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EducationWorld India’s top day-cum-boarding schools 2023-24

EducationWorld September 2023 | Cover Story EducationWorld

Because they offer the advantages of valuable gender interaction, life skills education, the excellent co-curricular and sports infrastructure of boarding schools and student body diversity, day-cum-boarding schools are becoming increasingly popular countrywide.

Emerald heights International School

The Emerald Heights’ Siddharth Singh: “genuinely integrated holistic education”

Among primary-secondary education institutions, day-cum-boarding schools offer children several unique advantages. Firstly, without explicitly stating as much, they are invariably liberal co-ed institutions which inculcate mutual respect and modern egalitarian ideals in children of both sexes from young age. Having experienced a prolonged all-boys boarding school experience, your correspondent can vouch for the advantages in terms of valuable gender interaction and life skills that co-ed schools invariably confer upon their students.

Secondly, because they have large contingents of boarders, they offer excellent co-curricular and sports infrastructure that boarding schools provide, to day scholars. This is beneficial for day scholars who are unlikely to have access to a wide range of extra-curricular educational activities in ordinary day schools. Third, the daily presence of day scholars adds to students’ body diversity on campus and gives boarders who would otherwise be a homogenous lot of children from upscale families, the opportunity to mix with and interact with day scholars from diverse income groups and cultural backgrounds. Moreover contemporary day-cum-boarding schools offer the option of weekly boarding which reduces separation of parents and children that are a feature of boarding schools.

All these advantages perhaps explain the increasing popularity of day-cum-boarding schools that offer children the best of both worlds. That’s also why the EducationWorld league table of (co-ed) day-cum-boarding schools is lengthening year by year.

Moreover, it’s important to note that following complaints from relatively newly promoted Day, Boarding and International schools that rating and ranking them with vintage schools, some of which were established more than a century ago, provided an “uneven playing field,” after much deliberation and debate vintage/legacy day-cum-boarding schools — over 90 years — are separately ranked inter se.

Niru Agarwal

Greenwood High’s Niru Agarwal: #2 2022-23 rank retained

Against this backdrop, there is only minor change in the seating order at the top table of India’s most admired (non-vintage) Day-cum-boarding schools this year. The new genre superbly furbished The Emerald Heights International School, Indore (EHIS) and Sai International, Bhubaneswar have retained their joint #1 ranking, followed by Greenwood High, Bangalore and DPS, R.K. Puram, Delhi jointly ranked #2. The incommunicado Palli koodam School, Kottayam (Kerala) is promoted to #3 (cf. #4 last year) and DPS, Vasant Kunj, Delhi to #4 (#5) together with Neerja Modi School, Jaipur promoted to #5 (6).

“I am delighted that your knowledgeable sample respondents have voted EHIS India’s #1 day-cum-boarding school for the second year running. The secret of our success is our focus on genuinely integrated, holistic education — a near-optimal blend of academic, co-curricular and sports schooling to our children. This together with the individual attention our teachers accord to every child — our teacher-pupil ratio is maintained at 1:20 — and our culture of winning, not merely participating, in academics, debates, quizzing and sports championships, has enabled us to provide a stimulating learning environment to our students,” says Siddharth Singh, the youthful Director of EHIS promoted by his parents in 1984. Since taking charge of the school in 2011, the highly qualified (finance and economics postgrad of Stonybrook University, New York and Harvard leadership programme), Singh has equipped the school set on a green campus in suburban Indore with superb latter-day infrastructure and highly trained and motivated teachers.

“Every year our school-leavers are admitted into the best American universities including Harvard, Brown and U Cal, some of them on full scholarship,” says Singh. Currently, EHIS with highest scores under the parameters of academic reputation, individual attention to students, parental involvement and infrastructure, has 4,200 boys and girls — 780 of them boarders — mentored by 200 teachers on its 40-acre campus.

Further down the Top 10 table, the Sanskaar Valley School, Bhopal at #6 has traded rank this year with Neerja Modi, Jaipur while the consistently well-managed The Mann School, Delhi with excellent scores for co-curricular education and leadership, has retained its #7 rank together with Yadavindra Public School, Mohali at #7 (7). Hyderabad Public School, Ramnathapuram is co-ranked #8 (8) with Central Public School, Udaipur promoted to #8 (9). DPS Mathura Road, Delhi is ranked #9 (6); Maharana Mewar Public School, Udaipur has retained its #9 rank and Geekay World School, Vellore ranked #10 (10) jointly with ODM Public School, Bhubaneswar and SSVM School, Coimbatore.

Ms. Niru Agarwal, promoter-director of Greenwood High School, Bangalore (GHS, estb.2004), is “very happy” this CISCE and IB-affiliated co-ed day-cum-boarding school set on a green 39-acre campus in suburban Bangalore has retained its #2 ranking of 2022-23 in “a very competitive category”.

“Since we took over this school in 2010 we have spared no effort to ensure that our children are given an education experience that develops mind, body and soul. This is testified by our top scores under the parameters of academic reputation, co-curricular and sports education. To ensure a fully integrated education for our children we invest heavily in teacher welfare and development, so that our teachers teach innovatively and with confidence. I am also pleased with our high score under the parameter of community service because our management and teachers believe that it’s important to teach children who come from upper middle class homes to receive high quality education, to make time and effort to give back to society,” says Agarwal, an alumna of Tinsukia University who has also promoted seven pre-primaries and the Cuddle Foundation which runs a fully equipped hospital for children afflicted with cancer. Currently GHS has 4,500 girls and boys mentored by 480 teachers on its muster rolls.

Alka Sharma

CPS’ Alka Sharma: happy children philosophy

Likewise Dr. Alka Sharma, promoter-director of the Central Public School, Udaipur (CPS, estb. 1989), is “extremely happy” to learn that CPS is steadily rising in the esteem of the informed public. “In CPS our education philosophy is to ensure that children have a sense of belonging and enjoy their learning experience with us. Therefore we take pains to involve our parents’ community and partner with us to ensure their children’s mental and emotional well-being. To this end, we also invest considerable resources in teacher welfare and training and have developed an institutional culture wherein teachers respect children and vice versa. There is great emphasis in CPS on our children having a peaceful and happy learning experience in the years that they are with us. Word about our happy children philosophy has got around and I believe this explains our steady rise in the EducationWorld annual rankings,” says Sharma, an alumna of Rajasthan University who promoted CPS in 1989 to “fulfill a childhood dream” to establish a happy school in her hometown. Currently, CPS has 2,307 children, including 221 boarders mentored by 106 teachers on its muster rolls.

Further down the __-strong national league table of sufficiently well-known day-cum-boarding schools (schools rated by less than 25 sample respondents are not ranked) also, there are very minor changes in seating arrangements.

Shiksha Valley

Shiksha Valley, Dibrugarh campus: Assam #1

Among schools in the Top 20 which have risen sharply in public esteem are Shiksha Valley, Dibrugarh (Assam) to #20 from #27 in 2022-23, the previously unranked Candor National Public School, Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) which debuts at #25 and DPS, Jaipur ranked #25 (29).

In the Top 30, Meluha International is promoted to #32 (37); Birla Open Minds International, Warangal to #33 (37); and Kunwars Global School, Lucknow to #33 (38). The previously unranked Viraj Shreeram Centennial School, Boisar (Maharashtra) debuts at #34, and Coorg Public School, Kodagu (Karnataka) #36 (39) has moved up several ranks in the day-cum-boarding league table of 2023-24.

However it’s important to note that day-cum-boarding schools that may be modestly ranked in the national league table, are often top-ranked in their states, most of which are larger and more populous than several foreign countries. For instance, Sunbeam School, Suncity ranked #15 and Sunbeam English School, Bhagwanpur #16, Varanasi are top ranked in Uttar Pradesh (pop.215 million). Likewise, Yadavindra Public School (India #7) is the top-ranked day-cum-boarding school of Punjab (pop.40 million); Royal Global, Guwahati (India #11 is #1 in Assam (pop. 35 million).

Similarly, Choice Public School (India #13) is top-ranked in the highly literate state of Kerala (pop.34 million); DPS, Siliguri India #11, is #1 in West Bengal (pop.95 million) and the Sanjay Ghodawat International School, Kolhapur India #28 is the #1 day-cum-boarding school of Maharashtra (pop.112 million), India’s most industrially developed state. And it’s noteworthy that with linguistic sub-nationalism on the rise countrywide, for some households state rankings are often more important than national.

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