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Ryan International Group of Institutions

Ryan International Group of Institutions 

Revamping the education realm with innovative techniques 

Gulshan Parveen 

“Education is not preparation for life. It is life itself! So, drive this life on an ethical path, develop a passion for learning new and innovative things,” affirms Dr Grace Pinto, Managing Director of India’s leading education institute – Ryan International Group of Institutions. For this fascinating read for our global readership, the team of Business Connect sat down for a virtual coffee session with the management team of the institute and got some food for our thoughts throughout the conversation that we’re keen to share here itself.

Ryan Group of Institutions was established in 1976 by the visionary educationist, Dr. A. F. Pinto, Chairman with the strategic vision to spread quality education across India. The Group is considered one of India’s largest privately-owned groups of schools offering K-12 curriculum through the state, national and international boards. It has 18,000 faculty members in schools across 18 states and 40 cities and over 20,000 children pass through Ryan Group schools every year.

Their motto is ‘Excellence in Education and All Round Development’ and the team is focused on delivering holistic education through the integration of academics and co-curricular activities as well as offering learning opportunities in a range of contexts that go beyond the classroom.

Holistic development and growth are embedded in the Ryan Group learning process. Through their student exchange and study abroad programs, the institute offers the pupils an opportunity to become confident global citizen leaders. They are encouraged to develop a global perspective and 21st-century skills to be prepared and adapt to the changing world. Children are provided with opportunities to excel in different sports by roping in professional coaches. The institute has been following technology-integrated pedagogy over the last several years, knowing well that technology is here to stay and revolutionize. Their focus is to enhance Ryan International Group of Institutions further and continue to provide an immersive learning experience for the children.

When our team asked Dr Grace about the inner motivation that drove the team to add substance to the education industry, the leader replied by saying, “The vision given by our Lord Jesus to Dr. A.F. Pinto and myself of providing quality education throughout the country, the overwhelming support of all our stakeholders has encouraged us to persevere and stay motivated.”  The young and energetic lives who long to receive education continue to drive the visionary to reach out to them with quality education. Ryan Group ensures inclusion in education because it encourages diversity and the unique contributions every child brings along with them.

India’s leading K-12 chain
The Ryan group believes in nurturing lifelong learners and in the idea that education should go beyond classroom walls and textbooks into arts, culture, and international relations. They have worked with their team to pioneer several national and international events to develop different life skills among students.

  • International Theatre Festival (ITF): The Ryan Group was the first in the country to organize the ITF. Over the last two decades, it has grown to be the biggest theatre event for school children in India. Every year over 12,000 participants from over 30 countries come together on one platform learning different cultures from across the globe establishing camaraderie and nurturing international-mindedness.
  • The World Scholar’s Cup (WSC): Spread across 34 countries, this prestigious event was first brought to India by the Ryan Group. This event with an international edge raises the bar on group debate, collaborative writing, and general knowledge on various topics covering literature, science, biotechnology, art, music, and history. We hosted the largest ever Regional Round of WSC in Mumbai 2013 with record breaking participation of over 1,400 delegates.
  • International Cultural Exchange (ICE): Understanding that the world has become a global village, Ryan Group has collaborated with institutions based out in the US, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Eastern Europe, and the UK, with a focus on developing a greater appreciation of arts, culture and a global world view. Ryanites have traveled to over 60 countries for various educational and cultural exchange programs over the last four decades. In addition, its students as part of the educational program take part in a special workshop at NASA (USA) annually.
  • Ryan TV – A Media Initiative: The Ryan Group was the first to implement the concept of Education through the lens to offer media studies and film-making skills to the students. They have a full-fledged team of media and social broadcasters to mentor students to foster media-savvy youngsters. IAFA (Iceplex Ad Film Awards) is organized annually by Ryan TV that gives a platform for young students to showcase their talents in making short ad films.

Ryan TV has become a grand success with students broadcasting their ideas on Television through “Young Jourknows” & “BBN – Beyond Breaking News” programs. They are proud to be the only schools in India to have fully equipped in-house media studios.

  • Sports: “Sport” is at the heart of Ryan’s Pedagogy. Dr. A. F. Pinto says, “To raise sportspersons at the national and international level, we need to start right from the early age. Integrating sports culture in school not only develops physically fit youth but also ensures emotional wellbeing of every child.” The Ryan Sports Club provides the right platform for the students to practice and participate in various games at different levels and has collaborated with the best in the industry to bring world-class coaching to children. Several of our students have reached district, state, and national and international levels, notching up some incredible achievements. To name a few are Arjuna Awardee Chirag Shetty, International tennis player Karman Thandi, National-level badminton player Simran Singhi, Mountaineer Arjun Vajpai, Professional Alpine Ski Racer Jiah Aryan, Professional footballers Rahul Beke and Nikhil Prabhu, Table Tennis player Arnav Karnavar among many.
  • Global Collaboration: The Ryan Group has collaborated with globally renowned organizations to enable thousands of students from state, national, international boards to gain access to higher education and get scholarship opportunities in reputed universities in India and around the globe. The Group has successfully partnered with PennHub (The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) and associated with the College Board and Cialfo to serve students and facilitate them to pursue and further their learning journey without many challenges.
  • Nurturing Socially Responsible Citizens: The Ryan Schools strongly focuses on activities that are aimed at the welfare of the society, in general, to generate awareness amongst the students and help them in building an attitude of selfless service. Cleanliness Drives, Rehabilitation and Relief Work, Health Awareness, and care for the elderly of the society are regular activities in the school calendar.

Institution-driven by values and ethos
“Too often, many of us live with more awareness of our limitations than our potential. The time to change is now; to know that you’re capable of anything you set your mind to. The only limits you have are the ones you choose to place on yourself,” the leaders of the institute motivate and cheer the students with these golden words.

The Ryan International Group has in place purposeful activities that are aimed at the welfare of society. The schools under the Ryan Group undertake various projects based on the parameters of Environment, Education, Healthcare, Economic empowerment, and Local community leadership to transform the society. The students are encouraged to support orphanages, societies for the blind, adopt small villages, educate less privileged children and help homes for the elderly in different parts of the country.

Being aware, that focus on mere material abundance has led to the erosion of values today, integrity, responsibility, compassion, respect, hard work, and discipline are interwoven in the pedagogy, ethos, and culture of schools. Value Education is an integral part of learning and development. To be socially responsible, we train our students to develop skills that are required to bring about community transformation and to be global citizens.

Dr Grace believes that a child is like a lump of clay, and teachers are the potters. They can shape them and mold them into their better versions.  Being in the field of education, where teachers and staff are involved in nurturing young lives, the institute ensures that all its employees have qualities that include commitment, patience, hard work, responsibility, communication, and listening skills, adaptability, empathy, and patience. They groom their employees to be mindful of students and set an example for them as they guide and support them to be lifelong learners.

Ryan International Group of Institutions is driven by its vision and mission of ‘Excellence in Education and All Round Development’. Over the last four decades, tremendous effort has gone into the establishment of consistency and credibility to create an environment that fosters academic excellence and provides opportunity through their various national and international events to go beyond classroom prism-to enhance the learning experience for the students and foster their holistic development.

Holistic growth of the students
Dr Grace mentions some highlights of her exclusive leadership programs for the holistic growth of the students and also quotes her assertion of experiential learning by saying, “The need of the hour is to provide our children with experiential learning opportunities; Practical Learning with the cultivation of 21st Century Skills of Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Technology Literacy, Leadership, Social Skills are essential aspects for their holistic growth.”

 The institute believes that practical knowledge and these skills will help students in the smooth transition into higher education, and pursue their interests and develop their talents, and not only get good employment but also develop a vocation as well. The employers are looking for those youth who possess these skill sets and not mere literate graduates. It is vital to anticipate real-life skills by preparing the present generation for a rapidly increasing complex world. As stated earlier, at Ryan International Group of Institutions, they have pioneered several national and international events to develop leadership qualities among the students and equip them with practical knowledge and skills required for their future.

INMUN: A source of learning with joy
INMUN is a student-run simulation of the United Nations initiated by the Ryan Group of Institutions that started in 2001. It is also India’s longest-running Model United Nations Conference hosted by the Ryan Group. INMUN allows students to play the role of diplomats who represent various UN member nations, addressing specific issues of current interest through debate and negotiation-and attempting to resolve regional and international problems. 1000+ participants from over 90 schools across Asia-Pacific over the past two decades embraced the spirit of the UN charter and learned the art of diplomacy, public speaking, lobbying, and crisis response.

INMUN has witnessed participation from several National and World delegates making it a much awaited-for event in the school calendar. Through this event, students are equipped with future-ready skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

Exclusive leadership panel
Every Leader should have a vision and purpose as he or she leads his or her team and the organization. Being the Managing Director of Ryan International Group, Dr Grace shines some light on her insights as a leader by quoting the words of Warren Bennis, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” She further explains that if there is no vision, we would all perish. We need to be leaders who influence and empower others to take up leadership roles.

In the segment of education, to be an effective leader, one has to understand the need to revisit the curriculum and rethink methodology and assessment. It is essential to encourage teachers to learn, unlearn and relearn and reskill themselves to be well prepared as resource persons and facilitators to our young digital natives.

A school leader has to constantly be in tune with the current trends and happenings in education and connect with teachers and encourage them to be innovative in their approach and empower them in performing their roles as effective educators. A good teacher or a good leader in education will always focus on building conceptual understanding amongst students. As a leader, she has been always progressive in her leadership style so that the students they serve will have the best of everything they deserve.

When our team asks Dr Grace about the things outside of her business avenue that she’s passionate about, she replied by saying,

“There are multiple roles that need to be performed simultaneously. It is challenging and gets increasingly difficult as work continually keeps growing. But amidst all the multitasking, I am grateful to my family who supports and understands the greater need out there and supports me to give my best to the cause of education. Balancing family and work is an ongoing journey, but I am grateful that I can be with my family when I need to be. I strongly believe that a family that prays together stays together. I enjoy gardening and cooking for my family, spending quality time with them, and enjoy traveling.”

Steps taken in the direction of CSR
Ryan Group is socially committed to empowering the community in all spheres. They have undertaken several remarkable initiatives in support of society as stated earlier, such as the adoption of orphanages, blind homes, and homes for the elderly; community outreach programs, village adoption, hygiene programs, and health camps; environmental awareness drives; and the provision of relief and rehabilitation measures for disaster affected communities. These activities are also in the school calendar.

The group focuses on inculcating the importance of social responsibility amongst the students, thus helping them to build an attitude of selfless service. The institute encourages their Ryanites to support the welfare initiatives for the elderly through HelpAge India. In the recent past, through the Ryan Schools’ Food Bucket Challenge initiative, the students successfully collected over 550,000 kilos of food items and distributed them to over 200 NGOs in India.

Reaching out to the poor and needy has always been close to the hearts of the leaders, and as responsible members of the society, they have been working towards the uplift of the poor, needy, destitute, and the welfare of senior citizens. Reaching out to the NGOs, orphanages, and Old Age homes did continue on a larger scale during the challenging times of the pandemic.

The Master-plan for the coming future
Ryan International Group of Institutions has plans to grow and be a reputed institution in the education realm. Shining some light on that, Dr Grace affirms that they will continue to promote the use of technological tools to educate students and make every effort to transform “traditional” schools into a dynamic- and create an interactive learning environment that benefits not only students, teachers, and direct stakeholders, but also their communities, cities, and country.

She further explains that they will continue their efforts of offering quality education to the inaccessible parts of India while consolidating their growth in the tier I cities and strengthening operations in tier II and III cities. They are working on being the prime choice for parents.

Enduring the legacy of shaping lives and developing global citizens, Ryan International Group of Institutions is planning to continue to live their vision to provide education that prepares the youth to face life’s realities and challenges, while continuing to be lifelong learners to reach one’s rightful place in the modern world.

Before signing off, Dr Grace conveys some words of wisdom to our global readership by saying, “To achieve success, there is no checklist of things. I have learned through my life experience that the hunger and willingness to learn, determination, discipline, courage to take risks, being grounded in values, and family with faith and trust in God can enable you to realize your dream of making a worthwhile contribution to the society. As a leader, it is important to innovate and be progressive in your approach.”

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