What does it take to become the 2nd best international school in Mumbai

Often when I attend various conferences, I get an opportunity to meet principals from various types of schools. Many of these schools are 25, 50 and even 100 years old! These schools have established themselves as the pinnacles of excellence. This is also when I realise what a long way Aditya Birla World Academy (ABWA) has come in just 11 years. We are constantly being ranked amongst the top international schools not just in Mumbai but also nationally.

So, what does it really take to be one amongst the best IB or IGCSE schools?

  1. Partnership- It takes a village to raise a child. At ABWA, we understand the benefits of collaborating with all the stakeholders- parents, teachers, students, leadership, alumni and community at large. Very often schools tend to have a closed environment and do not allow room for feedback. Thus, the school ends up working in silos. At ABWA, we conduct an annual learner survey where each child fills it out anonymously wherein they can give feedback for each of their teachers. Similarly, a comprehensive parent survey is conducted. Every individual’s feedback is very carefully considered. Furthermore, a 360-degree teacher survey helps the management understand areas of improvement. Every person has a voice. We work on the principles of democracy- a school by the people, for the people and of the people.

  2. Happiness quotient- If you ask any parent what they want for their child, they may say that they wish for good grades or a fancy job; but what they inherently want is for their child to be happy. Isn’t it a pity that something so fundamental has to be consciously incorporated in a school? A child is naturally overwhelmed, given the challenges of modern family life, working parents, long commute hours to school, countless tuitions and activities, peer pressure, body shaming and bullying in schools, etc. Hence, at ABWA we have launched several initiatives to boost the happiness quotient of the school. An anti-bullying week was held, highlighting the need for everyone to #StandUp and #SpeakUp against bullying of any nature. The #OddDressDay that witnessed eager participation from students and teachers emphasizing the importance of embracing our individuality. In an attempt to shed light on adolescent issues and create awareness and support for mental health concerns, a quarterly newsletter is sent to parents by the pastoral care team. Global School Play Day is being celebrated at ABWA in February 2020 with the idea of igniting the light and returning the gift of unstructured play to our students. We have curated the Mind Matters program, which is an initiative to spread mental health awareness.

  3. Professional Development- The future belongs to the tribe of learners. At ABWA we are constantly trying to identify the learning gaps of the teaching & non-teaching staff. Eight Saturdays per year are set aside for professional development. Facilitators from all over the world are invited to up skill the teachers and share global best practices in the teaching-learning arena. Our highly skilled teacher’s help constantly raise the bar and we now have many world toppers and our students have been placed in several Ivy League schools.

  4. Legacy- The Birla family’s contribution in the field of education for decades now has been instrumental in setting up several world-class institutes such as the BITS Pilani and young institutes such as our own. All successful schools need to have a concrete vision, in our case, the vision has been clearly outlined by our Chairperson - Mrs Neerja Birla. We are an ‘International School with an Indian Soul’. Inculcating pride in the country and recognising the importance of the Indian value system governs all the decisions at the school.

We have grown from strength to strength but this is just the beginning. As they say, the best way to predict the future is to create it. Therefore we at ABWA, are relentlessly committed towards creating the best future for all our students!


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