Mohali markers | Yadavindra Public School, schooled for success
Royal roots: A combination of sporting spirit, academic excellence and training in etiquette keeps YPS a cut above the rest even 38 years after its birthpunjab Updated: Sep 02, 2017 16:39 IST
Yadavindra Public School (YPS) is one of the iconic educational institutes that has come to be synonymous with Mohali over the years. Old students of the school joke that once upon a time, Mohali was known for YPS.
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Closely associated with the erstwhile royal state of Patiala, the school is named after the late Yadavindra Singh, father of Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who has always compared it with other top-notch public schools such as Doon, Sanawar, and Mayo. The level of Patiala family’s involvement in the school is evident from the fact that Raja Malwinder Singh, Capt Amarinder Singh’s younger brother, heads the Board of Governors of the school. Though an independent entity, the school can be described as an off-shoot of the old YPS near new Moti Bagh Palace at Patiala, whose alumni included wards of erstwhile royals besides the other rich and famous of the region.
Located in Sector 51 adjacent to the main arterial road linking Chandigarh to Mohali, its vast campus is spread over 20 acres. At present, it has a strength of 1,760 students taught by an army of 120 teachers in 30 senior wing, 22 junior wing and 12 kindergarten classes.
Alumni prefer to enrol children here
Founded on April 9, 1979, the co-educational school initially had just one block with two floors having three to seven classrooms and a strength of 300 students. But soon enough, it acquired such a reputation for all-round development of its wards that the alumni preferred to enrol their children in this school.
Based on British public schools meant for the aristocracy, YPS provides a host of facilities to its boarders and day boarders. All the students are provided with lunch in the school mess. Having lunch in the mess is mandatory, the aim being to inculcate table manners in the students. The menu is also known to be sumptuous; butter chicken is served thrice a week. Fruit cream, biryani and custard are among the favourites dishes of students.
A strong advocate of Duke of Wellington, who had famously said that the Battle of Waterloo was won in the playfields of Eton, the school ensures that its students have access to a wide array of sporting facilities such as a lush green football field, cricket ground, squash court, lawn tennis court, clay court, and a basketball court besides a swimming pool and training in horse riding, et al.
Major general TPS Waraich (retd), who joined as YPS directorin April this year, says, “We want the development of the child should be such that it caters to today’s dynamic world. We sensitise students to fit into this technologically globalised world by creating global citizens whose horizons extend beyond their geographical realms.”
Besides its excellent sporting facilities and a well-stocked pantry, the school also ensures food for the brain with several plush libraries. The library for senior boys has more than 18,000 books. Apart from this, there is a dedicated library for each wing.
The old Yadavindrian Students Association attempts to play an active role in the school affairs, and extends a helping hand whenever required. It has provided a water cooling system, and medical van to the school in the recent past.
Like most tony schools in the region, YPS is affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE) till Class 10, and to Indian School Certificate (ISC) for Class 12.
“We want development of the child to be such that it caters to today’s dynamic world. We sensitise students to fit into this technologically globalised world.”
Sukirat Singh, an alumnus and now a Fine Arts teacher at YPS, says, “The school has grown by leaps and bounds from the time I was studying here. When I was enrolled in 1981, it used to cater only to day boarders but later after four years it became a full-fledged boarding school.”
It wasn’t a cakewalk for the school when it was set up in 1979. Yogeshwar Prasad, a cook, who has been working here for over 23 years, says there were huge pits to fill which took a long time. “Now, we have vehicles to move about but when the school started I used to bring vegetables from the grain market in Sector 26, in a rickshaw,” he recalls.
At first, the school had only three houses named after Aitchison (yellow), Nalagarh (green), and Patiala (blue). Later two more houses named Ranjit (grey), after Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and Tagore (red) named after Rabindranath Tagore were also added.
Initially, the school had a rich tradition of sending students to the forces. Though this has changed with many of its students preferring the corporate sector, the school retains its soft spot for the armed forces.
Director Waraich, who served the army for 38 years, remembers meeting many students from the YPS when he was an instructor at the National Defence Academy (NDA). “Even now many students I trained at the NDA come and meet me to relive the good old days,” he says.
Kushal Pal Maan, president of Old Yadvindarian Association, said, “ On an average we have a minimum of two students in the civil service from each batch and about three per batch go onto join the military service. 5,000 students have passed out in all these years.”
A teacher, requesting anonymity, said with time the students have changed. “Now, they are no longer as disciplined as they used to be in the past. They are more into flaunting their wealth or their father’s status. Earlier, students from even well-known families of the region would show us respect and regard. Somehow, that is missing in today’s generation.”