EYE ON THE FUTURE

Abu Dhabi 2016 | EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Madam Grace Pinto, Managing Director of Ryan International Group of Institutions, on expanding in the UAE, maintaining quality education standards, and nurturing talented members of society.

Madam Grace Pinto
BIOGRAPHY
Having begun as a teacher nearly three decades ago, Madam Grace Pinto has risen to prominence for her contribution to the fields of education and community service, standing out as someone distinctively striking and seminal in her demonstration of commitment toward making a difference through her schools as a leader.

This is the first venture overseas. How have you carried the company over from India and implemented it here?

Our key philosophy of “Excellence in Education & All Round Development" is what guides our decision-making. With over three decades of experience in nurturing children to become global citizens, we have built a strong foundation for delivering quality schooling. This covers all aspects of development of young minds, from academics to sports, cultural and social pursuits, and extra-curricular activity. These learnings, honed over the years, have become embedded in the Ryan way of doing things. This unique ability to identify and bring out the best in children is what has enabled us to carve a niche in this space. This is exactly what we bring to all our new schools, including the UAE. We groom and equip our leaders to implement the unique Ryan culture in new schools. They are supported by our accredited trainers and curriculum developers to ensure the new schools meet all the rigorous standards we measure ourselves with.

Why did the Group choose the UAE as its first destination overseas?

There was an increasing demand from many in the parent community to open a school in the UAE. Also, we were continuously receiving invites from members of the community, society, and industry to come and start an educational venture. While we are in the process of expanding the Ryan footprint in other countries, we recognized the need for more quality schools in the UAE and lent ourselves to providing quality education. Since the UAE is in close proximity and many of the expats are Indian, it was compelling and simple to begin a school. The government of the UAE is focused on providing quality education to its people and very supportive of our efforts to set up a school in the UAE.

What is your strategy to maintain these standards that you have set in India?

We have been recognized and awarded by both private and governmental bodies. We frequently receive awards and accolades for our schools. In all the key surveys conducted in the country, Ryan schools rank amongst the best. No matter what processes or systems you put in place, at the end of the day you are dealing with children—with precious lives. We are committed to providing quality education to children from all strata of society. We have a multi-tiered Quality Assurance (QA) system for ensuring educational and school standards. Our staff undergoes rigorous training and internal certification before they begin to work. Regular in-school observations by trained personnel and thorough internal audits are undertaken to ensure that the school meets the exacting standards of the Ryan QA system. The system is also designed for continual improvement, which helps us offer better standards to our children and parents.

When your students become graduates, how do they fit into the economy?

We are proud to say that our alumni, who are well placed in various fields in different countries, speak of the quality of education at Ryan. Their high performance itself is a way to showcase their alma mater. They have learnt first-hand that education is not just learning academics; rather it is about being a responsible “humane" being. It is about demonstrating godly values and being a positive contributor to society. We are proud to see several of our less privileged children who received free education at Ryan doing fabulously well. Recently I met a boy at the airport who had received free education at Ryan. His father was a vegetable vendor in Mumbai. But, today he has his own business in Dubai and is ever grateful for the education received. Our children never forget our institution and all the values that they absorbed over the years. It is our constant desire to see our children soar to new heights of success and become good human beings. There are innumerable instances of our children coming up and thanking us for the education they have received. We have over 30,000 students graduating from Ryan International Schools every year. We are confident that they are well equipped as leaders to face the challenges of the future, for higher education and life in general. Today, we are delighted to see our alumni spread across the globe excelling and making valuable contributions in various fields.