Chennai: It is, perhaps, a revelation and a disturbing one at that – a Survey conducted by the Scooldudes Team across 8 major cities in India and covering about 5000 school-going children has found out that 50% of the surveyed children in Chennai are acutely stressed with the reasons cited being heavy syllabus, long study hours (incl. after school tuition), parental/teacher pressure and lack of confidence. The stress levels of the Mumbai and Bangalore children are higher at 80% and 65% respectively but that is not a comfort for the Chennaiites!! While this is so, today’s typical parents have another major concern – their child is totally locked up with his mobile or the desktop or the ipad or the tablet, playing some video game or the other or generally lost in the world of social media and the internet.
Thankfully, Mr Ramachandran Kannan, an XLRI alumnus (1982 batch) and a HR Professional turned Academician, seems to have come up with a workable solution to this vexing issue, courtesy, the innovative and engaging App Scooldudes formally launched today in Chennai. The timing could not have been better what with the summer vacations just about to commence and the parents and children desperate to seek promising after-school engagement programs!
Launching the Scooldudes App, Mr B Santhanam, Managing Director, St. Gobain India Pvt. Ltd., lauded this initiative and said that this innovative effort will go a long way in addressing the major concern of today’s parents and exhorted the children and parents to fully utilise the functionalities of the App. He mentioned that there are outbound activities to provide experiential learning that would help in developing the life skills of children such as Self Awareness, Social Skills, Communication, Interpersonal Relationship, Coping with Stress, Decision Making and so on. He mentioned about a dozen programs available in the App such as J4M (Just 4 Minutes), Community Connect, Work and Learn, Career Wise, P Files, Wassup, etc., to ensure development of these skills in children.
Explaining the concept and the need for having such a distinguished platform, Mr Ramachandran Kannan said, “These days, a stressful education system has negatively impacted children’s exuberance, spontaneity and creativity. It has deprived them of learning life, leadership and social skills. Today’s children direly need a mechanism that will relieve them after their school and free time. Filling this void, through Scooldudes.com, we are providing them a strong, after-school hangout, which will offer activities and programmes to nurture and develop social skills, emotional development and hone out academic talent among them. We are happy to expand our operations in other parts of India, where the school-going children badly need after-school engagement programmes to beat their stress levels.”
The glittering App Launch function also witnessed a Panel Discussion on the very relevant topic of How Important is After School Activities vis a vis Academics. Mrs. Teresa, Headmistress, Sishya School, Mrs. Chithra Ravi, Founder, Chrysalis, Mr. Sanjay Rao, Emotional Intelligence Coach and Ms. Vijayalakshmi MCC Executive, Wellness and Life Coach, made the discussions a very lively one which was moderated by Mr Ramachandran Kannan. Mrs. Teresa also mentioned that it is very important that children engage in some after school activities to destress themselves.
Started in 2013, as a fun-filled after-school hangout for the children between the age-group of 12 to 18 years, currently, Scooldudes has a presence in Chennai and other Southern States. Recent entrant to Mumbai, Schooldudes will soon expand to other parts of India including Kolkata, New Delhi and other Tier I and Tier II cities in the next one year. The company is also planning for a global launch in the near term.
With over 10,000 participants already signed in through its interactive online internet and off-line engagement platform in the form of communities, Scooldudes gives children an opportunity to bond with their counterparts and gain experience that would help in developing their life skills through daily activities such as contests, and express/develop their creative, literary and thinking skills. The platform teaches life skills through various outdoor activities such as rappelling, camping, organic farming, cooking with firewood, bonfires, stargazing, archery, non-competitive games and so on.
Offering a year-long curriculum, Scooldudes operates in three domains; viz: NATURE ESCAPE, CAREERWISE and SCOOLDUDES LEARNING ACADEMY. It offers outdoor camps and activities through NATURE ESCAPE the key activities including rock climbing, scuba diving, trekking, camping, etc. It also offers career guidance and mentorship for students of 8th to 12 standards through CAREERWISE. Thirdly, Scooldudes has its own Academy known as ‘SCOOLDUDES LEARNING ACADEMY’ that teaches masterclasses on all emotional, career and life related lessons.
Adding further, Mr Kannan said, “As we intend to complete the unknown piece missing in the current education system, our activity-oriented skill learning and gaining platforms are exceptional, as no other institution in the current system focuses on physical and mental growth aspects of children. Life, after all, is more than academics and maths.”
The well attended event concluded with the felicitation of the Panel Members followed by Vote of Thanks.