UAE-based couple create top ranking school in Kerala, India


Dubai: A UAE-based Indian couple’s efforts to elevate the standard of a girl’s government school in Kozhikode of India’s Kerala has paid rich dividends, with the local government now set to implement its exemplary model across 141 government schools in the state benefitting 300,000 students.

The Nadakkavu Government Vocational Higher Secondary School (GVHSS) for Girls, now a flagbearer of excellence in education in India with a focus on the holistic development of students, has also been ranked as the No. 2 government school in the country in the Education World (EW) India School Rankings in 2019-2020. EW, India, is the world’s largest survey of primary-secondary schools with scores based on interviews with parents, senior school students, principals and teachers. The schools are evaluated on 14 different categories.

A once-crumbling school, the 120-year-old GVHSS underwent an infrastructural transformation in 2015 with funds from UAE based Faizal and Shabana Foundation, the philanthropy arm of KEF holdings, a Dubai-based company. The school is run by Faizal and Shabana Kottikolon, co-founders of the foundation.

Faizal, founder and chairman of KEF Holdings, said: “The top ranking for Nadakkavu school is a true testament to the success of our foundation’s vision, ‘Giving to Create Impact’. Our goal is to drive the positive transformation of government – and private – schools through an integrated and participatory approach. We are honoured to have created this benchmark of excellence for education in India. We will continue to drive our education engagement initiatives across the country as well as in other nations.”