The name of Freddie Mercury is known to many music maniacs who have enjoyed listening to the legend and playing "We will Rock you!" at almost every college and school fests. This Britain's sensation spent a big chunk of his youngster days in India, in the countries one of the most prestigious destinations for boarding school - Panchgani. Located in Satara of Maharashtra, this scenic hill station attracts many tourists who come to enjoy the enchanting nature which is at its best throughout the year. Situated amidst the scintillating Sahyadri Mountain ranges and the delicately flowing Krishna River, Panchgani is the cradle of premium boarding schools. Picturesque views, pleasing weather, unlimited supply of fresh oxygen - The qualifications for a boarding destination, fulfilled.
The boarding schools here adhere to CBSE, ICSE, IB, IGCSE and the Maharashtra State board curriculums. Learning amidst the breathtaking backdrop of this natural marvel is an experience of a lifetime. Britishers who visited here gradually started to shift their base and settle here for it had "lovely weather" marked in the calendar always. IT is said that the first few schools founded in Panchgani were affiliated to Cambridge University of England wherein people had their exam papers sailing all across to England to get evaluated. As time passed by Panchgani saw the rise of some of India's finest boarding schools out of which some notable alumni came out nothing but successful in their professional parameter.
Some of the prominent schools are: St Joseph's Convent, New Era High school, St. Peter's School, Sanjeevan Vidyalaya, Kimmins high school, Silverdale high school, Hill Range and Oaks high school.
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Yes you can. In fact, you must. Unlike a day school, your child would live in the boarding school and any parent would want to make sure that their child in a safe secure hygienic and comfortable place which would be instrumental in his mental and physical development.
Annual fee range, for boarding schools, is very wide. Privately run and managed boarding can have an annual fee for junior class (grade 5 or less) as low as 1 lakh per annum and goes all way to 20 lakhs per annum. Besides annual fee, there are additional costs such as travel and other expenses, which again vary enormously from school to school. A school with a fee of 1 Lakh per annum, generally, can provide only very basic boarding lodging facilities. At the other end schools charging 10 Lakhs and above usually provide the best possible boarding and lodging facilities, usually multiple curriculum choices and a very wide variety of sports. However, we should be mention that annual fee is not necessarily a good indicator of school's overall quality (it is only a reasonable indicator of infrastructure provided). It is however reasonable to expect that, with good boarding and lodging ample sports facilities and good teachers a school would have to charge somewhere between 4 to 8 lakhs to meet all expenses.
There are several institutions that can lay claim to that title and there would be no name or list of the best which cannot be contested, and spark debate or controversy. Many ranking and awards that have come up lately (and more get added to the list each year) which publish raking across multiple categories (and categories also increase every year to accommodate more and more schools) which offer some insights, however there no neutral independent entity with no commercial relations with schools that exists to definitely pass best and worst school judgement with any objectivity.
While we all agree that some schools do a better job than others, in India, which has 1500+ boarding schools, finding the best one could across all parameters would not only be very difficult it may be impossible. So each set of parents have to find the best one which suits their needs and aspirations. Some things that a parent must keep in mind:
Don’t go overboard, there is little correlation between expense and output desired.
Ask for past three years results if you want an academic rigorous environment.
There are certain sports and activities which appear attractive on paper but have very little value practically.
Boarding schools offer some unique developmental opportunities not available in day schools to the same extent. Boarding school students invariably turn out to be more independent, more self-confident have better social skills. Children from diverse backgrounds living together in a boarding school, are exposed to much wider set experiences which community day schools rarely have. Boarding schools have a 24X7 curriculum which gives them ability to include far more activities and events in the school calendar leading to better overall development including leadership qualities. Sports and outdoor activities are an integral part of the day, something city day schools struggle to provide.
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