School admission experiences - Part 2

In the first part of this narrative, I had mentioned the revelations in the twenty first century school eduction in India.  I had also mentioned about the criteria that we felt made sense, when considering a school for our kid.

Here I detail the experiences that we had with the admissions processes in the various schools that we considered.  We stay at Chitrakut Environs and the schools that I list are relevant to those who stay in or nearabouts the area.

Sishu Griha

Reputation:  Excellent
Promixity:  (about 5 km) Excellent

The admission window of this school was open for 4 days when people could drop in applications in free-format plain-text.  It was around the 3rd week of September 2013, if I recall correctly. The application also needed to include a paragraph (or was it an essay) on why we felt the child should be admitted there.

The school had no application fee (the only school not to have any).

The admission was for Mont 1 (since this school follows Montessori system of primary education).

The admission process itself happened apparently end of Oct or later.   We made a couple of calls to check if it was done or not.  We were never called for the admissions.

I believe it was primarily due to what is specified in their website:

"Montessori section -2 yrs 8 months to 3 years as on 1st June of the academic year" (Age criterion is strictly adhered to and is not negotiable (emphasis mine))

Essentially this is open discrimination for admission whereby only children born in a particular 4 months of the year are eligible for admission to the school (at least for the Montessori).  Our child was outside the window.

No, I have not filed an RTI on this:)

Vibyor

Reputation: newly established Average
Proximity: about 8 km - Average

Why did we consider?  (And hey, this was way before the infamous incident)

Many of the children in our apartment studied there.  The school is close to Marathahalli, (to be precise, close to Kundanahalli Gate). It is about 1.5 km off the Main Road. When we visited last year (on a Saturday), the approach to the school was quite bad.  In fact, a stretch of the road was disputed area, at least according to the signboards that we saw.

Unlike Sishu griha, where you do not get a campus visit, here you have designated teachers, who take parents in groups around the campus, once you pay a fee of Rs.300/- for prospectus.   We saw air-conditioned classes and were a bit concerned - our child was prone for cold.  Would a/c make it worse?  There were a host of other amenities.

When we went (on 28 Sep 2013) the school had not yet decided on the fee structure for the next academic year.  As we understood, we needed to pay another Rs.800/- (or Rs.900/-) to register for admission, when we would be provided fee structure and stuff.

As it turned out, we did not go back.

National Center for Excellence

Reputation:  fairly new, so average
Proximity:  <4 :="" excellent="" km="" p="">
They also had CBSE syllabus and had classes till 12th (if that helped).

The Nursery classes are housed in a different campus.  Rs.500/- application fee gave us a chance to see the nursery classes, but not the other campus.

We actually went through the admission process.  Our kid was asked a few questions (in the presence of his mom).  We got admission and were given about 4 days to pay the fee as the seats were limited.

We hesitated and ended up not paying the fee.  As it turned out, we got multiple calls in the next 2-3 months (well past the deadline).  So much for the limited seats.

Deens Academy

Reputation: Good
Distance: about 12km from my home: Poor

Why did we apply?  Peer pressure.  A few other parents from our apartment had applied!
The application process was online and free.  I believe the online system opened on a particular day and it was first-cum-first-serve.

Since we were quite late, we got a regret email saying they could not consider our application.

I understand a couple of children from our apartment got admissions and are studying there.

Gear School

Reputation: Good
Distance: about 10km from my home (Average)

The application process was online.    We applied.  Got a call, but did not go.  Then after a month, we could not resist and made a trip.  Rs.800/- for prospectus.  

The school is in Outer Ring Road, on the Road behind New Horizon College.  The area has massive construction activity going on with lots of dust and the children are expected to brave that during their commute to school and back.

There is a counselling session by the Principal on a Saturday for all interested parents.  And then the admission.

We liked the school, the facilities and the Principal and the way the whole thing was done.

The hitch:  the child had to be admitted to the school at the age of 2 years 5 months to what is called "Mont 0"!  They did not entertain children from other schools, even if they had done Montessori.  They believe their methodology is inimitable and puts the outside children below par with theirs.

Mont 1 admission was not given to the school, unless we did Mont 0 in that school or in their "affiliated" playschool in Indira Nagar (which had 3 children when we went there).   Quite unfair!

They did not have transport during "Mont 0" which would have made our life miserable if we put the child in the Outer Ring Road campus.

New Horizon Gurukul

Reputation: Quite new (Average)
Distance:  10km (Average)

Reason to apply?  Our niece studies there.

We dropped in there (on 2nd Dec 2013), after our visit to Gear school since they are close to each other.  The admissions were on.  Rs.500/- for prospectus.  One of the teachers in charge of admissions too our kid and asked him some questions.  I believe he got intimidated (and/or was too tired) and did not answer.

But hey, no worries, there was admission.  We were given the fee structure and all.  Transport was present even for Nursery.

The Headmistress had lollipops in her desk, which she gave out to our kid.  Not something I would approve of!

National Public School (NPS)

Reputation: Excellent
Proximity: About  6km (Good)

Rs.300/- for admission form.  Filled and submitted.   Never heard from them.

We were told that we had to follow-up multiple times.  For many, apparently, persistence paid.  (In addition to other payments, of course)

Ekya School

Reputation: Relative newly (Average)
Proximity:  About 7 km (Average)

The main reason to check this school out was that my colleague's kid had got admission for Nursery there.

The school is off the ITPL Road and about 2-3 km from my colleague's home.

It would have been a good choice of school, but for two reasons - no transport for Nursery and classes begin at 8.15 AM!

New Horizon Public School

Reputation:  Excellent
Proximity: About 6 km (Good)

Application form available online, but the fun was the application submission process.

The applications were accepted first-cum-first-served on Sat, 4th Jan 2014. My wife went around 6.30 AM and found herself about 50th (or even more) in the queue. She came back triumphant having submitted the forms at 10 AM.

Apparently, those whose forms are received get a call.

Call we did get, the next day, for a "pre-admission" discussion, where information was shared about what would happen during the "admission day" as well as the fee structure they had.

We were given a time when we had to be present for admission process.  There was a sea of children with parents and sundry relatives in tow.  The venue resembled a fair.  Children were taken up by the stairs by school staff in ones and twos - we know not why.   I believe they were asked a few things like color, and identify objects.  The shy guy that our little one is, I am surprised he even went up.  We then had to meet the Principal and the Headmistress of Nursery.  There was the standard question - why this school?

I had the answers ready (and especially since it was true, it hardly needed any preparation).

a) reputed
b) not too far from our home

The interview lasted 5 minutes.  In the evening, we got a call saying our kid was admitted (so long as we paid the fees of course).

We ended up putting our kid in this school for two simple reasons:

  • School timings: 9.45 AM to 12.45 PM (for Nursery, LKG, UKG) - quite decent
  • Both me and my wife worked in Indira Nagar - so dropping the child and picking up was ok too.

And we had to compromise on two important things, the consequence of which we will know in due course!

  • ICSE
  • Only upto 10th Std.  (So another admission process about 13 years from now)
I would have liked to try a few more schools - all for reasons for proximity.

A note on fees


You would have noticed, I conveniently omitted talking about the fee.  Let us say the average fee in all schools is Rs.80,000/-  Many schools have a one-time fee camouflaged in various ways - which end up on an average of Rs.70,000/-

In some schools, the entire money is to  paid upfront, while in others, it is in two (or more installments).

Payment is by cash for part (or whole) of the fee in some schools (I don't have to say why), while in others, it is DD.  Most schools have online payment too - Netbanking, credit card, so long as you pay the relevant processing and other charges.

School visit

All new schools provide a guided tour, but none of the old (or reputed) ones do.  

Final note

The school admission period (from September to January or even beyond, based on which school you finally get your kid admitted to) is a period of extreme tension and uncertainty.  It can cause heated fights at home.  Emotions will run high.  Logic will give place to peer pressure and hearsay.   All the best!



Comments

  1. Very nice to read your blog...since i am also going through the same phase i enjoyed reading it...finally in which school did you admit your kid??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmm! I mentioned it in this blog - you should re-read it:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nicely captured all the points. Me too is same situation,unable to decide between Vibgyor - Marathalli(near) and GIIS(far)!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice write up and quite spot on

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice blog. I am looking for Shishya BEML. Please share your feedback regrading this school. It would be a great help.

    ReplyDelete

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