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Antique charm, modern outlook

Bombay Scottish helps students balance independence with discipline

india Updated: Nov 17, 2009 10:43 IST
HT Correspondent

Mumbai: A range of impressive new schools are mushrooming all through the city, but it is difficult to compete with the charm and aura of a school that has lived up to its reputation for more than a century and a half.

Such is the case with Mahim’s Bombay Scottish School, a stalwart in the field of education for the past 162 years. Located along Mahim Bay at the brink of suburban Mumbai, “Scottish,” as it is lovingly called, has more than just its dignified architecture and impressive list of alumni to recommend it.

“We look for teachers who have a passion for teaching and an earnest desire to ensure that our students excel in whatever activities they participate in,” said Melanie Chandrashekar, the school's principal. "We want our students to become worthwhile global citizens."

While students are trained for interschool competitions in debating, art and sports, they also have a space where they can express their views, in the form of the school magazine Tartan.

The school has recently stepped up its technological infrastructure by introducing interactive boards in every classroom from Std. 7 onwards. These are connected to the server, which contains the syllabus of the whole school. Teachers use this innovative aid to make lessons interesting.

Last week, as part of a special tie-up with the Indo-American Society, Scottish hosted three Grade 10 American students, who lived with families of other Scottish children and attended classes with them. The school plans to send its own children to the USA in May as part of an exchange programme.

The story begins in 1847 at the Scottish Female Orphanage in Byculla, a school for orphaned girls of Scottish soldiers, founded by missionaries of their country. The institute grew to include boys, then opened its arms to children of all communities, eventually moved to Mahim, and, when the orphanage died out in 1976, came to be called the Bombay Scottish School.

Best Practices
The school has recently stepped up its technological infrastructure by introducing interactive boards in every classroom, from Std. 7 onwards. These are connected to the server, which contains the syllabus of the whole school.

At the school’s annual concert and athletic meet, it is mandatory for all of the 3,000-odd students to participate. This, the school believes, will boost a child’s confidence.

Basic Statistics
Fees: Rs 24,000 per year, to be raised to Rs 30,000 in the next academic year.
Student-teacher ratio: 27:1
Classes: pre-primary to Class 10
Board: ICSE
Admissions procedure: Admissions are based on a written application. Enquiries for junior K.G. admissions may be made in January. Admissions to senior K.G. upwards is as per the availability of seats.
Facilities and extra-curricular activities:
The school has a library with over 20,000 books, laboratories for the sciences, two computer laboratories, a sick bay for unwell students to rest in and a canteen. It has a large field for football and throwball, an indoor basketball court and a play area for primary school children.

2. Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Bandra (W)
Fees: Rs 47,500 (LKG – Std 7); Rs 53,700 (Std 8 – 10, ICSE); Rs 1,19,000 (Std 8 – 10, IGCSE); Rs 3, 48,500 (IB)
Student-teacher ratio: Not available.
Classes: Lower KG to Std 12
Board: ICSE and IGCSE up till Std 10, IB for Stds 11 and 12. Admissions procedure: Based on a written application, followed by a written admission test and interaction session.

Launched in 2003, the school has more than 1,000 students, who have a campus area of 1.3 lakh square feet at their disposal. The classrooms are sleek, equipped with lockers, airconditioning and Internet connections, while there are several specialised rooms for yoga,

Indian and Western music and art, among others. The library has 40,000 books and audio-visual resources. Along with centres for student care and counselling, higher secondary students can avail of career counselling on campus.

The school’s Model United Nations programme has been very active, and the students also promote cross-border peace through the ‘Paigaam’ Peace Conference. To expand outdoor experience, the school opened an 18-acre campus at Matheran last year.

3. American School of Bombay, Bandra (E)
(unwilling to share, in compliance with the fee structure of other American International schools in South Asia)
Student-teacher ratio: 6:1
Classes: Kindergarten – 12th grade
Board: IB
Admissions procedure: Based on the submission of an online application form, along with other documents. Open to expatriates and to those who fall within guidelines stipulated by the ministry of external affairs.

Back in 1981, a group of international parents got together and started a small school for 12 children in a room at the American Consulate. Today, it is a US-style IB School, representing students from 51 countries. Since it moved to the Bandra-Kurla Complex in 1998, its campus includes 33 classrooms, six science laboratories, two libraries, two swimming pools and more.

It has 700 students and 120 faculty members, and each class has not more than 18 students. ASB was the first school in India to be granted a wireless network. It offers more than 100 co-curricular activities. “We also offer special coaching to those childrenwho do not know English very well,” said Paul Fochtman, superintendent of the school.

Week 1: Rankings
This week, we bring you results of our survey in the form of tables of rankings based on eight weighted parameters.
Monday, November 9:
(including Navi Mumbai):
The top 50 schools
Tuesday, November 10:
South: The top 10 schools south of Dadar
Wednesday, November 11:
The top 10 schools between Dadar (W) and Malad
Thursday, November 12:
East: The top 10 schools between Dadar (E) and Ghatkopar
Friday, November 13:
North: The top 10 schools north of Malad in the west & Ghatkopar in the east
Saturday, November 14:
The top 10 schools of Navi Mumbai

Week 2: Profiles
This week, we bring you a detailed profile of the top school in each region, including an interview with the principal, best practices and basic statistics. We also offer shorter profiles of the second- and third-ranked schools of each region.
Monday, November 16:
South Mumbai
Tuesday, November 17:
West Mumbai
Wednesday, November 18:
East Mumbai
Thursday, November 19:
North Mumbai
Friday, November 20:
Navi Mumbai

Week 3: Trends
This week, we tell you about broad developments in school education in the city.
Monday, November 23:
The rise of international schools
Tuesday, November 24:
New trends in teaching
Wednesday, November 25:
Parent involvement in schools
Thursday, November 26:
Schools with a difference
Friday, November 27:
Navi Mumbai, an emerging education hub

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