NSRCEL Start-up: Tapas Progressive School
- Alumnus’ profile:
‘Inspire, Nurture, Transform’ – these three words define Preethi Vickram’s professional motto and journey.
Preethi Vickram is a committed educator, an exponent of ‘learning through ‘play’, a passionate parenting coach, a change catalyst, a leadership mentor, and a brand champion with a sincere desire to make that catalytic difference in the lives of children and consequently, the world at large.
- Alumnus’ entrepreneurial thesis:
Throughout her professional journey, be it when leading an early childhood education organisation, or when presenting papers on educational methodologies for children worldwide, or while setting up educational programs with LEGO, Preethi Vickram has always championed the cause of breaking away from the stereotypical methods of teaching. Tapas Progressive School was born out of this passion. Preethi Vickram, along with her peers – fellow educationists – founded the school to act as a catalyst in creating a paradigm shift in the way education is imparted. This wasn’t only Tapas’ ‘raison d’etre’, but has also served as the founding vision of the school. Preethi and her founding members Shruthi, Nishanthi, Vaidehi, and Arya have called upon their decades of experience and identified a problem and are meticulously trying to solve it. Their thesis has found support from worldwide agencies, fueling their resolve even further. Globally, reports from OECD, Global Futures, and even the new National Education Policy 2020 have all argued about the efficacy of the conventional approach to schooling. With pockets full of passion and the determination to match, this all-woman founders’ team of Tapas has broken the mould.
- Alumnus’ entrepreneurial venture:
Tapas Progressive School believes in holistic education for students – helping them develop skill sets that enable them to be well-rounded individuals – ready to embrace the world of the future. At the heart of Tapas’s curriculum is the Cambridge syllabus, which has been customised by the school to make the learning more interconnected. Tapas provides unique learning opportunities centred around the aim of achieving the requisite learning outcomes for students. The learning outcomes are achieved through STEAM education imparted through project-based learning. Tapas moves away from the conventional teacher-student roles. The adults act as facilitators, guiding the students on their educational journey. Tapas also moves away from the conventional methods of teaching by including modules and masterclasses on gardening, hydroponics, maths, robotics, astronomy, visual thinking, radio, sculpting, etc. The other aspect of learning that Tapas is trying to change is the way institutions and adults look at the assessment of students’ progress.
You can see Preethi Vickram’s chats with other educationists on topics around education, curriculums, and parenting here:
You can read more about the school here: https://tapaseducation.com/
- What is unique about Tapas?
Children experience hands-on learning. Project-based learning has proven to help students grasp concepts better. Children in the age group of 5.5 years to 16 years spend their time at Tapas, learning beyond textbooks. Students are not restricted to their learning capabilities by grades. The learning is continuous and in-depth, as chosen by the child to the extent that the child wants to pursue. Children can choose to appear for IGCSE board exams or appear as an independent candidate through NIOS.
Mixed Age Learning Environments
Children are not limited to classrooms but have the freedom of environments. These mixed-age environments have been designed to stimulate learning, collaboration and empathy. The infrastructure of the environment is also designed to ensure maximum natural ventilation and light.
Adults in the environments are trained to act as facilitators who will challenge the children to think critically, expand their learning and challenge them to become better. The facilitators continue to learn and move forward with the same set of children each year, developing a deep understanding of every child’s needs and learning styles.
Learn through Play
‘Play is the work of Childhood’ – Jean Piaget’s quote is best suited to describe how learning will take place at Tapas. With experiential, hands-on learning, children will ‘play’ their way into learning complex concepts.
All pursuits, academic and non-academic, will culminate in learning. Since art and sports become the vehicle for learning, they will not be treated as extracurricular subjects but more as a critical tool for learning.
- Alumnus’ ask:
Being an all-woman start-up, we are always grateful for the support from the community. We need influencers who can evangelise the concept of progressive education and the need for experiential / project-based learning at all schools.
We are looking for buying (open to long-term lease too) of property for the main campus and would appreciate any leads.
Volunteers are welcome to talk to the amazing Tapas learners about topics close to their hearts through the monthly ‘Masterclasses’ that are hosted.
Mentoring and guidance – as continuous learners, the founding team is always looking for the right mentors who can scaffold the growth and provide insights/review the direction headed.
Please visit Tapas to know more..