Press Release

Holistic Makeover Catapults 120-Year Old Government School in Kerala to Rank among Top Five in India

September 23rd, 2014

Improved Built Environment by Faizal and Shabana Foundation Achieves Drastic
Improvement in Student Performance and Impacts Demand for Admission

Kozhikode, Kerala, September 22, 2014 – Following a Rs 16 crore holistic upgrade in 2014, the 120-year-old all-girls Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, Nadakavvu (GVHSS-N) of the Kozhikode municipal corporation in Kerala now ranks among the top five government day schools in the country, according to the just-released Education World India School Rankings of 2014.

Of the thousands of government day schools that were assessed, GVHSS achieved outstanding scores across a number of parameters including infrastructure provision, quality and competency of the school's facilities, as well as welfare and development of teachers, and value for money.

In 2013, the Faizal & Shabana Foundation joined hands with local MLA Shri A Pradeep Kumar and the Indian Institute of Management to plan, fund and execute a nine month project that transformed GVHSS. To make the upgrade truly holistic, the partnership also hosted a comprehensive training program for teachers.

The transformation in the built environment, using precast technology, alongside improvements in the teaching methods and enhanced capacity, resulted in a 300 % increase in the total number of students achieving an A+ grade in the Higher Secondary Syllabus examinations. The GVHSS school received 895 applications for the 350 seats across Class V and Class VIII admissions in 2013 following the improvements.

"The value of the upgrade is best measured in the jump in morale and academic performance of the students. The community's perception of the government school has also registered marked improvement. Education World's ranking further cements our belief that this model of private-public partnership is scalable and can be replicated to bring about improvements in schools across the state of Kerala," said Mr. P K Saseendran, Principal, GVHSS.

The government schools category was included in the Education World rankings for the first time this year as part of the initiative's efforts to make the rankings more inclusive and encourage the managements of government-run schools, as well as raise teaching-learning standards and learning outcomes. To arrive at the rankings, Education World in collaboration with C Fore, a Delhi-based multi-disciplinary research organization, interviewed a total of 1,000parents to rate and rank government schools.

Prior to the remarkable makeover – which was rooted in 'PRISM' (Promoting Regional Schools to International Standards through Multiple Interventions), a project that was kick-started in 2008 by Shri A Pradeep Kumar – the school, which hosts 2,400 girl students in Upper Primary, High School, Higher Secondary and Vocational Higher Secondary levels, faced multiple challenges ranging from the dilapidated building to inadequate facilities related to toilets, kitchen, dining hall and sport.

The school is now equipped with eight fully equipped classrooms, four modern laboratories, 56 clean toilets, a corporate-style kitchen and dining hall. A new sports complex was also constructed, including a 13,000 sq feet indoor stadium, wood-floored basketball and badminton courts, spacious changing and locker rooms for students. An 18,110 sq feet AstroTurf multi-purpose playing field for athletics, football and hockey was also an important feature of the upgrade.

The Faizal & Shabana Foundation, the charitable arm of UAE based KEF Holdings has outlined clear objectives to replicate the makeover across government schools. It is committed to improve infrastructure, introducing superior technology to enhance teaching capacity, invest in training for teachers, and have a measurable impact on scholastic and co-scholastic excellence.

About the Faizal&Shabana Foundation
The Faizal & Shabana Foundation was established in 2007 in India as a charitable arm of KEF Holdings by Faizal E. Kottikollon and his wife Shabana Faizal. The Foundation works closely with other stakeholders in government, business and community to promote initiatives that benefit the community.
The Foundation's social interventions relate to women, children and youth. Thematically, education, housing, healthcare and employment are the Foundation's key focus areas.
Website www.faizalshabana.org