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Five Great Boarding Schools
chillibreeze writer — Rupa Bhattacharya
Even today, some of us still wonder whether boarding schools have staircases that move, or paintings which talk like at Hogwarts in the famous Harry Potter series. The truth is... the boarding schools have carved an independent and singular niche in our country’s educational sphere. Life at a boarding school is impacted, both academically and by the residential experiences, equally. After detachment from their mother’s apron strings, young minds live, learn and strive together to establish bonds for a lifetime. Along with scholastic enrichment, self reliance, independence and sensitivity are also bolstered. The vast range of such schooling opportunities that exist in India, is exciting and inspiring. If you are on the lookout for a great boarding school for your child, here are five of the best in our country.
Doon School is affiliated with the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination. It conducts two major public examinations - ICSE (10th standard) and ISC (12th standard) in March. In addition, it also offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The medium of instruction here is English. Equipped with a state-of-the-art IT Center, high-tech science laboratories and ‘smart’ classrooms, it uses the most modern teaching methods. The physics and biology museums, Rajiv Gandhi Design and Technology Center, are only a few of the myriads of unique and distinguishing features this school has.
The Doon school has taken learning beyond the classroom in the real sense with its rich treasure trove of extracurricular and Spare Time Activities (STA). There are regular treks in the Garhwal Himalayas, to foster a sense of adventure and love for nature. Keen mountaineers are sent every year to the National Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi. There are eight indigenous publications in the school, meant to hone the skills of young journalists and writers. Art exhibitions and musical concerts are also a regular feature here. Nature club, Astronomical society, Video club, Sports society etc are just a few drops from the many hobby options.
There are five boarding houses, each with approximately 100 boys. The strong house spirit here is legendary, and boys here practice values of commitment, sharing and support for one another always. Endowed with such wide range of skills and knowledge, students pass out every year to shine brilliantly in the various walks of life as renowned journalists, mountaineers or even as scientists, but above all, as a complete person.
Good Shepherd International School:
Admissions are usually done in UKG. For higher classes, admissions are subject to availability and also on qualifying in the entrance test. Some of its exclusive features are, a well-equipped gymnasium, heated swimming pool, roller skating rink, auditorium with a seating capacity of 1000 people etc. The school has its private farm in Thorappalli, to meet the culinary requirements of the School Mess such as vegetables, milk and poultry.
Great emphasis is laid on extra curricular activities here at Good Shepherd International School. The Philately Club, Kennel Club and Rifle Club are very unique and novel. The school has a unit of the Sea Cadets Corps of India and also a division of Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Music too is patronized with great fervor and the school is affiliated with the Trinity College of Music in London. The strong pupil teacher bonding is reminiscent of the Gurukul System, but quality of education here is par excellence, comparable with any of the country's best. With this great blend of modernity and traditions, Good Shepherd International ensures that its flock is always a cut above the rest.
St Joseph’s Indian High School:
For admissions, entrance tests are conducted in April of every year. Only students for the 5th and 8th standards are taken in. An attractive bunch of facilities are offered here which are unmatchable. A 12 ft swimming pool with a 6 ft diving board. Adherence to the highest standards of hygiene is one of the school’s many assets. A Library with over 15000 articles and books and a multimedia center are only a few more of the host of facilities available here.
Accommodation for the students are provided in a well maintained hostel with very spacious dormitories. It is here, that young Josephites imbibe the values of sharing and caring for one another. A wide range of extra curricular activities are practiced in the school namely, rifle shooting, boat riding, journalistic writing etc. A very exclusive feature of this school is its NCC, which is a part of the Indian Navy. These scouts are subjected to strenuous drills and training camps, and most of them eventually win the President’s Scout Medal.
Hundreds of young boys are enrolled in St Joseph’s Indian High School every year to emerge as very confident and knowledgeable Josephites, with an invincible spirit to excel.
The Lawrence School, Sanawar:
The school is affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education. The Ministry of Defence offers scholarships to the wards of soldiers who lost their lives at war. There are various other scholarship schemes such as S.K.Nanavati Scholarship, the Mahindra Talent Scholarship etc. which are awarded to the most deserving of students. With a total strength of approximately 650 students, the student teacher ratio is less than 8:1, which is amongst the best in the world.
At The Lawrence School the emphasis on extra curricular activities is even greater than on academics for all-round personality development. Some of the activities include paper recycling, carpentry, Bugle and Brass Bands, forestry, Social work etc. They also have annual international village development camps which provide the students an opportunity to participate in the student exchange program with global members. The School Museum, with its rich repertoire of awards, mementos and memorabilia, is truly an educational treat.
With their motto, ”Never Give In”, Sanawarians are much more than just academic automatons. They are all-rounders, with a deep sense of duty and perseverance blended with tolerance and versatility and have made their mark in every field.
Rishi Valley School:
Besides a host of extra curricular activities offered to the students, emphasis is laid on developing growth for a love of the environment. Due to the relentless efforts of students and staff in conjunction today, the barren valley is covered with dense vegetation. The efforts by the students in reforestation, bio-diversity, conservation and watershed management are highly commendable. They have merited a Government of India grant due to their rural education program, and is used as a model by various prestigious concerns such as UNICEF and not to mention, various state government bodies.
At the Rishi Valley School, constant endeavors are being made to generate a wider awareness of self and surroundings. The students emerge as ethically strong individuals with the inspiration to work towards a greener world.
Children are individuals and their childhood should be nurtured positively with warmth, diversity, color and fulfillment. Despite being diabolically different in most respects, each of these schools have one common asset, in their ability to nurture each child through encouragement and guidance to make achievers of tomorrow.
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