The Boarding Schools Association of India (BSAI) held its third board meeting, first AGM and conference on January 27-29 co-hosted by Welham Girls’ School and Welham Boys’ School, Dehradun. The chief guest of the BSAI Conference was Manpreet Singh Badal, former finance minister of Punjab state. Badal delivered the keynote address on the first day of the conference, during which he emphasised and lauded the contributions of boarding schools in creating leaders across various sectors in India and abroad.
The member-attendees were: Dr. Sumer Singh (president), Captain AJ Singh (vice president, BSAI and director, Pinegrove School, Dharampur), Rashid Sharfuddin (secretary, BSAI, and principal, SelaQui, Dehradun), Dr. Jagpreet Singh (treasurer, BSAI and principal, The Doon School, Dehradun), Sangeeta Kain (principal, Welham Boys, Dehradun), Vibha Kapoor (principal, Welham Girls’ School, Dehradun), Jayant Lal (mentor, BSAI), Lt. Gen. Surendra Kulkarni (director, Mayo College, Ajmer), Vinay Pande (mentor, BSAI), Dr. Vidhukesh Vimal (former headmaster, Assam Valley School) and Bhavin Shah (honorary strategic advisor, BSAI).
In September 2021, several blue-chip boarding schools – some of over 150 years vintage and respected around the world – jointly promoted BSAI, led by founder president Dr. Sumer Singh, one of India’s most highly respected educationists and former headmaster of The Lawrence School, Sanawar and Daly College, Indore.
The founding members of BSAI include The Doon School, Dehradun; Mayo College, Ajmer; Scindia School,Gwalior; Welham Girls and Welham Boys, Dehradun; The Lawrence School Lovedale; The Lawrence School, Sanawar; Pinegrove School, Dharampur; The Assam Valley School and SelaQui International School, Dehradun — all ranked among the Top 10 co-ed, boys and girls boarding schools in the EducationWorld India School Rankings 2022-23.
The January 27 meeting kicked off with Dr. Sumer Singh thanking Vibha Kapoor, principal of Welham Girls’ School, for hosting the meeting and welcoming member attendees. Among the major decisions taken by the board were: to establish a Secretariat; to draw up a blueprint of services to be provided to member schools, with focus on curriculum and certification using in-house and external service providers; to create a category of Associate Membership for schools having at least 200 boarders; to organise training workshops for prefects and senior administrative staff, and to hold the next board meeting at Emerald Heights International School, Indore in July.
The prime objectives of BSAI declared in the association’s constitution are “to serve the staff and students of member boarding schools through professional training, providing a forum for all member schools to increase interaction and cooperation amongst each other along all facets of the boarding experience, leading the discussion on well-being and all-round development of boarding students, and advancing and supporting best practices in pedagogy… Furthermore to advance the interests of member schools, staff and students, and act as a liaison between different stakeholders such as member schools, the larger educational industry, teachers, students, parents and government”.
The association intends to play a large and evolving role in K-12 policy formulation and education development in the post-pandemic era. BSAI will collaborate with similar associations in the UK, Australia and New Zealand to research and develop international standards for teacher certification in areas such as pastoral care, safety and security, and conduct audits for member schools to ensure compliance with government mandated rules and regulations and establish safe and eco-friendly campuses.
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