In the late 19th century, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar and Vishnushastri Chiplunkar started ‘New English School’ and later ‘Ferguson College’ at Pune, to part Quality Education to the native children, rather than to serve the British Administration. The Trio had understood the ‘Value of Education’ and as such had taken up Teaching as a ‘Mission’ and not ‘Profession’.
Late Gopal Narayan Akshikar, the founder of the General Education Institute, hailed from a very respectable family. Gopalrao studied at Ferguson College for two years. While studying, Gopalrao had an opportunity to learn the philosophy and the directive principles of the trio. Gopalrao had been so impressed that he had not remained merely a student but had become a disciple of the trio, especially of Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
Gopalrao could not complete his graduation due to family problems but he had decided to carry on the mission of his mentors, refusing the lucrative government service.
Mumbai or Bombay, as it was called then, was divided in seven islands, till that time. Dadar, Parel, Worli were mere villages and were habitation of the working class. Gopalrao realized that there were no municipal schools and the children of the working class were deprived of the education.
Gopalrao opened Dadar English School, later to be known as Chhabildas High School, on 2nd June 1889 to let the children of the working class have quality education. The burning desire to educate the downtrodden compelled Gopalrao to open yet another school at Kalyan in 1890, and one more school at Thane in 1892.
Though the sole and true founder of all three schools, Gopalrao disowned their ownership and formed ‘General Education Institute and registered as a ‘Mission’ and not ‘Profession’ government service at Thane in 1892. Public Trust, on 24th April 1892, to manage their affairs.