From King George to Raje Shivaji, it has been a journey with a remarkable history. On Tuesday, Dadar’s Raje Shivaji Vidyalaya reached a rare milestone when it celebrated 100 years of its existence.
Set up as King George High School by five teachers in 1912, the school was renamed Raje Shivaji Vidyalaya in 1974.
Over the past 100 years, the school has produced several illustrious alumni including political leaders, cricketers and artistes. Among the school’s illustrious alumni are cricketers Dilip Vengsarkar and Madhav Mantri; Orissa Governor Murlidhar Bhandare; industrialist Gajanand Pendharkar of VICCO and actors Prashant Damle and Tushar Dalvi.
At a function held to celebrate the occasion, President Pratibha Patil said there was a mismatch between the skills the country’s youth posses and the talent needed in the country. She emphasised upon the need to inculcate strong value systems.
The school run by the Indian Education Society (IES) has had a reputation of balancing values with modern education. “This school is the root of middle class society in Maharashtra. Along with quality education, we were also taught good values,” said Murlidhar Bhandare, governor of Orissa, who studied at the school 75 years ago.
Bhandare recalled how the school was shut during the Quit India movement in 1942 and a large number of students participated in a rally at Gowalia Tank at Grant Road.
“The value system at the school not only developed our caliber, but also shaped our character,” he said.
Echoing his thoughts, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the school has come a long way from when it was set up.
“It has constantly contributed to the progress of the country… The school has been a witness to the history of our people,’’ Chavan said.
Arvind Vaidya, head of the IES, said it is difficult to sustain the quality of education without sufficient funds.
“We are proud to enter our 100th year. However, since 2004, we stopped getting aid from the government and it is difficult for us to manage,” he said.
Chavan said that the government was bringing in changes in the education system and the Centre had doubled the salary of Shikshan Sevaks, started a scheme for student insurance, and raised the salary of contract teachers from Rs12,000 to Rs24,000.