Lina Ashar dreams of a society in which every child enjoys the right to a joyful childhood and quality education
Extremely passionate about creating a purpose of learning and allowing children to be thinkers, innovators, problem solvers and to further orchestrate experiences that will result in their overall development, Lina Ashar dreams of a society in which every child enjoys the right to a joyful childhood and quality education. Her conviction to offer an education which sets the child as its centre led her to start her first preschool in Bandra, Mumbai way back in 1993 with just 25 students. The journey from one Kangaroo Kids Preschool to a network of Kangaroo Kids Pre-Schools and Billabong High International Schools across 29 different cities in India as well as in Dubai, Maldives and Qatar has been a phenomenal one at that. Her unique approach,injection of potent solutions and radical processes to ensure that the quality of education is improved was instantaneously well received and noted.
What is more, Lina Ashar has been promoting and practising topic based learning since 2002, something that the Indian media lauded the Finland Education System for, in the recent past. The industry has recognised and awarded Lina Ashar on many occasions for her unique approach and meaningful contributions to the education sector. Few of her accolades include Leading Woman in Education at the Women Leaders in India Awards 2015 by iiglobal, nationwide winner of the Best K12 Innovative Curriculum by Franchise India 2015, Alumni Excellence Winner by Australian High Commission 2015, voted by over five lak people to the MTC Global Top Ten Thinkers – 2015 among more than 35 nominees from different walks of life, whose work have significant impact in their niche domains, as determined by the independent board of jury at MTC Global HQ; Lifetime Education Leadership Award by EduWorld 2014, Key Speaker at the symposium of Indian Career Education and Development Council (ICEDC) 2014 and she was awarded Leading Women Entrepreneur Recognition at several fora between 2010 and 2014, including Times of India and iGlobal.
Lina Ashar pursued her primary schooling in England before moving to Australia, where she acquired her Bachelor Degree in Education from Victoria College, Melbourne. In 1991, she came to India on a year-long sabbatical from college, while connecting with her roots, Lina Ashar landed up taking a school job in suburban Mumbai, an experience which changed her life.
Back then, the education system in India was still grappling with a strait jacket approach to education, leaving little or no scope for an overall development of the child, which was a complete contrast to milieu of what she had studied. She chose to stay back in India to change the antiquated approach to education which existed then.
Talking about the school, Lina Ashar says, “Kangaroo Kids Education Limited is a fully-integrated education service provider supporting a network of owned and franchisee schools. The KKEL owned, Kangaroo Kids and Billabong High International Schools have initiated a movement that has changed the face of preschool and high school education in India. Our educational institutes follow the concept of topic based learning which gives equal importance to theory as well as practical area. We have completed 25 years in June this year.”
Besides setting up Kangaroo Kids Education, she has also authored two books – Who do you think you’re kidding and Drama Teen. A global pioneer in the field of Education and expert in the field of parenting, behavioural pattern study, Lina Ashar is also a person with a vision and flair for story telling. She has spearheaded her way into an industry dominated by men. While at it, Lina has managed her responsibilities pretty well, both in the corporate and her social world. Several roadblocks in her entrepreneurial journey did not stop her from achieving her goals. Last, but not the least, she is one of the very few women in India who has immense knowledge of Education, parenting and behavioural learning.