Scindia Boys School, Gwalior Fort

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2020

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1. I had no plans to visit the Scindia Boys School during Gwalior trip but Ishwar had different plans. So I was at the Principal, Dr Madhav Rao Saraswat’s office one morning. No agenda, just wanted to photograph the school I had heard so much about. View of the Academic Block.

2. View of the block from one end. Education is for life, not just for livelihood. Focus is on the process than the outcome. The school instils in each child the core values of dedication, devotion to ones calling, perseverance, integrity, honesty and to rise above mediocrity.

3.Pranams Goddess Saraswati, background academic block. “The presiding deity of learning, aesthetics and creativity. The essence of the concept of Saraswati is in the power that provides the insight for facilitating the application of fundamental knowledge, to make it useful for all.”

4. The school was founded by Madhav Rao Scindia in 1897. His son Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia opened the school to the public in 1936. It was originally located in Gwalior city and shifted to the Gwalior Fort around the turn of the century. It is spread over 160 acres. The school Brass Band has been playing at the Republic Day- Rajpath since 2006.

5.Close view of the famous academic block. In hindsight should have gone to the terrace of one of the buildings or swimming pool to get an aerial view. Classes are on the ground and first floors. I visited in January 2020.

6. View from ‘The Madhav Sports Pavilion’. Left is 9th century Teli-ka Mandir and centre is Gurudwara. It has a BCCI approved cricket pitch. The school has 21 playing fields and 18 sports disciplines with dedicated coaches. Pavilion is equipped with changing room as well.

7. Bust of Maharaja Madhavrao Scindia. The school has hues of history & achievements in the air which creates a natural impetus for students to excel in all spheres of life. It is progressive and traditional too, both blend seamlessly. For e.g. students touch the feet of their teachers before exams or an important match & there is a ThinkLab too.

8. I visited a few classrooms. Every class had good vibrations. Being peak winter all appropriately clothed. Boys who pass out are known as ‘Old Boys’. It is all boy’s school. Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya is in Gwalior city.

9. Teacher student ratio is 1 to 9. Class capacity is 25. Senior classes have less than 25 students at times due to subject combination. I was glad to know that Regular Enrichment Classes for accelerated teaching and remedial classes for bridging the gap existed.

10. The library is open 7 days a week. Books are non-academic in nature. It also has a huge collection of reference books. The school gives importance to academia and inculcating life-skills governed by a strong sense of service hence visits to Spiti for the residential project.

11. Every evening students of classes 6 to 12 come to the spiritual centre called ASTACHAL. They spend 15-20 minutes reflecting. This is a good habit to inculcate from childhood. You also get a great sun-set view from here. To read more https://www.scindia.edu/astachal/

12. School gets students involved in community services. Residential project in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh. If not been to Spiti plan a trip now. The school was originally meant for ‘Royals’. It was opened to the public in 1936 and became the first Public School of India. It was a “Sardar” school.

13.Due emphasis is given to learning more than what is taught in books for e.g. children busy with wood-work. There is someone to teach them. The school computer centre has a network of Dell servers and 300 core i5 machines which run on a broadband fibre optic backbone.

14. Some of what students made. These are not sold unless the School is fund raising for a specific purpose. Invariably students take it home.

15. I loved the centre piece. If I could would love it to adorn our home. Students live with the rich flora and fauna of the Fort that also attracts over 50 varieties of birds. The Scindia School is located on top of Gopachal Parvat.

16.This is the THINK Lab. It provides a platform for Project Based Learning and a lot of other creative initiatives of the boys. There are 10-12 various publications of the School, boys would work upon the designing of those in the Think Lab.

17. It has activities like Robotics and a 3D Printer. Pics are of Indians in Space for e.g. Rakesh Sharma & Kalpana Chawla. Intent is to make students masters of technology rather than only consumers.

18. Entrance to Dining Hall. Canons on either side. Centre bust is of late Shrimant His Highness Maharaja Madhavrao J Scindia. President Board of Governors (1980-2001). Unveiled by Nandan Nilekani, CEO of Infosys Ltd, in 2006.

19. Huge dining hall. Well-lit and clean. Enjoyed the meal - paneer matar, dal, raita, chapatis/rice, sabzi and methi ka bhajiya, a favourite. They serve non-veg too.

20. I always visit the kitchen when food is cooked for a large number of people. You see methi ka bhajiya being made.

21.Post lunch we were walking towards the painting class when I heard the song ‘Hotel California’ being sung. Requested Ashish Ji to take me straight there. They sung very well. School has a music room too.

22.E.g. of paintings by students. It is compulsory for classes 6 to 10 and class 11-12 it is a choice subject. Sports options include track & field athletics, soccer, hockey, cricket, basketball, skating, horse riding, archery, rifle shooting, equestrian, squash, tennis, badminton, swimming & deep-pool diving.

23. This is a MCR- Model Class Room. French being taught. It is used for conducting such classes.

24.Pottery. School has their own brick kiln. ‘The School Council, composed of elected students’ teachers, give students a large degree of self-government. Students take up hobbies like music, photography, painting, glass painting, batik dying, papier-mâché, clay modelling, pottery, stone carving etc.’

25. Next to the Madhav Sports Pavilion is this canon. These canons give you a sense of history.

26. This the Shukla Memorial Open Air Theatre. It is in memory of one of the past Principals and has a capacity of about 2,500. Impressive to say the least.

27. Close to the theatre is this 1937 model Dodge Brothers car. Close by is a health centre takes care of student medical needs.

28.Next visited the hostel of boys think class 8. This is where students study post returning from school and play-time. Every student has a table and draw. This visit was not planned so assume the table stays as clean always.

29.Student living area. Every student has a cupboard. Very clean and orderly. If my father had known about the Scindia Boys School and could afford it then, I would love to study here.

30.The school is divided into 12 Houses, 4 for juniors and 8 for seniors, each named after places & individuals from Maratha history. Junior Houses are Jankoji, Dattaji, Nimaji and Kanerkhed. Senior Houses are Jayaji, Ranoji, Mahadji, Jeevaji, Madhav, Shivaji, Daulat and Jayappa.

31. It is Jayaji House. My host Ashish looks after the students of this house. After we finished the walking tour, Mohr Singh made some lovely chai that cheered spirits and made me want to go for another school round.

32. Art class. What I liked is the range of extra-curricular activities. I believe every activity contributes to your personality positively.

33. Electrical stuff. What caught my eye is this motor-cycle. If only it had an engine! To see pics of Scindia Kanya Vidayalaya Gwalior, started in 1956 https://www.esamskriti.com/a/Madhya-Pradesh/Scindia-Kanya-Vidyalaya,-Gwalior.aspx

34. Made by students & kept in teacher’s room. Left to right it means to say, ‘How a student who enters Scindia is supported by peers and teachers. The love, care, support and faith of the community transforms a young boy into a fine example of Scindian ethos”.

35.Ashish ji, in school’s battery operated vehicle, took me to one end of the fort from where saw this. Centre of pic is Teli-ka temple. Wish to thank teaching staff Ashish and Divya for showing me around the wonderful school. It is said, “You can take a boy out of Scindia, but not Scindia out of the boy”.

36. You see a water-storing pond or Taal. “In the last 10 years School has worked towards creating ways to save water via rain water harvesting, recycling waste water, tree plantation, Sewage treatment Plant, Interconnection of all the ponds (Taals), etc. In 2016 approx. 174 .74 lakh litres + Chamer Talliya were conserved and used for the maintenance of campus.”

37. I loved this view of academic block. Memories of my school visit shall be with me forever. The school has a very active Alumni Association called SOBA (Scindia Old Boys Association). It has over 3,500 active members across the world. I hope this album brings back fond memories.

38. School Assembly Hall. It was being painted when I visited. A ex-student says it walls are adorned with lovely paintings.

39.Captions were uploaded on Mahashivaratri 2020. I like the school’s all-round development approach. Pavan Soni wrote in LiveMint, ‘The one able to pack life with multiple activities, done with a serious amount of intent, is by design more creative than one with a unidimensional life. Hobbies are great ways to expose oneself to different people, situations and challenges, and offer self-confidence, new perspectives and empathy.’

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