Nisai Group: ‘It’s the right time to explore and contribute to the genuine transformation of education in Asia’
In 1996 Nisai Group was founded by Dhruv Patel, a UK-based entrepreneur who passionately believed that everyone has equal value and that everyone should have access to high-quality education – no matter where in the world they were, and no matter what barriers they might face. Dhruv clearly understood that technology would provide great tools for reaching and connecting learners, but that the key to impactful learning was, and would remain, great teaching by skilled educators.
By keeping true to these principles Dhruv and his team have driven the consistent growth of Nisai for over 25 years – delivering flexible, high-quality, innovative education programmes to thousands of students annually, at first in the UK where and then across the world. Their mission? To support each person to achieve their potential and realize their ambitions – helping them get over the barriers to learning such as geographical location, funding, personal situation or a learning difference.
Nisai now has three key service delivery areas – each of which continues to break down those barriers to education and reach learners otherwise placed at a disadvantage:
- Nisai Learning which helps schools and government teams to support students in both rural and urban areas. Traditional and non-traditional learners are catered for within an inclusive and supportive on-line environment. The education programmes are complementary to the wider initiatives put in place by schools, local authorities, and government teams worldwide.
- Nisai Global School supports learners who are home-schooled worldwide through the delivery of online, interactive lessons delivered by subject specialist teachers. With a focus on developing the whole child, learning with Nisai extends beyond the classroom with extra-curricular activities and student support sessions. Both the British and International curriculum is available for learners studying from age 8 – 18.
- Nisai Professional Development Institute (NPDI) is for learners in the workplace or secondary school students looking for a progression route into employment. The Institute offers ranges from accredited qualifications, and certified business & productivity modules to employability skills and contextualized English. All modular courses are tailored to meet the needs of the business and the individual to ensure that the courses are impactful and cost-effective. The Inst includes Teacher Training programmes that can be delivered as accredited long-term courses or as shorter certificated courses through the NPDI.
Today Nisai Group has a significant presence in Asia with a centre for specialist live online teaching based in Brunei delivering high-quality education across the region. On any given day up to 1,000 young people from Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam are taking part in life-transforming education opportunities. In Bangladesh, 100 youth and teachers have already been trained through a blended program of online and face-to-face learning – with a further 550 ready to start their training course in the coming months. In Singapore, Dhruv has been recognised as a Fellow Doctor of the Royal Institute of Education for his work in supporting innovation in education in Asia.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Nisai Group worked with partners including UNESCO IITE and INQUIRER.net to deliver on-line events to support the response to the pandemic within Asia. They came at this issue from the perspective of being passionate about educational inclusion and equity, absolutely focused on the need to meet the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and understanding the additional stressors that the pandemic was putting on national education systems, some of which were already stressed.
When the UNESCO International Commission on the Future of Education report on global post-COVID education was published there was a real sense of alignment with the mission and core beliefs of Dhruv and the Nisai team. The report made it clear that ‘COVID-19 has revealed vulnerabilities; it has also surfaced extraordinary human resourcefulness and potential… Choices must be based on a humanistic vision of education and development and human rights frameworks.’ The UNESCO report also identified those same critical factors that drove the founding of Nisai over 25 years ago – that firstly we must be inclusive and we should ‘Expand the definition of the right to education’. Secondly, that great teaching is the key to a great education – we should ‘Value the teaching profession and teacher collaboration’. Thirdly, that technology is only a tool to support that great teaching – ‘Education cannot thrive with ready-made content built outside of the pedagogical space and outside of human relationships between teachers and students’.
For Nisai Group this feels like the right time to explore and contribute to the emerging consensus of what will need to be done to genuinely transform education in Asia. What is clear is that the key to transformation will be innovative partnerships and collaborations with the outcome of each learner at their core … and we look forward to the positive change that will bring to people’s lives over the next 25 years!
Nisai in the Philippines can be contacted at +63 9167899320 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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