On our journey across India, we spoke with leaders in education from different cities to understand about their perspectives on children’s emotional well-being, character development, and meaning in today’s fast-paced world. After speaking with Mr. Siddharth Singh, the director of Emerald Heights International School Indore, our faith has grown stronger that there are still great leaders who care about the overall well-being of the children. It was a very insightful discussion. Mr. Singh has set a great example as a true leader. He not only retained and took care of all his employees but also started preparing for online education right after the lockdown. We also discussed the strategies he uses to provide value in education.
Mr. Singh believes that education must be holistic, i.e., the child should be exposed to everything available to prepare them for the future. It cannot just be academics because a child can then study on Youtube. Model United Nations conferences are held at the school to help students improve their worldly knowledge, confidence, diplomacy, public speaking, and networking skills. A school should prioritize a child’s mental and physical growth. They emphasize on sports education in addition to academics, which allows children to develop values like resilience, grit, and teamwork that will benefit them in the future. He also inspired an initiative to engage students in different community services and projects related to sustainable development, because our children today must be aware that they must possess all of these skills in addition to academics. They must be conscious of the environment, as well as how to serve and raise the community. From eighth grade onwards, the school intends to make community service mandatory. That means students must perform 10 hours of community service at one of the NGOs chosen by the school.
Over 5000 pairs of eyeglasses have been donated to visually impaired people in the last four years. They have done more than 2000 cataracts operations in the last three years, right before the pandemic. Their students help stray dogs by running a couple of foundations and donating blood. They’ve also collaborated with cancer charitable organizations in India, where students raise money and run marathons. As a result, community service is an integral part of their educational program. He also mentioned how supportive parents have been to the school during the COVID-19 pandemic; they appreciated the efforts made by the teachers. Both parents and school support one another since, at the end of the day, we are all working for the betterment of children.
We are glad that our values and missions align with the values of Late Smt. Suneeta Singh, the founder of Emeralds Heights International School.