GEMS International School is a heartfelt story of success that originates from the heart of a mother’s quest to secure the finest education for her child. Dr. Amrita Vohra, COO & Director of GEMS Education, India region, has been a multifaceted and inspiring personality. She began her career in higher education, where she passionately taught subjects like English, Business Communication, and Soft Skills. Her expertise even extended to teaching Feminist Literary Criticism, a testament to her deep engagement with her field of research.
Her vision completely changed when she became a mother and started on the quest to find the right school for her child. This personal journey led her to a profound realization about the kind of education she envisioned for her child – one that nurtured curiosity, developed critical thinking, and encouraged innovation.
Over the years, life presented her with opportunities to translate this vision into meaningful contributions to the K-12 education landscape. Her work has been remarkable. She has conducted workshops for DIET Principals in Kerala, worked with budget private schools in both bustling metropolises and remote corners of India, and undertaken the task of establishing greenfield school projects. Additionally, she has been instrumental in transforming at-risk institutions, thereby consistently striving to enhance the quality of K-12 education across the entire spectrum.
Dr. Amrita’s personal blog provides glimpses of her journey, offering insights into her roles as both a mother and an educator. Her story is one of dedication, passion, and a deep commitment to shaping the future of education in India.
Passion for Lifelong Learning
Being a part of GEMS Education for the past decade has been an immensely enriching experience for Dr. Amrita Vohra. This journey has connected her with a vast network of over 20,000 dedicated education professionals. The Chairman, Mr. Sunny Varkey, stands as a beacon of passionate commitment to lifelong learning, firmly believing in the profound impact of quality education. He leaves no stone unturned in bringing together the best minds in education under the nurturing umbrella of GEMS Education.
This tenure has afforded Dr. Vohra the privilege of learning, as she met renowned experts like Prof. John Hattie, engaged in research through Howard Graduate School of Education, and participated in meaningful discussions with leaders at OECD.
Education, to her, is an ever-evolving journey. It is a continuous process of reinvention as identities adapt to the changing times. Throughout this journey, books have been steadfast companions, and she aspires to keep reading and learning until her last breath.
In her role as an educator, Dr. Amrita’s strategy for engaging and motivating students revolves around empowering them to take charge of their own learning journey. Young minds deserve to be entrusted with agency, working in collaboration with peers, educators, parents, and the community. She believes that each generation possesses the potential to be smarter than the last. By fostering genuine ownership of their learning and facilitating meaningful inquiry, she aims to nurture the transformative competencies they need.
In today’s world, marked by chaos, dilemmas, and conflicts, Dr. Amrita Vohra emphasizes the need to raise a generation rooted in radical compassion. They face pressing questions about sustainability, with the metaphorical “doomsday clock” ticking ever closer. Hence, it is imperative to equip them with essential skills such as responsible decision-making, conflict resolution, and resilience. As responsible adults, it is her duty to provide the necessary guidance and support for honing these critical capabilities. She firmly believes that this is the path to nurturing a generation ready to face the challenges of our rapidly changing world with empathy, wisdom, and resilience.
Dr. Vohra’s journey in education has centred on vital aspects such as assessments, early childhood education, creativity integration, inquiry-based learning, and the principle of inclusion. She believes that education initiatives truly thrive in an environment that fosters a vibrant culture of thinking at all levels. According to her, the transformation of a school’s culture, where every stakeholder shares a common vision, thought, and language, is the catalyst for organic growth and success.
One of the most significant challenges she has faced in her educational journey is the prevailing disparity between mere literacy or job qualifications and the true essence of ‘Education.’ In a world consumed by the relentless rat race, the authentic purpose of education often takes a backseat. She emphasizes the gap between the ideal of holistic education and the reality of a system that reduces young learners to mere percentages. She passionately advocates for a paradigm shift.
Change, as Dr. Amrita acknowledges, is met with resistance, but she draws inspiration from H.G. Wells’ words: ‘There is no intelligence where there is no change and no need for change.’ She has successfully navigated the challenges of change management in her pursuit of transforming the educational sector.
She firmly believes that holistic development and genuine learning cannot be confined to a formula. Education, in her view, is an enculturation experience where the entire environment serves as a teacher. Quoting Lev Vygotsky, she underscores how children grow into the intellectual character of those around them. To create this transformative experience, she emphasizes the need for a positive engagement of all stakeholders, which in turn leads to the magical unfolding of true education.
Dr. Amrita Vohra’s passion, dedication, and commitment to reshaping the future of education in India are evident in her words and actions. Her journey continues to inspire change and innovation in the world of education.
Knows No Limit
Dr. Amrita Vohra has a remarkable list of accomplishments. As a jury member for the Free Press Journal’s Mumbai Schools Survey 2022 and an official judge for the 2022 Worldwide UNESCO Youth Multimedia Competition, she plays a pivotal role in recognizing and promoting educational excellence.
Her extensive involvement in various councils and committees, such as the Steering Committee for the International Conference on Transformative Education (ICTE) and the CBSE Progress Card committee, demonstrates her commitment to shaping the future of education. Her leadership extends beyond India, as she is a Council Member of the National Council of the Association of Indian Principals (AIP) and contributes to the global educational discourse as a member of the Editorial Board .ed magazine by Global Citizenship Foundation.
She actively engages in research and publication. She has authored numerous articles, including those published in prestigious publications like the Times of India and Education World. Her involvement in book forewords, interviews, and research papers showcases her dedication to advancing educational discourse.
Recognized with numerous awards and accolades, Dr. Amrita Vohra has received the Best Principal’s Award and Woman of Excellence Award, among others. She has been listed among the top 25 leaders reinventing education and recognized as one of India’s top 100 ‘Great People Managers.’
As the head of GEMS International School in Gurgaon, her institution has earned multiple awards, further reflecting her commitment to holistic education and innovative practices. These awards include being recognized as India’s No. 1 in Library & Reading Culture and excelling in areas such as Career Counselling Leadership and Global Citizenship Education.
Furthermore, Dr. Vohra’s students have made their mark with TEDx talks recognized on the official TEDx page, underlining her dedication to nurturing young talent. She is an educational leader of immense influence and dedication, shaping the educational landscape not only through her administrative roles but also through her research, publication, and commitment to student development. Her relentless pursuit of excellence has earned her numerous awards and accolades, making her an inspiring figure in the field of education.
Infusing Technology for Effective Learning
Dr. Amrita Vohra embodies essential qualities for today’s educational leaders, and that’s what makes her an esteemed figure in education. Driven by a deep tech-savvy commitment to personalized learning, she’s a lifelong learner, staying updated on education trends. Her patience and empathy towards students’ unique journeys inspire peers. Her humility fosters collaboration and unity among educators.
She views technology as an enhancement, not a replacement, blending data analysis with experienced wisdom for personalized learning. In the digital era, leaders like Dr. Vohra shape education’s future with wisdom and innovation, enriching countless lives.