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HT Top Schools survey: The 10 best schools in Mumbai’s west

Parents give a lot of thought and time to selecting a school for their child. Curriculum, teaching standards, school infrastructure, fees, location, safety — all are crucial while making that choice.

education Updated: Sep 16, 2015 23:25 IST
2015 Hindustan Times-C fore Top Schools survey
2015 Hindustan Times-C fore Top Schools survey

Hello readers, we have ranked the top 10 schools in the west zone in Mumbai. Some of these also figure in the list of top 10 schools in Mumbai, published on Monday.

Parents give a lot of thought and time to selecting a school for their child. Curriculum, teaching standards, school infrastructure, fees, location, safety — all are crucial while making that choice.

Earlier, there were few options in curriculum and a small list of old and established institutions to choose from. Now, new-age campuses and legislation, such as the Right to Education Act, are revolutionising school education. With an explosion in the number of schools and a wider choice of Indian and international curricula, the task of finding the best school is tougher than ever. We hope our list of the top schools in Mumbai will help you arrive at that important decision.

The methodology used to select Mumbai’s top schools involves a formula that has proved its efficacy since 2009, when HT first gave you a list of Mumbai’s best schools. Over the years, some of your suggestions have been incorporated in the selection process.

Over the next few days, we will also list the best schools in the south zone and Navi Mumbai. Apart from the rankings, we will have profiles of the top institutions in each zone, followed by a series of reports next week that will track the trends and developments in school education.

The top 10 schools that ranked highest on our survey from Mumbai’s west zone — this includes areas between Mahim and Goregaon:

1. Dhirubhai Ambani International School
Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (E), Mumbai, 400098 | Website: www.da-is.org

History: The school was established in 2003 and has state-of-the-art infrastructure. Nita Ambani, wife of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, is the founder and chairperson of the school.

http://i.imgur.com/niNeWpd.jpg

Unique Features: Its IB Diploma graduates were accepted by 140 universities worldwide, with students winning scholarships. This includes Oxford, Cambridge, MIT and Harvard. The school has programmes such as TEDxYouth@DAIS, DAIS Leadership Series and Model United Nations.

“We are happy that our school’s commitment to offer the highest standards of education, with focus on children’s all-round development and globally benchmarked best practices, has received yet recognition. It is our constant quest to build a future-ready, happy school and instil in every child a lifetime love for learning.” ~ Nita M Ambani, Founder and Chairperson

Highest ratings for: Teacher, Academic rigour, Attitude towards learning

Boards: Class 10: ICSE and IGCSE, Class 12: IB

Annual fee: Till Class 7: Rs. 1,70,000, Classes 8 to 10 (ICSE): Rs. 1,85,000, Classes 8 to 10 (IGCSE): Rs. 4,48,000, Classes 11, 12 (IBDP): Rs. 7,95,000

Students: 1064 boys & girls | Students to teacher ratio: 7:1

2. Jamnabai Narsee School
Narsee Monjee Bhavan, JVPD Scheme, Vile Parle | Website: www.jns.ac.in

History: Three brothers, Chatrabhuj, Pratap and Dharamshee Narsee formed the Narsee Monjee Educational Trust in 1970. The school is named after their mother.

http://i.imgur.com/mu0hrVe.jpg

Unique features: An international school and many more facilities have been added to the campus. The school conducts a sports meet for differently-abled children each year. Sports and music are included in the curriculum. All their classrooms are equipped with the latest technology.

"Education imparted in an environment of love, recognition of individual differences, and acceptance of the child’s strength and weaknesses has been the dictum of the institution." ~ Jairaj C Thacker, Managing trustee

Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, teachers, cultural activities

Boards: Class 10- ICSE, IGCSE and NIOS Class12- ISC, IB | Annual fee: Not disclosed.

Students: 4,500 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 16:1

3. Bombay Scottish School, Mahim
Veer Savarkar Marg, Mahim | Website: www.bombayscottish.in

History: The process of the school’s formation bean in 1847, when Scottish Christian missionaries established the Scottish Female orphanage at Byculla. In 1976, the name was changes to Bombay Scottish School.

http://i.imgur.com/IMPme1R.jpg

Unique features: The school offers numerous sports facilities such as shooting and gymnastics. It conducts holiday workshops for students. The school focuses on harbouring creativity and holds several seminars and competitions.

"We strive to provide an environment where students and teachers can develop their potential to become productive members of society."~ Molly Paul, principal, Bombay Scottish School

Highest ratings for: Sports Cultural Activities, Value for Money

Board: Class 10- ICSE, Class 12- ISC | Annual fees: not disclosed

Student strength: 3500 boys and girls | Student -teacher ratio: Not available.

4. RN Podar School, Santacruz (W)
Address: Jain Derasar Road, Santacruz (West) | Website: rnpodarschool.com

History: While the Podar Group has been in the field since 1927, the RN Podar CBSE School was set up in 1998. It is also a centre of excellence, selected by the CBSE board.

http://i.imgur.com/faLY1mL.jpg

Unique features: It is the first school in the country to have formally implemented the flipped classroom learning model. The school has recently been selected as one of the first Ashoka Changemaker Schools by Ashoka Innovators for the Public foundation.

"A strong foundation of empathy with cutting edge technology makes the school unique for both students and teachers." ~ Avnita Bir, Principal

Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, innovative teaching, governance

Board: Class 6-12: CBSE ; Class 1-5: CBSE-I | Annual fee: Rs. 65,000 to 1,70,050

Students: 3000 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 40:1

5. Podar International School, Khar (West)

Primary Section: Shagun Plaza, Opp. CKP Club, Linking Road

Secondary Section: Ramee Emerald Building, Near Shamrao Vitthal Bank, SV Road

History: In 1927, Anandilal Podar, a businessman who ran cotton mills, founded the Podar Group of Schools. A trust manages the school, which was founded in 2004.

Unique features: The school will go digital with the implementation of e-learning across various disciplines. Students use iPads and 3D technology in the classroom

“The caring and sensitised ethos at Podar has helped our students evolve into caring and achieving members of society.” ~ Vandana Lulla, director, Podar Group of International Schools

Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, value for money, innovative teaching, educational philosophy

Boards: Class 10: IGCSE, Class 12: IB, A-level | Annual fee: Rs 1,38,000 approx

Students: 2,000 boys and girls | Student-teacher ratio: 15:1

6. Arya Vidya Mandir, Juhu
Gulmohar Road, Vile Parle (West), Juhu | No official website

History: The Arya Vidya Mandir Society runs the group of Arya Vidya Mandir Schools in Mumbai. The school at Juhu is the first one, followed by another at Bandra (West).

http://i.imgur.com/I8I1sHs.jpg

Unique Features: Sanskrit is a compulsory language taught from Class 5 to Class 8. Co-curricular activities include art, physical education, swimming and public speaking. A variety of extra-curricular activities are also offered.

Jyoti Kumar, school principal and director, declined to comment.

Highest ratings for: Value for Money, cultural activities, Academic rigour

Board: Class 10-ICSE | Annual Fee: Not disclosed

Students: 2,000 boys and girls approx | Student teacher ratio: 40:1

7. Tridha School
Malpa Dongri No.3, Andheri East | Website: www.tridha.com

History: A group of individuals who wanted learning to be a stress-free and enriching experience for their children came together to form the Indian Education Revival Trust (IERT). Tridha began with Kindergarten and Class 1 in June 2000.

http://i.imgur.com/vfxmaC3.jpg

Unique features: The school follows the principles of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who felt that education of emotions, and physical activity, is as important as that of the head. It incorporates subjects such as Eurythmy, music, foreign languages and fine arts in the main curriculum.

“Education has to be unique for each child. One has to be courageous to choose a different type of education and at Tridha, we try to be more imaginative." ~ Patrick Brillant, founder

Highest ratings for: Innovative teaching, Life skills education, Teacher- student relationship

Board: IGCSE | Annual Fee: Rs. 90,000 approx.

Students: 600 boys and girls | Student teachers ratio: 1:25-28

8. CNM SCHOOL
Dadabhai Road, Vile Parle (West) | Website: www.cnms.ac.in

History: NM School & ND Parekh Pre-primary School started with 25 students, one teacher and one support staff in a small place at Gokhalibai School, Vile Parle, on June 1997. The school shifted to its current building in 1991.

http://i.imgur.com/eyNbYIe.jpg

Unique features: The school has been selected as a Microsoft Showcase School. It uses advanced technology in classrooms. Learning the piano has been made compulsory for the primary section while reading and writing music is a part of the curriculum. The school’s sports teams have qualified for state level championships.

“We focus on holistic development of each child and we have a fantastic staff which makes the school a better place”~ Girija Mohan, principal

Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, teachers, safety, health & hygiene

Boards: Class 10: SSC and ICSE, Class 12-ISC | Annual fee: Not disclosed

Students: 3,800 boys and girls approx | Student-teacher ratio: 39:1

9. Utpal Shanghvi School
JVPD Scheme, Juhu | Website: www.utpalshanghvischool.org

History: The school was founded in 1982 by residents of 14 housing societies in JVPD, after they found it difficult to get their children into good co-ed, English-medium schools. IGCSE was introduced in 2005, and A-level in 2008.

http://i.imgur.com/ZwWXreu.jpg

Unique features: The school has revamped its infrastructure and changed all concrete walls into glass walls. It participates in student exchange programs with UK schools. It has a unique student entrepreneurship program and a soft skills program. Its football team was declared the best Indian Team in the World Youth Football Gothia Cup held in Sweden. The school won the ISA award from the British Council for the third consecutive year.

“We focus on all round development of our students’ personalities. Our academic programs are excellent and we strive to do the best in every competition.”~ Rakhi Mukherjee, Principal

Highest ratings for: Academic rigour, sports, cultural activities

Boards: Class 10: SSC, IGCSE; Class 12: A-level

Annual fee: SSC: Rs 35,000, IGCSE: Rs 77,000, A level: Rs 3,40,000

Students: 3,000 boys and girls approx | Student-teacher ratio: 30:1

10. Maneckji Cooper School
Juhu Tara Road, Juhu | Website: www.maneckjicooperschool.com

History: Maneckji Cooper Education Trust School was founded by the Late Jehangir Maneckji Cooper, in memory of his late father Maneckji Bejonji Cooper, an educationist. The school began as a nursery school in 1959 and eventually grew into an ICSE school in 1974.

http://i.imgur.com/S5pdEXg.jpg

Unique features: The school has interactive classes through audio-visual aid. It conducts several competitions and scholastic exams. Students make PowerPoint presentations on various topics to enhance their learning.

"We believe besides grades in exams, development of confident and truthful personalities is equally important.”~ Kashmira Gundevia, principal

Highest ratings for: Cultural activities, sports, Academic rigour

Boards: Class 10: ICSE | Annual Fees: Rs. 50,400

Students: 1,877 boys and girls | Student -teacher ratio:35:1

Methodology

Hindustan Times commissioned research organisation C fore to conduct the survey to rank top Schools in Mumbai. The assessment parameters and corresponding weightages were set by HT and were the same as were used last year:

The 18 parameters on which the schools were rated are: Educational philosophy; attitude towards learning; breadth of vision; social engagement; academic rigour; innovative teaching; teachers; teacher-student relationship; sports; cultural activities; life-skill education; infrastructure and facilities; safety, health and hygiene; diversity; selection process; governance; parent participation; and value for money.

A perceptual survey was conducted among a carefully selected sample of teachers and parents using a structured questionnaire. In all, 5,356 teachers and parents participated in the survey. While simultaneously collecting objective data from various schools, the respondents were asked to evaluate the schools that they were aware of on 10-point scale against 18 parameters Hindustan Times set.

C fore researchers visited each school shortlisted for ranking based on the objective and perceptual data collected. The data gathered was also audited by talking to parents and students. To arrive at the ranking score, the figures of perceptual and objective data were combined. In case the objective data was not available, the perceptual data scores were extrapolated to rank top 10 schools of each of the five zones of Mumbai namely North Mumbai, East Mumbai, West Mumbai, South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Notes

1. Despite employing such a comprehensive process, we at HT believe that such rankings cannot be completely objective because people will have different opinions of what they believe constitutes good education. Some parents might be looking for a school that allows them to be closely involved, while others may want the opposite. Some parents might want schools that focus on sports, while others may want one where academics dominates.

2. We believe that beyond a particular threshold, it is difficult to rank schools in an objective manner. Indeed, as we have already said, our survey includes some subjective, perceptual inputs. We have, however, ranked the top ten schools overall in the city and will, from this year, rank the top schools in six zones because many readers have asked us for this kind of demarcation.

3. In any case, we advise parents to look carefully at how schools have scored against the various parameters instead of going just by the overall rank. These scores will indicate to parents which school might better suit their specific aspirations. Indeed, a school that is ranked lower in the Hindustan Times list might actually be better suited to a parent and his or her child/children than the top-ranked one.

Also read:

The 10 best schools in Mumbai

The 10 best schools in Mumbai’s north

The 10 best schools in Mumbai’s east