|Operating from their own turf has everyone smiling at Head Start, including Riad. But for him, the party's just begun. The burden on his shoulders is a bit heavier than before. What with bank loans to pay, lease rent, increased maintenance and electricity costs, security and so on. He's not unduly perturbed. Not that he shrugs it off completely; instead he views the responsibility as another challenge. And Boy! Does he love challenges? "I believe that if you can't take a risk, then you won't get to where you want to go," he says. Obviously, he's seen this entire growth plan all the way through. "We will grow further but slowly," which means no sacrifice of the basics. "We don't propose to have half a dozen swimming pools, numerous tennis courts, gymnasiums and things like that. We want to provide a basic school that is good and feasible to all." The Head Start commitment is to provide equal opportunities to all, without regard to race, religion, national origin, gender or handicap. Speaks volumes on their ethos.
In an age where education has sadly turned into a murky business, Head Start's head is pretty much on its shoulders. The demand for admission at Head Start is such that, this year, people queued outside the school from 5 am onwards. And Head Start never once advertised admissions; all happens by word-of-mouth. They haven't given into glamour and the razzmatazz some schools indulge in these days, nor target only parents with deep pockets. "We are in a bigger place, but nothing has changed. Our commitment and values are pretty much the same," explains Riad.
He comes out in defense of the misplaced notion that Head Start caters only to the rich and famous "Most parents are from the IT sector and we do have some high-profile names, but we also have children from all walks of life," says Riad. In fact, they've never refused admission to anyone because of financial backgrounds. So long as the Montessori model criteria have been met and subject to availability of admission, they've never said 'no'. They don't want to cram their classes with more children just so that they can earn more money. And their fees are pretty reasonable considering there's quality education being offered. "If you look at our fees on a scale of 10, we are around 6. There are schools reaching up to a scale of 9 and many at a scale of 2 or 3. We are in between," explains Riad. This isn't so bad.
There's no denying the fact that Head Start Montessori is perhaps the best school address in town for a two-and-half year to commence the long journey towards learning. The goal is to cultivate self confidence and self-esteem in the child and Head Start provides the perfect environment.
|Head Start Montessori School
CA Site No.32 (P), 16th Main, 4th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore 560 034.
Phone: 25537025, 25533540