Dr. Geoffrey Fisher: Ensuring Equitable Access to Quality Education
Dr. Geoffrey Fisher
Dr. Geoffrey Fisher

As society progresses, the methods for fostering the intellect and abilities of the upcoming generation must evolve in tandem. With technology rapidly advancing and global challenges reshaping the educational landscape, educators face the responsibility of equipping students not just for academic achievement, but also for navigating the complexities of our modern world.

For these educators, Dr. Geoffrey Fisher‘s pursuit of educational excellence at the B.D. Somani International School as Head of School can serve as a much-needed compass.

Dr. Geoffrey Fisher hails from a lineage deeply rooted in the field of education, spanning schools, universities and the Church of England. This familial heritage has instilled within him a profound dedication to teaching, learning and advocating for equal opportunities in education for every student.

A Staunch Advocate of Educational Equality

Dr. Geoffrey embarked on his educational journey with a strong belief in the importance of holistic curriculum development. He is a steadfast advocate for every child’s right to learn, striving to create environments where students can thrive academically, socially and emotionally. As a leader in schools and an influential figure in the education sector, his aim is to ensure equal career opportunities for all students and to support teachers in accessing top-tier professional development.

Over the past three decades, Dr. Geoffrey has had the privilege of holding leadership positions in independent schools across seven countries. His academic credentials, including a UK Postgraduate Diploma in Education Management and an EdD in School Improvement and School Effectiveness, have equipped him with the expertise needed to drive positive changes in education.

Dr. Geoffrey has played a pivotal role in mentoring the next generation of school leaders by teaching in Endicott College’s master programs. As the Head of School at BD Somani, he is committed to establishing an inclusive learning environment that empowers students to reach their full potential and prepares them for success in the contemporary world.

Transcending Traditional Academic Excellence

B.D. Somani International School embodies a vision of education that goes beyond traditional academic prowess. Its roots are grounded in a multifaceted approach to learning, where exceptional academic outcomes are complemented by robust engagement and success in the arts, athletics, experiential learning, and holistic growth.

At the heart of the school’s mission is the cultivation of values and the provision of a challenging yet supportive atmosphere that nurtures excellence in every student. Established in 2006 as an IB diploma school, it has since expanded to offer a comprehensive education spanning pre-school to Grade 12.

Central to its identity is a strong sense of community among students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents. This shared bond fosters a deep affection for the school and acknowledges its profound impact on individuals’ lives, contributing significantly to its esteemed reputation and accomplishments.

Extending Potentials

B.D. Somani International School’s curriculum reflects a blend of educational models with a strong core based on IGCSE and IB diploma frameworks. This approach to teaching and learning is carefully designed to extend and develop the full potential of all students, ensuring they are equipped with the skills, knowledge and values needed to thrive in a complex world.

In his ongoing examination, Dr. Geoffrey delves deeply into the premise that human flourishing is intricately linked to the human community, while also integrating the latest opportunities presented by educational-based technologies, including AI. The pandemic starkly highlighted the enduring importance of human connection, community and mentorship, despite the increasing reliance on technical capabilities and technological skills in modern education.

Ensuring a Harmonious Balance

Dr. Geoffrey emphasizes that no matter the advancements in technology, none can replace the fundamental human need for connection and support. He acknowledges that this presents a crucial point of friction within the educational sphere: how to balance nurturing children’s humanity while simultaneously keeping them abreast of technological and other advancements.

As an educator and leader, Dr. Geoffrey is committed to navigating this balance, ensuring that students excel academically and thrive emotionally and socially in a supportive community. He believes in fostering environments where students can embrace their humanity while embracing the benefits of technological progress.

Maintaining Educational Equity

Technological advancements and shifting societal needs present both opportunities and challenges. One significant challenge is maintaining educational equity in a world where access to resources can vary greatly. To address this, Dr. Geoffrey is committed to expanding the school’s outreach and support programs, ensuring students from diverse backgrounds can access its educational offerings.

Another challenge is keeping the curriculum relevant in a continually advancing world. B.D. Somani International School continuously reviews and updates the curriculum regularly incorporating contemporary issues and emerging fields of study to ensure that students are well-prepared for the future. The school intentionally invests in professional development programs for teachers, ensuring they are equipped with the latest pedagogical strategies and technological tools to meet the evolving needs of its students.

Holistic Education in the Digital Era

Technology is vital in enhancing the learning experience and effectively engaging students in any educational framework. B.D. Somani has implemented advanced tools such as interactive smart boards and iPad carts in primary schools, which have significantly enriched its teaching methods, promoted research endeavors and facilitated dynamic learning environments.

To ensure the seamless integration of technology at the school, Dr. Geoffrey adopts a balanced approach that emphasizes critical thinking and inquiry skills. Collaborative activities leveraging AI tools are used to encourage deep engagement and analytical thinking among students. This approach not only harnesses the benefits of technology but also fosters cognitive abilities that are essential for long-term learning and success.

While the school is committed to leveraging technological innovations, it also recognizes the enduring value of traditional learning experiences. It is crucial to maintain a sense of social interaction, physical activity and community building within educational settings. These elements complement technology integration and contribute to a comprehensive and enriching educational experience for our students.

Service and Success

B.D. Somani has partnerships and collaborations with Yasham, Oscar, Hamari Silai, Vatsalya, Adapt, Fishermen Colony, Habitat for Humanity, Project Chirag, The Terry Fox Run, the Pondicherry Municipal School, the Mangrove Clean up Drive with Acropolis. Every single one of these collaborations benefits students by helping them understand that a full life is one that includes some service to others.

Dr. Geoffrey believes that the true measure of any educational institution lies in its ability to challenge and support each individual student. This belief is reflected in the latest IB Diploma results at B.D. Somani International School, which has been among the best of any cohort he has been involved with.

The universities these students have accessed are exceptional, with choices wonderfully aligned to the individual aspirations and strengths of the students. The entire school community is delighted and proud of the students, their efforts and the steady support from the faculty.

While the overall results are impressive, Dr. Geoffrey recalls with particular pride the journey of two students who were predicted to score below 24 points on their diplomas, putting them at risk of not earning their diplomas at all.

However, through their hard work, engagement and support from both faculty and family, these students earned their diplomas and are also now set to attend outstanding tertiary institutions. They are excitedly looking forward to the next chapter of their lives.

Dr. Geoffrey is immensely proud of them and is pleased that they rose to the challenges of the IB diploma. Their dedication was rewarded, showcasing the impact of B.D. Somani’s commitment to nurturing every student’s potential.

An Able Leader at the Helm

Dr. Geoffrey has received numerous awards over the years; the most recent being two Black Swan Leadership Awards and an Outstanding Leader in School Education. He is honored to serve as an Executive Member and Treasurer of the Association for the heads of IB World Schools in India and South Asia since its inception.

Investing in Potential

In 2024, Dr. Geoffrey aims to continue to build the capacity, resilience and flourishing of every student at B.D. Somani International School. Dr. Geoffrey believes that for those who can afford private schools, there is the quality of the curriculum, teaching, individualization of the learning journey, facilities and access to technology.

For those who cannot, there is none of this. The same is true at the higher education level, with a mushrooming of private universities and poorly funded state provisions, although many of these universities continue to provide excellent courses. This rising generation of Indian students is the future of the world, thus Dr. Geoffrey aims to give these young people every opportunity to succeed.

Keys to Educational Success

To aspiring educators, his advice is to embrace a multi-faceted view of education that values a student’s academic excellence and emotional, social and ethical development. Stay open to innovation, whether it’s through technology integration or novel pedagogical strategies, and remain committed to continuous learning and improvement.

Most importantly, he advises educators to cultivate empathy and understanding for the diverse needs of their students, striving to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment that enables all students to thrive.

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