Jonathan Mendonca is the Co-founder and Director of Strategy at Barefoot Edu Foundation, a non-profit focused on building educational leadership in India. In his video, Jonathan outlines his mission to empower principles to make education meaningful for children. Rehnuma is an online training and research lab for school principals, by principals. We build the leadership capacity of a) principals to create best practices and b) NGOs & Governments to support principals in implementing these practices at scale. We believe that if school principals create their own school improvement solutions using local resources, these best practices will be within their capacity to implement (ie: sustainable) and can benefit other principals from similar schools. This is very important considering most school leadership research and trainings are based on the global north context. Rehnuma’s approach is 3-fold 1] INCUBATOR: We provide personalized coaching, workshops and peer-learning platforms to enable principals to leverage local resources, their community, and NGOs to address challenges in the way of quality education. Through the incubator, Principals conceptualize and launch projects for school improvement like savvy Edupreneurs. 2] DOCUMENT: We document these sustainable, contextual and tested best practices to scale to principals of similar contexts. We aim to create a body of knowledge that is specific to India’s context and the global south. 3] DISSEMINATE: We scale by building the capacity of NGOs and Governments to support principals by integrating school leadership into their intervention. All interventions become more sustainable with a capable school leader’s buy in.
Jonathan Mendonca is the Co-founder and Director of Strategy at Barefoot Edu Foundation, a non-profit focused on building educational leadership in India. Civil Engineer turned educator, Jonathan trusts in the potential of people to build the foundation for social change and is on a mission to decentralize education by empowering leaders at the grassroots so that the voice, values, and goals of their communities shape education. In this regard, he designed Rehnuma, the world’s first incubator for School Principals which coaches them to be entrepreneurial in their approach to building autonomous 21st century schools. Jonathan holds a masters in International Education Policy at Harvard University and has been awarded the Cheng Fellowship from the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also a Saul Zaentz Fellow, Young India Fellow, Mother Teresa Fellow, and was invited to share his experience at the United Nation’s ECOSOC ’19 Youth Forum.www.barefootedu.com