The vision for a school in transformation

If we do not change our direction we're likely to end where we're headed.
The most important feature of a transforming organisation is that it has a 'Vision' or what I would like to call the school's desired future. We have to make the school an important societal change agent for the future, to bring about any transformation in learning and social development in any community or country. 

First and foremost we must list what a school vision must be:
1. The Vision must be initiated by the leader and developed with school personal and all stakeholders.
2. It must provide future orientation.
3. Set an overarching direction.
4. Evoke an image of the future school.
5. Provide a standard of excellence, an ideal.
6. Is the vision, the basis for the unique contribution to students, to school personal, community and society?
7. Vision should be shared and supported by the internal and external stakeholders.
8. The vision must be compelling and inspiring.
9. Finally, vision must be living and even evolve further as the process of change creation rolls out.

Steve Jobs said " Innovation requires a team and you cannot inspire a team of passionate evangelists without a compelling vision; a vision that is bold, simple and consistently communicated".

When reading my lessons from Schools Can Change and understanding the work of Learning Forward, I have been able to crystallize a vision statement for  The Fabindia School, and this is how the vision could read. "The Fabindia School will become a national leader in innovation by implementing new technologies in learning and offer affordable quality education." Another way to state the school vision could be "The Fabindia School will become a national leader in schools and become the favoured destination of English learning in rural India". The first statement is compelling and inspiring, the second seems to me a statement of purpose, and explains to all the stakeholders what is in it for them. This perhaps is our goal and is indeed a part of our vision wherein we have set out to become an institution of excellence and and there is an element of dynamism in what we are doing. The vision thus sustains over a long period of time, and is the direction for the ongoing mission.

Psychology Today Blog state that  "The absence of, or poorly written Vision and Mission statements, are lost opportunities for:
Attracting/engaging/retaining talent;
Building organizational culture; and,
Increasing productivity while leveraging all resources to successfully implement a strategic plan."

A study by Bain and Company indicated that organizations that have clearly defined Vision and Mission statements that are aligned with a strategic plan, outperform those who do not.

A Mission statement:
  • Defines the present state or purpose of an organization;
  • Answers three questions about why an organization exists -
WHAT it does;
WHO it does it for; and
HOW it does what it does.

It is important to develop a plan around a clearly defined and well written Vision and Mission. Both serve important, yet different roles as core elements of a strategic plan. 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.

The Vision must encourage us to think big (overview), think for tomorrow, think of student and society contribution and most important lead and help to create the future. 

  • Learning for Staff and Children
  • Motivate them and win them over with a bright future
  • Team up and deliver

Vision killers are often tradition (never done before!), fear of risk taking, stereotypes, complacency, fatigue and short term thinking. We must not look for quick results, and look at details to help create the big picture.
The Vision must be Cognitive - to educate, Emotional - to motivate and Organisational - to coordinate.  An effective vision produces more efficient and coordinated action. It must be coherent, powerful, emphasize on what is achievable and always clarify what the school should be.

Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is a pass time. A vision must be a shared one as this alone will make it become a reality one day. Since its inception, The Fabindia 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 equal educational opportunity for girls, the school gives 200 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 enroll 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.

Link to the presentation 
Vision and Mission of The Fabindia School

This article is compiled by Sandeep Dutt and is shared for academic purpose and research with schools and the community. The material could include technical, typographical, or photographic errors. SchoolEducation.Com does not warrant that any of the materials on its web site are accurate, complete, or current. We may make changes to the materials contained on its web site at any time without notice. We do not, however, make any commitment to update the materials and be held liable for any loss or breach of propriety if any.

References:
Schools Can Change by Dale W. Lick  (Author), Karl H. Clauset (Author)
Psychology Today website
The Vision Statement of the Bhadrajun Artisans Trust

The Fabindia School truly humbled


In a tiny village in Rajasthan, where life is a struggle for basic requirements like water and food, where the only primary local employment that exists is that of a day labourer, where for miles there is nothing except for dry waste land, there flourishes a school where girls have the right and ability to play basketball and children can converse in at least three different languages including fluent English. An initiative started 21 years ago and nourished through the love and care of all it’s stakeholders has slowly and steadily borne fruit and established the culture of knowledge and education for children allowing them to dare to dream. Need I say more!
I reached Bali (Rajasthan) not knowing what to expect in this barren land and to be honest prepared for the worst with many apprehensions in mind. What I found there, in the shape of The Fabindia School truly humbled me and reminded me once again of what can be achieved where there is no dearth of honest determination and hard work. The first thing that meets the eye is a beautiful campus nurtured over years to allow development of a green zone with very modern and well thought out architecture. Then come the children. Over 800 young minds, oozing enthusiasm and most of all happy! It was a joy to see children actually wanting to come to school and enjoying every minute of their time there. Bearing in mind that most have to travel many miles from various villages spread across the area to reach the School.
I had the privilege of interacting with the children in a very informal environment wherein I was allowed to take them out on a small field trip to a water reservoir just short of Ranakpur. Being a wildlife photographer I decided on taking them out for a bird watching trip. In extremely hot weather conditions where any city child would have had my skin peeled off for dragging them out in the sun, the students from The Fabindia School proved to be very keen, resilient and avid learners. Completely unfazed by the heat they took to learning how to operate a camera and photographing birds and hopefully had a fun time exploring something so new to them. A small test for whether or not you delivered as a facilitator lies in the number of questions asked by your audience and I was most pleased to answer many questions thrown at me by the children. Some even surprised me and had me going back to the books to find answers.

My very short visit to The Fabindia School was a fun filled trip at the end of which I was almost loathe to part from the children and a connection with them had been established where there was room for mutual respect. Lovely to see such spark in life, which leaves you feeling very young at heart and thoroughly revitalized.
It was a pleasure to associate with The Fabindia School and I do look forward to establishing a relationship where growth and learning will open up many new worlds to us.
Neha Parmar
A keen photographer with a flair for writing, Neha grew up in the valley of Dehradun, away from the chaos of a city and has fuelled her passion for photography by trying to capture the essence of wildlife, landscape, people, children and much more over the years. She is driven forth by bringing alive an experience for the curious mind. Being a wildlife and birding enthusiast she spends a lot of her time in sanctuaries across the country and has discovered moments that truly define the pure joy and tranquility of being in the midst of nature.

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