difference in the worlds of luxury, gifting, and fashion.

What drew you towards the field of education? Tell us about the underlying idea behind establishing the RP Goenka International School.

Giving back to society has always been a passion of mine, and I am certain that giving a high-quality education is one of the most critical contributions we can make to shaping a brighter future for the next generation. With this drive, my team and I set out to build something genuinely cutting-edge in the realm of education.

Our mission is to make a significant difference in the lives of children and young minds. We recognise that education is the key to unleashing human potential, stimulating innovation, and cultivating tomorrow's leaders. We want to create a lifetime love of learning, critical thinking, and personal development in every student we serve by offering a loving and cutting-edge learning environment.

Every component of our educational effort has been meticulously designed to guarantee quality teaching, personalised attention, and a comprehensive approach to education. We are devoted to using cutting-edge educational approaches and technology to make learning more interesting, dynamic, and relevant to today's quickly changing environment.

We also believed there was a significant gap between the current educational environment and our vision for the future. Our goal was to establish a genuinely international school that would set new benchmarks of excellence and rethink education delivery.

We envisioned a learning environment that transcends boundaries, relying on best practises from throughout the world. Our ambition was to construct a school that fosters not just education but also global viewpoints, cultural understanding, and the development of well-rounded individuals. In terms of what existed, our vision, and the kind of international school we wanted to establish.

School education has greatly evolved over the past few years. What steps have you taken to align RP Goenka International School with the current education trends and requirements?

With this shift from traditional teaching and learning to a more student-centric, holistic approach, we are encouraging children to think critically, work collaboratively, and learn problem-solving skills that they will need to apply to their everyday lives. Instead of traditional teacher-led learning, where students are taught in traditional stand-alone subjects, this change to "student-led learning" allows young leaders to grow in every sphere of life.

The classrooms at RPGIS are specially designed to foster collaborative learning, encouraging interaction and teamwork among students. Additionally, creative breakout spaces are available for students to engage in collaborative tasks, self-exploration, nurture friendships, and enhance their creativity.

RPGIS has a world-class, tech-integrated campus with modern, state-of-the-art infrastructure. Its purposefully designed learning spaces enable students to think like scientists, mathematicians, authors, artists, and engineers. The school has a low teacher-student ratio of 1:6 that allows for personalised learning and tailoring education to each student's individual learning capabilities. The school is committed to inclusivity and provides dedicated special education needs (SEN) spaces to support students with diverse learning requirements. For the performing arts, which include dance, drama, and music, the school has dedicated spaces for students to create, rehearse, and perform, thereby acquiring the skills and dispositions that artists embody and showcase. A glow room for sensory play for our youngest learners and a black box for drama are designed and equipped for students to hone their drama skills.

RPGIS provides a dedicated design technology robotics lab, also known as our Makerspace. It is equipped with tools, equipment, and resources to facilitate hands-on learning experiences in fields such as coding and innovation. Students can engage in problem-solving, critical thinking, and prototyping in this lab.

Recognising the issue, we all face with pollution and the importance of clean and healthy air, at RPGIS we have installed an air purification system within its premises. This system helps remove pollutants, bacteria, and viruses from the air, ensuring a healthier and more conducive learning environment for students and staff.

To enhance safety and monitoring, CCTV cameras are strategically placed in different areas of the campus. These cameras provide additional security measures and help monitor activities within the school premises.

With the rise in popularity of digital mediums and the Internet, education has undergone a sea of change. Do you see the Internet as a boon or bane for the Indian schooling system and why?

In this rapidly evolving world, striking a balance amidst traditional systems, new age technology, transformative impact of COVID era has transformed education, and RPGIS is at the forefront of embracing this change to ensure our students are future-ready and well-prepared for the challenges ahead.

We understand the importance of technology in education and its ability to transform the learning experience. The merging of Augmented Reality (AR) with Virtual Reality (VR) is one of the important developments. These innovative technologies expand the bounds of learning by offering students with immersive and engaging activities that go beyond standard teaching approaches.

RPGIS makes use of cutting-edge digital platforms to enhance learning and improve better communication between instructors and parents. RPGIS aspires to develop future-ready leaders who are proficient in utilising digital tools and are mindful and empathic digital citizens of the world by integrating technology into the learning process.

Technology is an important part of the teaching and learning process at RPGIS. RPGIS has interactive screens in every classroom, enabling instructors to include multimedia information, interactive courses, and compelling visual aids into their instruction. These screens enable students to have interactive and immersive learning experiences. RPGIS welcomes new internet platforms that increase teacher-parent communication and student learning. These platforms offer students with a virtual learning environment in which they may access instructional resources, collaborate with classmates, and participate in interactive activities.

In your opinion, what are some of the most challenging aspects of establishing an educational institution? Can you enumerate some of the challenges that you faced when establishing RP Goenka International School?

Recruiting the correct faculty was perhaps one of the most significant challenges we faced throughout the establishment of our institution. We sincerely think that teachers are the backbone of every excellent educational institution. They are the guiding lights, role models, and mentors who develop our minds and hearts. We were committed to put together an amazing team of dedicated, experienced, and invested teachers who would inspire and impact our students lives.

In your opinion, what are the most gratifying aspects of being in the education space?

I believe it is just watching the youngsters happy, learning, and growing into more confident persons. Seeing their faces light up with inquiry and amazement, monitoring their progress and watching their talents improve... knowing that we are raising leaders and decision-makers who will help to make society a better place.

What message would you like to give out to aspiring leaders in the field of education?

I want to say that you are embarking on an incredible journey filled with endless possibilities. The education space is a realm where transformative change awaits, and it presents a WONDERFUL opportunity to make a significant impact on countless lives. You have the ability to shape the minds of the future generation, moulding them into confident, compassionate, and forward-thinking individuals. Each day brings a chance to inspire, ignite curiosity, and instill a lifelong love for learning.

It’s a great place to be there is so much change we can all bring and so much good we can do!