Sabbah Haji – an interview with Mark Ulyseas

JULY 2013

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Sabbah Haji, Director, Haji Public School, Breswana, Jammu & Kashmir, India in a candid interview with Mark Ulyseas

Haji Public School is registered with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and we are a primary school heading into middle school in the years to come. Currently HPS has about 15 full time teachers and a non-teaching staff of five, spread out among our three branches. We employ young men and women from the local area [boys and girls really] who’ve just started college or are recent graduates.

We’re always looking for new teachers, especially from outside the area – teachers who may be better qualified or with more experience, but over the years we have found that no one is really willing to come up and teach in this tiny village in Pahari Doda.The local staff we employ consists of very hard-working, earnest and dedicated young men and women, and they are selected only after a probation period. At the time of hiring, they are trained heavily; we provide them with all possible help and guidance to set them up to be competent teachers for primary classes. We have weeks of reading, writing, spoken revision and familiarising of each page of each book that is going to be used at school, and the teachers are prepared for the academic year as well as can be managed.


Sabbah Haji, 31, is the Director of Haji Public School, a small not-for-profit school set up by her family in their ancestral village in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir. She grew up in Dubai, moved to Bangalore and finally returned to the village to start the school which is now the main focus of her life. Haji lives in the village and spends an unhealthy amount of time online on various social media, talking about the school and her kids.

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