Children’s Academy, Malad, Mumbai

EducationWorld October 13 | EducationWorld Institution Profile

In the latest EW India School Rankings published last month, knowledgeable respondents of the survey ranked Children’s Academy, Malad, Mumbai among the country’s Top 40 (#37) co-ed day schools and #12 in Mumbai

Children's Academy, Malad, MumbaiSited in Malad, a bustling suburb of Mumbai, Children’s Academy (estb.1970), a K-X co-ed day school affiliated with the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education and the Delhi-based Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), is the flagship school of the Children’s Academy Group which comprises two more schools of the same name in the adjacent suburb of Kandivali. Together they enroll 9,583 students mentored by 383 teachers.

Promoted 43 years ago by the late V.V. Bhat, an English postgraduate of Mysore University and former schools inspector in the education department of the Maharashtra state board who was appalled by the poor quality of primary education dispensed to students, Children’s Academy, Malad, Mumbai was started in two small rooms with an initial batch of 85 primary students and four teachers. Today the flagship school in Malad is spread over a campus area of one acre and two buildings with a built-up area of 6,407 sq. metres (linked by a skywalk) which house 46 fully-wired state-of-the-art classrooms, three science labs, one maths lab, three computer labs equipped with 130 computers and a library with 8,000 titles and 17 journal subscriptions.

In terms of the holistic education it provides to its 2,179 boy and 1,758 girl students, the reputation of Children’s Academy, Malad (CAM), has soared. In the latest EducationWorld India School Rankings 2013 published last month (September), knowledgeable respondents of the survey ranked CAM among the country’s Top 40 (#37) co-ed day schools, #13 in Maharashtra and #12 in Mumbai.

“Our curriculum and pedagogies were designed to nurture holistic learners 43 years ago by our founder, and to this day this tradition has been maintained. Teaching methodologies focus on the play-way pedagogy in nursery and on projects-based learning modes involving role play, dramatisation, field trips, math lab activities, learning by doing (practicals) and technology-aided lessons in primary and secondary classes. At Children’s Academy,Malad, Mumbai, we believe life is an odyssey in which we need to enable students not only to enjoy the present but also prepare for the future,” says Sudha Shanbhag, principal (ICSE), CAM. An education alumna of Kerala and Annamalai universities who signed up as a mathematics and science teacher in 1988, Shanbhag was appointed principal of the CISCE stream in 2010.

The school’s management is well aware of the need to internationalise the curriculum, prompting the school to establish linkages with peer and other institutions domestically and abroad. In 2010, CAM was conferred the British Council’s International School Award (ISA) for the second year in succession, which makes it eligible to participate in collaborative projects with schools worldwide. It is also among the 20 schools in India selected by the Korean Cultural Centre, India for exchanging art work, cultural notes and artefacts with Korean schools under the Nanum Project initiated in June this year. Moreover, CAM has partnered with St. Levan Penzance and Treverbyn Academy, UK, under the Global School Partnership Programme 2010, designed to make students around the world aware of global issues.

Given the management’s commitment to imparting robust, well-rounded education to students, it’s unsurprising that despite poor urban planning which denies children of the megalopolis access to playgrounds and play facilities, CAM accords high priority to sports education. “We strongly encourage our children to participate in sports and games. Promising sports students are given free-of-charge training by professional coaches during school hours and vacations, which inspires them to participate in state and national-level tournaments,” says Shanbhag.

With CAM’s sound reputation for delivering globally benchmarked education steadily growing, it’s hardly surprising that demand for admissions far exceeds available capacity. Primary-secondary admissions are only against fortuitous vacancies and formal admission applications are accepted only for 240 nursery seats. Against this, last year the school received 585 nursery applications.

According to Rohan Bhat, an alumnus of CAM and Mumbai University from where he acquired degrees in commerce and education, and who succeeded his father as chairman of the Children’s Academy Group of Schools in 2001, the past 43 years have been a period of growth and consolidation. “In response to parents’ pressure, over the next four years we will switch the affiliation of all three existing schools to the pan-India CISCE board. Moreover, we have acquired a two-acre plot in Vasai where we will construct a new CISCE and Cambridge International Examinations (UK)-affiliated school which will admit its first batch in 2015. The demand for admission into Children’s Academy schools is becoming increasingly insistent but we intend to stick to our tried and tested policy of promotion, consolidation and expansion to provide and sustain high quality education,’’ says Bhat.

Wind in your sails!

Admission and fees

Children’s Academy, Malad, is a co-educational day school affiliated with the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE). The school however is slowly phasing out its SSC division affiliated with MSBSHSE.

Pre-primary. Admission forms for siblings of enrolled students and children of alumni are issued in early November after the Diwali vacations. Admission forms for others are issued in the second week of March.

Primary and secondary. Applications are accepted in the month of March, subject to vacancies. An entrance test is mandatory.

Tuition fees (per year):  ICSE (classes 1 to X): Rs.30,000;
SSC (classes IV to X): Rs.17,000

For further information contact Children’s Academy, Bachani Nagar, Malad (E) Mumbai 400097, Maharashtra.  Tel: 022-28835014, 022-28835387; Fax: 28802920; E-mail: [email protected]

Sunayana Nair (Mumbai)

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