Norway’s preschool firm Dibber to open 100 schools for ₹100 crore

“We’re here for young children of new-age parents who want to stay out of the clutter and come out of the pre-school rat race”

Published - May 06, 2023 10:05 pm IST - Bengaluru

Hans Jacob Sundby and Randi.

Hans Jacob Sundby and Randi.

Norwegian preschool chain, Dibber International, will open 100 schools in India in next three years at an investment of ₹100 crore.

Dibber would immediately open six schools in the country: four in Bengaluru, one in Hyderabad and another in Pune while Delhi and Kolkata also would have Dibber schools by end of this year, said the company.

Although Dibber, set up by a pedagogue couple Randi and her husband Hans Jacob Sundby in 2003 in Norway for children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years, had a modest beginning, it now has presence in 10 countries, South Africa, Poland, Dubai. Germany, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, HongKong and India and also has plans to enter Nepal and Bangladesh soon. It currently has 600 schools globally supported by a network of 45,000 teachers.

Hans Jacob Sundby, owner and CEO, Dibber told The Hindu that, “We want to bring Nordic pedagogue and Nordic curriculum to India and blend it with Indian culture and understanding. India, like Nordic countries, has a huge focus on education, both at the parental and governmental levels. This amazing sync attracted us to India.’‘

Nordic pegaogue was about experiential learning, it wasn’t about learning from the book, it involved learning from life, learning from nature and play and learn, he explained.

Ritesh Handa, Chief Executive Officer-India said, India currently has 160 million children in the 0 to 6 age bracket. In contrast to the Nordic way of learning, small children in India were put under tremendous stress to perform and impress.

“A kid is good only if he or she is able to recite poems, songs or lessons in front of family and friends quickly and without any mistakes. Even parents tend to write them off if they fail. This will have an adverse effect on the overall learning and growing up of children,’‘ he elaborated.

Mr. Handa said Dibber would cater to youngish and new-age parents of young children who want to come off the clutter and be away from the rat race that existed around pre-schooling.

Dibber is currently in talks with the respective embassies and India government to launch its K12 schools and Dibber University in the country. It is also planning to set up a teacher academy.

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