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Rajeshree Shihag
Sandeep Dutt

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Established in 1992 in by William and John Bissell who recognised the need for a model school to empower young people in rural Rajasthan.

The Fabindia School

Bali, India
The Fabindia School's mission is to provide access to high-quality education for boys and girls at the rural level using English as the medium of instruction. The school views primary education as a major stepping stone towards social mobility, equality and employment opportunities.

Rooted to local tradition and committed to future ready education

Daksha Jain, Class X
“The teachers of this school not only feed us with facts but also have a class discussion on various topics related to our day-to-day life and the problems which our country is facing today. We are very lucky as this school works for the welfare of girls. Girls are given scholarships, free bus service, etc. Equality of gender is maintained in this school. We are learning many things like art and craft, how to participate in different competitions, literature, different sports, etc. …The campus of the school is surrounded by trees and plants so that we can learn to protect the plants and work towards forestation. …We are taught to face difficulties, come over them and fly like free colours in the sky.”

Daksha Jain, Class X

In keeping with its holistic approach to education, the school offers extensive extracurricular programs in addition to its comprehensive academic courses. School activities include a wide range of sports programs including opportunities to participate in regional tournaments, as well as drama, debate, arts and crafts, music, environmental education and community service to provide a well-rounded education. Students also have the unique opportunity to go on educational field trips both within the state and beyond. For many students, these trips are their first time away from home and the exposure to other cities and towns creates lifelong impressions.

While focusing on the local culture, the school also frequently welcomes visitors, trained specialists and volunteers from across India and overseas who contribute towards the campus, teaching and sharing their experiences with the students. This unique cross-cultural exposure creates a well-informed and broad-minded student body. As many visitors have remarked, the energetic students show respect for their culture and traditions but have a clear sense of the world around them.

Since its inception, the school has been committed to encouraging education for girls in a culture where most parents who can afford an English medium school would send only their sons. To realize the dream of providing an equal educational opportunity for girls, the school gives up to 100 scholarships and 70% are for girls alone. The school also provides scholarships through a partnership with The John Bissell Scholars Fund. It is a matter of pride that girls hold many leadership posts in the school. In addition, the school seeks to enrol and subsidize children from socially and economically marginalized communities who otherwise do not have access to quality education.

One of the most important values imparted is for students to stay connected to their birthplace. They are instilled with a sense of pride in their local heritage and a sense of responsibility for the future of Rajasthan.

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Innovation Overview
3 - 18
Age Group
1 000
Tips for implementation
We are self-sufficient and now well endowed: A private, non-profit, non-religious school with English medium of instruction. With over 50% female enrollment. The school offers pre-school classes through class XII (Commerce). Academic Year runs April-March. The school is affiliated with India’s premier educational board – Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) since 1997. The teacher-student ratio is of 1:15. The school is situated on a fourteen-acre campus featuring playing fields, a children's playground, a basketball court, an outdoor auditorium, a water harvesting system and a forest area in addition to classroom facilities. A wifi ready campus and 80 computers to help children build their knowledge and skills. A remarkable 99% of students have gone on to higher studies and have received a 99% graduation rate which is a stark contrast to the high drop-out rates found across the state. Students access the school from various villages across a radius of 45 Kilometers. The school has an efficient transport system, including 6 school buses, which enables access to the school. Volunteers visit the school annually from across India and overseas to contribute time towards the campus, teaching and sharing their experiences with the students. United World College, Putney Student Travel, Loomis Chaffe high send students for volunteering at the school. Both Girls Learn International and The Advent School in Boston, MA has American high school classroom partnerships with The Fabindia School. The school does projects with great schools in India like The Doon School, Mayo Girls School, MGD Jaipur, The Scindia School, The Iconic School and many more. There is a local school Management Committee helps the school meet the aspirations of the community of Bali and adjoining areas. The alumni of the school are today spread far and wide, and even settled overseas. The alumni are working in the private sector, the public sector and in government jobs too. In addition to the BAT Board of Trustees, a diverse and talented group of advisory board members are dedicated to creating a visionary school which continues to be a model for high-quality rural education in India.
Contact information
Rajeshree Shihag
Sandeep Dutt

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William N Bissell "I am passionate about Education... by Learning Forward • A podcast on Anchor
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