Today on our podcast, we have a legendary educator with us, Arun Kapur in conversation with our host Ashutosh Garg. Arun is the Founding Headmaster of Vasant Valley School, he’s also the Director of the Royal Academy of Bhutan and the chairman of Ritinjali India. In the interview, Arun shares his journey with us, from becoming a teacher accidentally to having a whole career educating kids, Arun has done wonders in the field of education. He started his career as a teacher at Doon School. He talks to us about the challenges he faced while setting up the Vasant Valley School. He also talks to us about the new education policy of India and how the government should be responsible for providing high quality education in the country. He then shares his views on the alumni from Vasant Valley School and them becoming possible brands for the school, Arun clarifies that the only goal he has for them is for them to become unique and diverse amongst themselves. Tune in to listen to the next part of the conversation!
Arun Kapur, Director, The Royal Academy, Bhutan and Chairman, Ritinjali, India
Arun Kapur is an educator with more than four decades of experience in the global spheres of public and private education. After completing his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, India, he worked as a teacher and Housemaster for more than a decade in the Doon School in Dehradun, India. In 1990, Arun Kapur became the founding Headmaster of Vasant Valley School in Delhi, which became India’s leading co-educational day school. Since 2008, he has been heading The Royal Academy in Bhutan, an initiative of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. Arun Kapur is the founder and Chairman of Ritinjali, an NGO which was established in 1995 to catalyse community development among marginalized communities in India. In 2001, he created a network of Pallavan schools for pre-primary education, as well as the Pallavanjali school for inclusive education of diverse learners. In 2008, he founded Pallavan School in Jhalawar, Rajasthan, India, and following that, he founded Pallavan Learning Systems, an educational research organization. In 2018, he began working with the Ministry of Education, Sultanate of Oman, to help establish the Paradise Valley Private School in Muscat which, like his schools in India, mainstreams inclusive education. He is also the chairman of Centre for Escalation of Peace that creates platforms and programmes to encourage the free exchange of ideas across borders.
Arun Kapur has authored the books Transforming Schools: Empowering Children (Sage Publications, 2007) and Leading Out: The True Purpose of Education (Ritinjali, 2011), which focus on his educational philosophy of wholistic development in Five Areas (Cerebral, Emotional, Physical, Social and Spiritual), and describes self-directed learning as the ideal basis of education for actualizing one’s innate, dynamic potential. His latest book, Serene Strength (Ritinjali, 2020) explores the role of education in the making of a Person of Substance tempered with Serene Strength. Arun Kapur has worked with learners from all age groups and all sections of society, and with his deep understanding of learners and conviction that education is the best route to self-actualization, he has made tremendous contributions to the global field of education. His curriculum of The Five Areas of Development has been recognized by the HundrED organisation of Finland as one of the 100 most inspiring global educational innovations for four consecutive years since 2017. In December 2019, Arun Kapur was awarded the Druk Thuksey Award by His Majesty The King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck for his rich contributions to education in Bhutan.