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Sanskar Public School

Sanskar Public School: The making of a Sainik School in rural Odisha

April 21, 2022

Sited on an expansive 16-acre campus in Rahani – a small village in the Dhenkanal district of India’s eastern seaboard state of Odisha — Sanskar Public School (SPS, estb. April 2014 and affiliated on 1st April 2017) is the brainchild of Dr. Malay Ranjan Pati who was driven by a singular mission of making high-quality education accessible to children in the educationally underserved Naxal stronghold region. Aiding and abetting Dr. Pati in transforming his dream into reality was Dr. Dhirendra Mishra, founder-director, LIFE Educare.

Dr Mishra and Dr Pati

Dr Mishra and Dr Pati

Established under the aegis of Abakash Foundation (estb.2014) with 260 students and 21 teachers, SPS presently has a student strength of 850 including 200 boarders mentored by 30 teachers. Situated 55 km away from the eponymous district headquarters, it is the only CBSE affiliated school in the area with the nearest CBSE school located about 45 km away. Moreover, SPS was recently selected as one of the 21 new Sainik Schools run by the Sainik Schools Society — an autonomous body under the Ministry of Defence, Government of India. This is a noteworthy achievement considering that a total of 194 schools from across the country had applied for the Sainik School affiliation.

“The dream of setting up a CBSE school in the Naxal dominated Dhenkanal district that is surrounded by beautiful wildlife and forests was considered madness. When I approached banks for loans to set up the school, they refused outright. However, this did not deter me from pursuing my dream. I sold my ancestral property and used the funds to construct the school. In 2012, I met Dr Mishra who was as passionate as me about making high-quality education accessible in rural India. He kept my dream alive by supporting me through the entire journey without expecting any returns.  Together, we set up the school,” says Dr. Malay Ranjan Pati, founder-mentor, SPS. A PhD holder and a professor of history, Dr. Pati has authored five books – Broadcast Journalism in India, a textbook for IIMC, New Delhi to name a couple. He served in the Indian defence services before venturing into the education sector by promoting Sanskar Public School along with his wife, Sibani Pati.

SPS’ green self-sustainable campus provides a holistic learning environment that nurtures confident and caring global citizens. Sustainable activities such as agriculture, organic gardening, dairy farming and pisciculture hosted within the school campus enable development of students’ creative abilities and foster love for research. Moreover, SPS is among a handful of schools in Odisha that hosts facilities such as Smart classes, ‘ATAL Tinkering Lab’, coaching for NTSE and NVS competitive exams.

Sanskar Public School

Nurturing academically competent changemakers

SPS’ academic rigour has ensured rich dividends with 100 percent pass results in the class X CBSE board exams since inception. Moreover, in compliance with the RTE (Right to Education) Act 2009, the school ensures that no child is refused admission for lack of finances. Every year, several underprivileged students also qualify for the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya scheme of the Central government and the Adarsh Vidyalaya scheme of the state government.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are strongly integrated into the school curriculum with the objective of empowering students to become global changemakers and contribute towards a sustainable future. Over the years, SPS students have also won laurels in several district, state and national events.

Committed to giving back to the society, SPS has carved a niche for itself as a role-model school in Dhenkanal district. Having adopted the Hadagadi village in the neighborhood, the school provides free education to almost 15 students from the village while its NCC Scouts team ensures that the village is kept clean and hygienic. The school also organises the ‘Sanskar Joy of Giving’ programme in remote villages and provides basic necessities to the tribal communities. During the pandemic, the school arranged daily meals for the needy. It is noteworthy that despite coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, SPS students are passionate about supporting the needy.

“I attribute the success of Sanskar Public School to the relentless hard work put in by the team and most of all, to the contribution of LIFE Educare, especially its founder Dr Dhirendra Mishra who saw this as his calling and purpose. He has been a constant source of motivation throughout this challenging journey. The success story of our school is an excellent example of how one man’s passion can become another man’s purpose and of two individuals who believe in their own dreams and abilities, collaborating to work towards a common goal of making quality education accessible in rural India,” says Dr. Malay Ranjan Pati.

Milestones

  • From its inception till date the school and students have achieved laurels at various levels.
  • Sanskar Public School was ranked No 1 co-educational institution of Dhenkanal district in EducationWorld India School Rankings 2019-20.
  • Pratik Priyadrasan of Class IV and Lokesh Sahoo bagged Silver in the National Taekwondo Championship at Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Shreesti Dash of Class X qualified for the final round of shooting in the NCC.
  • Ananya Das of Class IX was selected as the best cadet of JW in the ITC camp, IGIT, Sarang.
  • Swathi Santana Pati of Class VIII won the first prize at the Block level for essay writing competition.

Student Voices

“The most touching feature of my school is that we had the best teachers. They don’t just teach, they enable us to explore our talents and help us fulfil our dreams. In Sanskar Public School, I experienced the joy of social work by being amongst tribals and encouraging them to fall in love with learning by spreading the message through public performances.” – Shubhasmita Panda, former student, Sanskar Public School.

“The school is situated in a rural area so it has a clean, pollution free and silent environment where we can concentrate and focus on our studies.  We also have different types of activities like dairy farming, horticulture and the ATAL Tinkering Lab where we learn by doing. The school also provides many opportunities where students can demonstrate their ability, and this is the reason why I like to study in Sanskar Public School.” – Pragayasini Behera, Student of Class X, Sanskar Public School.

Also read: LIFE EDUCARE: An educator’s mission to enrich Indian K-12 education

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