Kozhikode, March 2019: The redevelopment of 120-year old Government Vocational Higher Secondary School for Girls (GVHSS) at Nadakkavu has become a case study on venture philanthropy in education by Dr. Sreevas Sahasranamam, a Chancellor’s Fellow at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow UK. The case study titled “Faizal & Shabana Foundation: A Venture Philanthropic Approach to Education” will also be taught in some of the classes on corporate entrepreneurship at the same university. Venture Philanthropy as a term was coined half a century ago by John D. Rockefeller III in 1969, who described it as “an adventurous approach to funding unpopular social causes.”
Redevelopment of GVHSS Nadakkavu Becomes a Case Study in UK University
The case study covers the refurbishment of the century old GVHSS Nadakkavu school through large philanthropic investments made by the Faizal and Shabana Foundation (F&SF) where it talks about how the same has become a unique case for venture philanthropy that has been successfully implemented within a government educational context. The study highlights how a private philanthropic organization went about executing a school project in spite of the several challenges it faced in scaling up the redevelopment model to other government schools.
The Faizal and Shabana Foundation in collaboration with the Government of Kerala developed the PRISM program (Promoting Regional Schools to International Standards through Multiple Interventions) to improve the standards of government schools through planned interventions. The Government Vocational Higher Secondary School for Girls, Nadakkavu in Kozhikode (Calicut) was the flagship school that was renovated as part of this program. The holistic makeover included a complete transformation in the built environment, with new classrooms, toilets, a multipurpose hall, interactive science center, astro-turf covered sports field, industrial size kitchen and library amongst other improvements. The infrastructure overhaul was completed in 9 months, while the students were away on their summer vacation, using offsite manufacturing technology. The school was ranked among top 3 government schools in India within 2 years of its refurbishment and is now seen as a model project for building schools across the nation.