Anjum Babukhan: A Futuristic Educational Leader Developing Global Citizens of 21st Century

Anjum Babukhan,Director - Education

Anjum Babukhan

Director - Education

It’s been well more than a decade after the movie ‘Taare Zameen Par’, and Ishaan Awasthi is still one of the favorite child protagonists of Bollywood. When people conventionally believed that children could and should only learn from textbooks and they should express those learning through exams with a pen & paper, Ishaan convinced many of them that it’s okay to be learning kindness and compassion from the surroundings, it’s normal when our kids spend time ‘just thinking’, and it’s more than fine when they opt to express their thoughts through anything as simple as a painting. The multiple intelligences theory, which was propounded by Dr. Howard Gardner, is a strong base to the fact that a one-size-fits-all approach to education does not work for all students.

In 2003, at a time when this thought was something unprecedented in the subcontinent’s educational paradigm, Anjum Babukhan, a visionary thought leader, author and the Director of Education at Glendale Group of Schools, implemented the theory of multiple intelligences through Glendale – an international school adhering to world-class standards in infrastructure & curriculum and developing students holistically by cultivating both character and competence to become the global citizens of 21st century. Anjum had to begin her endeavors right from re-molding the Indian mindset, which focused on academics alone, to bring-in new methodologies and world-class pedagogies. She has done it over the last two decades, making Glendale an award-winning educational institution. “Our aim has always been to develop our students holistically by cultivating both character and competence, and thus create global citizens of the 21st century. We equip our students with 21st century life skills and develop the potential of each child through the theory of Multiple Intelligence,” asserts Anjum.

Knowing Anjum
Winding back the pages, Anjum was born and brought-up in the US with a stellar academic background. She did her honours degree in psychology and pursued her M.Ed in Educational Administration & Instructional Leadership. Prior to her psychology major, she in truth had thought about dabbling in numerous professions – right from fashion designing and administration to even medicine before settling for psychology! Indeed, her marriage and subsequent relocation to India became a turning point in her life.
The unconditional support from her new family, especially from her father-in-law late Bashiruddin Babukhan, a philanthropist and a great visionary who wanted to make a difference to the world through education, shapedin as Glendale Academy – a platform that brought Anjum’s dreams about enriching and empowering others through education to fruition!

“I was well-determined to use the opportunity to apply my background in psychology in education by bringing-in neuroscience to make learning more ‘Brain Compatible’,” avers Anjum, who today keenly and ceaselessly focuses on constant professional development of teachers on board and pedagogy alike. She compiled an A-Z guide for teachers called ABCs of Brain Compatible Learning. While she keeps attending courses from Harvard, Cambridge and Stanford, bringing back the learning and implementing them in Glendale, Anjum simultaneously ascertains that whenever teachers join, they all participate and get trained in the Edvantage Teacher Toolbox program during the first two weeks of orientation that sows seeds of a continuous learning culture.

I believe that a leader’s job is not just to make his/her presence indispensable, but also to create future leaders

Anjum is also a firm believer of empowerment and leadership density. She has engendered a team of Instructional Leaders around her whom she interacts with, trains and mentors on a regular basis (almost weekly). “I believe that a leader’s job is not just to make his/her presence indispensable, but also to create future leaders. Being able to empower my team and delegate the responsibilities gives me the much-needed balance between work and life. That’s an added benefit,” adds Anjum. The Instructional Leaders trickle-down her vision and learning down to the rest of the faculty – week after week. For instance, in the current academic year, she introduced e-learning modules that all faculty complete as it is assigned. Since there is always an upward spiral of growth & learning for the teachers, they create the best learning opportunities for the students.

A life-long learner who is always intrigued by the developmental possibilities of our educational system, Anjum ensures participation in global educational events and brainstorming sessions. She in fact was the only person from the entire subcontinent to attend The Global Think Tank on Education at Harvard University, where they rolled-out the ‘World Course’ and ‘Sixty Lessons’ in 2017. Within ten days of returning, the UNSDG’s were seamlessly implemented immediately in her group of institutions. Moreover, for students’ character development, Anjum has always been inspired by the philosophies of Dr. Stephen Covey, making Glendale, which aims to become the first Lighthouse school accredited by Franklin Covey in India, incorporate the ‘Leader in Me program’ in its schools. Anjum indeed was the keynote speaker at the ‘Leader In Me Global Summit’ held at Orlando last year with Sean Covey, the son of late Dr. Stephen Covey, being chosen from educational leaders across 46 countries to address a gathering of over 500 educators from around the world!

Anjum Babukhan, Director - Education, Glendale Group of Schools
An educational leader with a stellar academic background and profound experience, Anjum has also authored a book called ABCs of Brain Compatible Learning that serves as a useful guide for teachers and educators on making learning more impactful. She continues to be strong in her academic pursuits and her quest for lifelong learning.

• Hobbies: From art to ikebana to reading to yoga! Most of all, a lifelong learner!
• Food: She likes variety on her palette and loves trying-out all types of cuisines.
• Travel Destination: Her destinations are spread across the globe