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    My visit to TGES, Rajkot

    So think of schools in smaller cities of India. Now think of truly international standard schools. Now think of more than 8000 students. Now think of all of them receiving an exceptional education at all price points. Now put it all together and you get The Galaxy Education System (TGES) of Rajkot. Spread over the entire city through multiple campuses, TGES works across the broad spectrum that India is. Over the last 30 years, the founder Mr. Kiran Bhalodiya, has consistently maneuvered the Galaxy schools from one height to another. And that is visible in many ways, not just from the sheer size of the schools, but from the respect that each person at TGES holds for him. It’s as if he has reached each one of them and whispered in his ears what TGES is. His vision has percolated to his faculty and that I think is the magic ingredient of TGES.
    Other notable things I observed, which are/can be implemented at GGIS:
    Make schools within schools. As you grow, you will encounter the issues of excess baggage. If you don’t work on it, very soon you will find yourself too big to move. So work on the organizational structure and form smaller school units within the big umbrella. And then let them make decisions, keeping the other units in the loop.
    Invest in people, people, people. TGES has its own students coming back and working for it because they still have not severed the umbilical cord. That is the level of investment in people. Show them what excellence looks like. Infect them with it and then let them chart their routes. Pretty much the same way we deal with our students!
    Academic excellence does not come with one-off or periodic trainings. It comes with constant interaction of teachers’ minds. Give the teachers time for the same. To collaborate and learn from each other. At their Wadi campus, they have groups of 5-7 teachers for each grade and one of the teachers is the Learning facilitator who makes sure that the class is on track and coordinates with other grades to ensure smooth working. Grow, but do so with structure.
    The French immersion program! Oh, how come other schools have not adopted this. They have 3-4 in-house French teachers who not only teach French as a language, but also teach other subjects like Math and History in French. Hence providing the absolutely vital ecosystem for any foreign language to be internalized. If only all schools could do this rather than teach the foreign language as an expendable unit of the curriculum.
    And like most great schools, they are humble, open and helpful. One mail requesting a visit and I get detailed tours of their campuses with Shekhar Sir and others over two days and a chance to stay at their Guest House and dinner with the teachers and immense amount of learning. Once again, what more could I ask for.
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