Founders

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

Vashima Goyal
co-Founder & Director,
Human Engagement Studio Pte Ltd
founders@humanengagementstudio.net

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Vashima Goyal is passionate about co-constructing collaborative learning journeys based on transformative ideas to enhance educational experiences, research and documentation. As an experienced pedagogical mentor, her research- based insights and frameworks explore how we can better engage and support the development of all learners and teachers to thrive in a vibrantly, integrated eco system of the 21st century.

Since 2012 she is in the working group of Child Rights, World Forum Foundation initiative, an international consortium of educators working to improve the lives of young children around the world. Most recently her advocacy commitment is visible in making of a documentary on ‘Voices of Children’ with an international pedagogical team. The ‘Voices of Children’ project premiers in May 2017 at the World Forum Conference in Auckland.

Vashima founded EduRetreat.org in 2008 to enable Eastern and Western educators to have dialogic exchanges through Travel & Learn conferences. Since then she has curated and organised six professional and personal learning journeys for highly accomplished educators from around the world. EduRetreat.org has expanded internationally with next event in Brazil in September 2017.

Vashima obtained a Masters in Education from Sheffield University U.K, and participated in several institutes at Project Zero and Harvard University. Multiple Study trips to Reggio Emilia (Italy) have visibly influenced her pedagogical advocacy. She is instrumental in the practises of Reggio-Inspired and other research-based evolving education paradigms in Singapore, significantly through her 18+ years work with Child at Street 11.

Her pedagogical practice is visible in the publications of young children as authors and illustrators:
The Chandelier: Ring Around the Worlds” (2004) launched by Late President SR Nathan
11 Street 11 Stories” (2014) signed by President Tony Tan
A Happy Learning School” (2015)

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Manju Nair
co-Founder & Director,
Human Engagement Studio Pte Ltd
founders@humanengagementstudio.net

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Among her key strengths, Manju Nair lists her ability to connect with people, ideas and curriculum needs. She does this with the skill and adeptness of an artist creating a harmonious and complete puzzle.

Manju engages with life, both as an insider and an observer, navigating systems adroitly, stepping out of, and into the mainstream, to observe, learn, think and move into action, both as an educator and mother, winning hearts and minds.

Manju is an experience administrator, a curriculum coordinator, and an educator in an IBPYP school. She has also trained a significant number of early childhood teacher trainees, getting them excited about that nexus of theory and practice, which creates magic.

She has a Masters degree in early childhood education, a Montessori teaching certificate, and a Bachelors degree in English language and literature; and is currently working on her Doctorate in Education.

A person with varied interests, Manju is proficient at sign language, pottery, public speaking, teaching yoga, and even gemology. She finds her myriad interests and pursuits connect her in the most unexpected ways to her work with teachers and children.

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Himal Ruparel
co-Founder & Director,
Human Engagement Studio Pte Ltd
founders@humanengagementstudio.net

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Himal Ruparel. Glocal citizen, honest and joyful human being, intuitive thinker and listener, compassionate motivator and concrete mover and shaker. Facilitator, Writer, Artist and Educator.

Himal believes that life is the best teacher and has embraced every experience intensely and honestly. Her search for her purpose in life has taken her on adventurous and diverse career paths… seemingly disconnected, but unarguably perfect in the rich experiences and lessons offered. From the corridors of leadership in several organisations; from being a published author and facilitator in Singapore and India, Himal found her calling in working with children and adults with special rights and their families. The diversity and experiences with people over the years have provided her with a vantage view, which combined with a deep understanding and response to human behavior have led her to research the science and explore the domain of well-being through compassionate engagement and respectful understanding.

Having studied English Literature and Journalism, Himal is a certified writing workshop leader from Amherst, Massachusetts and has also conducted Inner Child workshops for adults. She has designed and implemented many new programmes for adults, children and their families, as Director of Programmes and Services at Down Syndrome Association, Singapore, and has organised several international conferences and was an invited speaker at the Down Syndrome World Congress 2014.

As Head of Training, seconded to India by NTUC Learning Hub, Himal set up the training division in India, contextualised, customised, created and delivered some of the programmes offered. Himal also project managed the creation of an online Content Engine for the curriculum department at LHUB Singapore.

As an Educator at an Early Years Development inclusive centre, Himal worked with children with different developmental needs -from Infants to 9 years of age. She took a course on Universal Design for Learning from Harvard Graduate School of Education and was trained by Specialist Developmental Interventionist from USA.

Himal is also a co-organiser of Edcamp Singapore and Edcamp India.

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Kenneth Ngo
co-Founder & Director,
Human Engagement Studio Pte Ltd
founders@humanengagementstudio.net

Ken - Say Yes

My name is Kenneth Ngo. I am 42 years old. I have been a musician for 25 years, specialising in music theory (especially the mental aspect of music learning), composing, music arrangement and production, and improvisation.

I did my music degree at Abilene Christian University from 1997 to 2000. I graduated with a Bachelors of Arts (Music, magna cum laude). Prior to that, I was a self-taught musician who played for church masses, and some wedding gigs here and there.

5 years ago, I was privileged to enter the world of children with Down’s Syndrome. This opened up my world to how I was to use music to engage children, and I was able to put that into practice at Down Syndrome’s Association (DSA) between 2012 and 2014. I ran a music program called I AM MUSIC, which honoured the capabilities of these wonderful children of all ages, and abilities. Everyone’s music ability was celebrated.

Unfortunately, I had to leave DSA because I was overloaded with other projects; namely teaching songwriting and music theory to 3 different levels of primary schoolchildren at Nanyang Primary School.

I also had a couple of musical projects as music director, and have since used the musical theatre and improvisational theatre experience to engage these lovely children, to positive responses.

Today, I have been even more privileged to work with children with cerebral palsy, autism, and William’s Syndrome. Music has been the common factor that has allowed these children to express themselves; how much they enjoy music, how they are so eager to sing their favourite songs, and feeling happy being able to play the piano and feeling accomplished.

I am grateful for the opportunity to teach these amazing children, and embracing this exciting challenge, I hope to be able to achieve the dream of providing the child and their families with a safe and productive environment to learn, grow, and communicate effectively with the skills they will acquire.

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Peng-Ean Khoo
co-Founder & Director,
Human Engagement Studio Pte Ltd
founders@humanengagementstudio.net

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Peng-Ean Khoo read Economics at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, U.K. and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. She makes art, pretends occasionally to write music, aspires to produce theatre, is a sustainable enterprise developer and mentor, loves to write and insists on everything poetic and nonsensical (even when it isn’t!). She thought she was a rebel without a cause but she isn’t. She is simply deeply in love with life and the world, and loves to query that which departs from wholeness and wholesomeness.

Peng-Ean is a wife and mom, and she has long ago blurred the distinction between a stay-at-home and working mom. Recently, she also demystified even more myths for herself, and she is very content, peaceful and happy, thereafter. She believes no one is superhuman, and that is the biggest myth and fallacy of our culture, family, education, workplace and communities. She believes one can only be herself or himself, and that is all and everything stupendously beautiful! She loves exploring and doing things with her friends because … she has given up trying to justify why one has to justify the right and blessedness to have a good time – especially with loved ones!

Her recent work can be found at: www.bilberriesblue.com, www.charkol.wordpress.com, www.thehappyheartschool.wordpress.com, www.theartistshouseipoh.wordpress.com, www.thestrangestencounterinsidethiswhitecube.wordpress.com, www.ponderwithpek.wordpress.com.

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