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The Future Foundation School, Kolkata

Inspired by the teachings of philosopher-seer Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) and his spiritual successor The Mother (1878-1973), TFFS has established an excellent reputation among the bhadralok (refined middle class) of the ancient and resilient city of Kolkata - Baishali Mukherjee

Inspired by the teachings of philosopher-seer Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), and his spiritual protégé and heir The Mother (1878-1973), The Future Foundation School, Kolkata (TFFS, estb.1981) provides its 1,075 students spiritually enriching, future focussed, and culturally grounded English-medium class I-XII education. 

Sited on a green two-acre campus in south Kolkata’s bustling suburb of Tollygunge, over the past 36 years TFFS has earned an excellent reputation among the bhadralok (refined middle class) of this ancient, vibrant and resilient metropolis (pop.15 million). In the latest EducationWorld India School Rankings 2016-17, TFFS is ranked among India’s Top 50 co-ed day schools and #3 in Kolkata and West Bengal. An affiliated institution of the Delhi-based Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), the school prepares students for the class X ICSE and class XII ISC board exams. 

“Our institutional objective is to provide our students an environment which facilitates holistic personality development. Therefore, we provide our students carefully designed academic, extra-curricular, sports, values and spiritual education,” says Ranjan Mitter, an alumnus of Jadavpur University, BITS, Pilani and INSEAD, Fontainebleau (France) who has been principal of TFFS since 1999. 

Inevitably, this school founded to propagate the philosophy and values of a globally acknowledged seer-educator, has an interesting history. TFFS was promoted in 1981 by Ranjan’s mother Joya Mitter (1936-1999), a well-known Kolkata-based social activist, with the aid and advice of P.K. Bhattacharya (1905-1984), a trustee of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. The duo was introduced to Lakshmi Devi, a Sri Aurobindo disciple, by The Mother. Lakshmi Devi donated her sprawling home in Tollygunge, Kolkata to the ashram, which invited Joya Mitter to establish TFFS on its premises. 

A science and education alumna of Calcutta University, Joya Mitter served as founder-principal of the school in its formative years and modelled it on the ancient gurukul system of teaching. After her demise in 1999, Ranjan was appointed principal and over the past almost two decades, he has transformed TFFS into a contemporary future-ready school boasting an ICT-enabled campus equipped with curriculum development and teacher training centres. 

Ranjan believes that the distinguishing feature of the school is its experiential and beyond-the-classroom learning programmes. “Our 88 teachers and 57 sports and co-curricular faculty work as a team to encourage experiential learning. Moreover, through our mandatory field excursions for classes VI-XI, students commune with nature, learn by doing, connect with the curriculum and develop valuable life skills,” says Ranjan.

TFFS’ comprehensive and balanced curriculum is yielding good results. In 2016, 33 of the school’s 73 students who wrote CISCE’s class X ICSE board exams scored 90 percent plus, while 50 of the 81 students who wrote the class XII ISC exam scored more than 90 percent. 

Another USP (unique sales proposition) of TFFS is its sharp focus on learning French. French is offered as a second language from class I onwards and in April, 24 TFFS students were felicitated for their excellent performance in the Delf Prim A1 examination (a diploma programme of the French ministry of education). Moreover under an academic partnership agreement with the IB (Geneva)-affiliated Lycee Francais de Pondichery — Asia’s oldest international French-medium school with an enrolment of 1,400 students — TFFS class VIII students, who qualify, are eligible for admission into Lycee’s secondary science programme and earn the French Baccalaureate in Science. 

Evidently, considerable pains have been taken by the school’s management to develop a conducive learning environment for students. The academic infrastructure includes 42 spacious classrooms equipped with Smart boards, two 200-seat multipurpose halls, separate computer labs for junior and senior classes, well-equipped science labs, two air-conditioned libraries stocked with 10,550 volumes and a resource centre for students opting for French language study. The school also houses an art gallery that hosts periodic art exhibitions, an audio-visual gallery and a meditation area with a shrine containing relics of Sri Aurobindo.

Faced with a space constraint, the school has limited facilities for sports education. Therefore, the management is drawing up plans to construct basketball/volleyball courts, gymnasium, table tennis and badminton courts, carrom and yoga rooms on specially designed rooftops of its academic buildings. However, the school has access to six playgrounds and has entered into collaboration agreements with five local clubs for swimming, football and cricket coaching. The co-curricular education menu features elocution, public speaking, dramatics, photography, art and craft, scouts & cubs, visual arts, vocal and instrumental music, chess, creative dance, quiz and debating among other activities. 

With TFFS having established a statewide reputation for providing a balanced blend of spiritual, cultural and contemporary ICT-enabled education to its 1,047 students, the management has drawn up a campus modernisation plan to accommodate the rising number of admission applicants. “We intend to invest Rs.12 crore in overhauling our infrastructure over the next five years. Some of the older blocks have already been demolished and are under re-construction. Also in the pipeline is a Rs.3 crore boost to our ‘sweet home’ after-school care initiative for children of working parents, which will eventually provide weekly boarding,” says Ranjan Mitter.
 

ADMISSION & FEES

The CISCE-affiliated The Future Foundation School is a co-educational day school. Admissions are into classes I and XI. Admission forms are available and submitted online. 

Tuition fees (annual): Rs.42,000-96,000

For further information, contact The Future Foundation School, 3, Regent Park, Kolkata 700040. Tel: 24811556; e-mail: tffs@saioc.org; website: sriaurobindoinstitute.org 

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