Should you send your child to an Indian BOARDING SCHOOL? Yes… but only for the right reasons.

About 5 years ago, I met a pal of mine from college days. We were meeting after 17years and so it was natural to ask about each other and our children’s schooling plans. I had studied at India’s leading “all boys” “fully residential” school located in Dehradun and my friend had been to a similar “all boys” “fully residential” school based in Darjeeling. (He lived in US and I was very much in Kolkata at that time.)

Anindya asked: “So what are your plans for your son?’. 

My retort: “Of course, he will follow the family tradition and will head out to Dehradun in a year or two”. 

Most, especially products of boarding schools, would have appreciated this action plan. But my friend shocked me when he suggested that “I was making a mistake and Boarding was so “18th century” and that he would never send his children to one.” I ignored what he had said at that time and attributed it to his own boarding experiences at his school. But that did allow me to become a little more open and added to my determination for exploring the pros/cons in today’s context.

Time went by and my son did move on to the boarding school in 2009 where he had been registered at the time of birth. Following his footsteps, my daughter too “was sent” to another similar boarding experience. Frankly, no regret for the decision taken at that time apart from the usual homesickness that the child experiences and well, to an increasingly greater “missing the child” experiences that the parents go through. No regret since the school was a dream that the family had pursued for a long time and it was time to grab the opportunity. And to establish a family tradition. I value my own schooling experience and there was this bias anyways that had overshadowed the doubts.

Over the years, my mind however kept swinging back to the comment of the friend who had declared boarding schools as an outdated concept. I tried to analyse to arrive at the possible reasons for his thoughts.

  1. In my times (early 80s) there were less quality schools in cities and also there was less opportunity in cities for an “all round” development that parents wanted for their children. This led to many parents deciding in favour of “british-format but Indian boarding schools” which were often situated in “hill stations” and interestingly almost always setup prior to the Indian independence. Hence they were either setup to educated the children of the british army officers on the same british type education that they would have given the children back in England or were setup for Indian royalty who wanted a similar education or were setup to prepare the Indian bureaucrats and politicians to be of the same mould as the British politicians/bureaucrats. Now, the need of the hour is different. There are more school options and certainly there is more being expected to be imparted by the schools than what used to be acceptable back then.
  2. The parental involvement today in raising of the child is far more than what used be back then. The role of father especially seems to have increased and the father is expected to participate in the general growing up of the child. This goes a long way in ensuring a happy childhood and further ensuring that the character is built accordingly.
  3. The occupations that children enter into today “more often than not” mean that they tend to live their lives away from the parent. In old days, this was not so.
  4. Today’s world requires more and more push towards sensitising and accepting to the other sex. Hence “co-ed” schools appear to be the future generally.
  5. The world today looks down and frowns upon “bullying” and “corporal punishments such as caning” which used to be part and parcel of the boarding culture at one time. And continues to exist in residential schools even today albeit in varying measure. However at that time bullying was part of the experience that turned boys into men.

I set these dissuading thoughts aside and went ahead with my decision. Why had I chosen to send my children to the boarding then…

  1. To teach them to think and become independent. With the ability to take the right decision at the right time.
  2. To be able to flower on their own and be exposed to all aspects of education and not merely academics. In addition to studies, I had felt that they needed to go on treks, play sports and generally develop physically too. I had felt that day schools tend to lack in this direction.
  3. I wanted them to be exposed to several other skill-sets such as carpentry, motor mechanics, genuine social service, art, music… which helps formulate the personality of a child and this, once again is not really delivered at the day schools.
  4. I wanted them to get an “Indian” education that prepared them for leadership position “within Indian industry, public service or otherwise” and hence had preferred this to several new “international schools and new age schools” that have opened up in larger cities and often promoted or supported by ex-teachers and ex-head masters of “the” school in Dehradun.
  5. I wanted them to make “real friends” and understand the concept of “network” and “old school ties”. In my experience, the 24 hour boarding experience does foster this more than day schools.
  6. I wanted them to meet other boys who came into the boarding from other parts of the country and hence become the first experience in diversity and differences. I have seen that day schools tend to cater to the same type of students and of the same economic groups and often from the same city. There is education even from peers after all.
  7. I wanted them to follow the family tradition of the children joining the schools of their parents.
  8. Most important-ly I wanted them also to get the BRAND of the school to their names and records.

The trepidation you feel when your child bids goodbye at the school gates can make way for a well-mannered, well-spoken young man or woman once they graduate. Most people who have spent time away from home in boarding school talk of an independence not seen in their peers, besides making friends for life and a sense of discipline.

Over the years, I learnt that the reality seemed to throw up some more minuses and negated some of the pluses that I listed…

  1. Most Boarding Schools in India NOW have 70-80% of their students from locations from that region. With more school options across India, parents are also considering local options. NRIs especially from far away have almost stopped sending their wards to India for the education as they used to at one time. Hence they are not really a cross-national student group.
  2. The need for higher academic results means that even boarding schools need to focus more on academic in the final years. This is understandable but what is not understandable is that this compromises with the “all round development” ethos of the schools. They can’t help it since most parents are now from backgrounds who insist that the school focuses more and more on academics (read rote learning) as they would like their wards to be able to get into “brand” colleges on graduation from “brand” schools.
  3. Bullying seems to be coming back in spurts into the boarding schools. I would say that it was always there but then strong disciplinarians ensured that it was within limits.  In some cases, some schools have taken hard measures but then it is a rarity now. Schools need to take hard measures even with small instances of bullying as bullying has far reaching emotional harm that lasts over a life time. While India has “criminal” acts for curtailing ragging, bullying within residential schools don’t go reported often.
  4. Boarding schools needs very good teachers too. However more than their academic prowess, they need to be “all rounders” themselves. They need to live round the clock with the boys who are in troubling teens. Hence the ability to be able to manage them out of respect or authority is of critical importance. There is a feeling that this breed of teachers is getting more difficult to find. Less “males” in India are opting to take up “teaching” as an occupation. With weaker control of the teachers in a boarding schools, there is a risk of boys getting distracted even more and discipline suffers in the residential houses.

“I must admit that caning was a regular feature during our stay in the school…As students, we did not resist or fight against it. It was part of our curriculum in a sense and I think we were better off with it than without. Indeed, there were occasions when we opted for it as against, when given the choice of an alternative,” the Big B wrote on his blog post. Even though caning was considered acceptable in his school and his fellow students used to take it in a sporting way, Amitabh Bachchan opined that corporal punishment in schools should be admonished now. “That was 1956! It is 2010 now. If now, Abhishek or Shweta (his daughter) or Agastya and Navya-Naveli (his grandchildren) were to be even spoken loudly against, it would incense me. Times have changed and so have circumstances. I would strongly oppose corporal punishment in schools now,” his blog read.

Caning and corporal punishments are now largely non-existent in leading schools but am reminded of the instance when in recent years, the principal of a leading day school in Kolkata introduced this as he had moved in from a boarding school where it was practiced. In that instance, the boy committed suicide and it lead to severe condemnation of the practice.

However, I still wanted to instil my children with the pluses of the boarding schools and believed that some of the above existed even in our times and we had sharpened due to them. No model is perfect and so we have to only weigh the pros against the cons. I differentiated a little from the way my parents interacted with me then. The times have changed and so just visiting the children once in a year (apart from the time that they spent with us in holidays) was not enough and so I budgeted for at least one visit each month. The use of e-mails and phone calls certainly is a boon today as in my time, there was only limited postal contact. So, off went my 11 year old boy and 8 year old daughter to a boarding in 2009.

You will notice the stress on “I” in this blog, since the “I” in my family was always more convinced on the “boarding option”. My wife had gone to a day school and was always a good “balancer” in this debate.

BUT…, I was never 100% sure… did I sent my daughter a little early and should I keep my wards in boarding right till the final graduation from schools. My wife and I spent countless hours talking to our children during their vacations and then looking at a number of factors, felt that they should now be with us. We talked to several of the teachers (current and former) and “We” withdrew them from their boarding experience after about 3.5 years. Not because we have anything against the schools. Just that we felt that we had got from the boarding, what we wanted. We wanted the children to experience boarding and this they had… Now the final years of their schooling, when the focus is primarily on academics anyways, can be with us. Further, we all know that children have to go their ways and so it is important for them to stay with us a little more.

Are there any lessons? Yes… Boarding is important but it should be for right reasons.

  1. Parents should not expect the wards to be super boys or super girls that they manage an “all round education” and still compete with graduating students from day schools for marks where the boys/girls are sacrificing all activities and undertaking coaching/tuitions to get the grades and clear competitive exams. In long term, the academics don’t count as much as the “all round education” does.
  2. Parents should not believe that the schools will become the parents. They will not. Parents have to continue to remain aware of needs of the children and intact, the responsibilities increase once the wards are in a boarding environment.
  3. Do not send children who are too young to boarding. Certainly not in Class 1.
  4. If your goal is for the child to take the various competitive exams for admission to professional colleges in India, withdraw them after the Year 10 and let them join a day school with an academic focus. This is not ideal but there are limited other options.
  5. Boarding Schools remain an excellent option for parents who are not able to devote adequate time to raising of the children. Instead of the kids growing up un-observed and without exposure to all kinds of sporting and other activities, Boarding Schools are preferred.
  6. Parents need to look for any signals that the children are unhappy. Homesickness apart, there are instances of bullying and the schools mayn’t be fully truthful on this account. Always believe your child. He needs you. Any instances that are unacceptable should be taken up with the school. Think of yourself as a customer to the school.

In the TOI article quoted psychiatrist Varsha Patkar advises, “The risk is higher in boarding schools. Parents must be alert to any mood changes, for instance, if grades suddenly fall, there are complaints of bullying by friends, if he’s daydreaming, etc. If the child cries and insists on coming back home, don’t ignore it. It could be a cry for help.”

So is boarding an outdated concept? They do need to change. If they do not change, they will definitely become outdated and will not attract the best from around the country and will become a schooling option for those from smaller cities with limited quality schooling. Change with the time. Some are changing but there are some drastic changes required with the traditional schools that can imbibe the best of both worlds into the boarding experience. How to increase the involvement of parents? How to retain more and more quality “male” teachers in a “boys” school? Should “same sex” schools become “co-ed”? How to focus on a clear “mission” for the school rather than become confused by attempting to differentiate themselves from “international” schools? How to attract students from across the nation and those who live overseas? The reality is that “boarding schools” who have not changed internationally have actually gone out of vogue. And… time for British Styled Education which prepared the cadres that behaved in one manner across all the British Colonies around the world has actually lost out once the empire crumbled.

Some schools (certainly a few richie-rich boarding or semi-boarding experiments) have tried to differentiate…

Boarding schools are now home away from home. They can download movies on their laptops or get on Skype and have regular chats with parents. The rules are not as stiff and students can chat on their mobile phones on the weekends and even book their plane tickets to fly home!

Says educationist Shyama Chona, “Today’s schools are airconditioned, kids can go home every weekend. Earlier, we monitored who picked up the kids, but now they go on their own. A boarding school experience makes a child independent and I recommend it for every child.”

Not all boarding schools follow the above though even the traditional residential schools have had to change. Students interact more with parents using emails (if not Skype) and certainly the advent of social media, lets them remain more connected. The romance of school parties where boys/girls from far off cities would take overnight trains to reach school at the beginning and closure of terms have now been replaced by flights and mobile phones have managed to sneak into the schools albeit illegally. These had to happen. Traditionally oriented boarding school teachers however frown at these changes but that is topic of another blog.

Bollywood often has shown the boarding schools in poor light. In Tare Zameen Par, the little boy was sent to a boarding as a punishment. In the film Udaan, the protagonist Rohan comes back home after eight years to find a total disconnect with his father. Come On, which boarding school keeps boys over the long breaks each year… Both are extremes but it is not uncommon that some parents often chastise their children saying that if they are naughty, they will be sent off to a hostel. Have those parents experienced a boarding themselves to know that it is bad?

There are many reasons parents use for sending children away for studies – family tradition, a status symbol, disciplining a pampered or errant child. The parents of a young girl wanted to send her away for disciplining and self-introspection as she was constantly on the phone with her numerous boyfriends. 

The Boarding School concept has strong advantages but the advantage today are different to what they were set up for. They no longer prepare the boys for leadership within Indian bureaucracy and certainly are more of an “international school”. I know several schools (including mine) that brags at being an Indian School which was established to prepare Indians to lead India, I find that with increasing focus on overseas education and settlement, there is little to differentiate it from an International School. No harm in that but we should call a spade, a spade. If you are a parent who has reasons similar to mine, go ahead and expose your ward to a boarding experience as I did. Rest assured, you will not regret. However, only go for the right reasons.

In 1981 when I was being sent off to a boarding, my father had picked out a couplet from “Ram Charit Manas” to indicate that going off to a boarding has been the norm ever since the days of Lord Ram. I guess he was also convincing himself at that time that the decision was right… and had taken refuge in the religious texts.

Gurugriha gaye padhan raghurayi, Alp Kaal sab vidya aayi.

(Lord Ram was sent to Guru’s Ashram to obtain education and was a fairly quick learner.)

The quotes used in this article, marked in blue, are from ( Is boarding school good for your child: Times of India )

243 Comments

  1. I find this article very interesting, coming from a staunch boarder like you. I am surprised and happy to see that you have been open about accepting day school as an option.
    We also personally feel that if the kids have to move away for college, then why not they be with us for the formative years. in today’s world, parents have very limited time to build relationship with their kids…create bonds. It is not like in our times that the kid will come back home after finishing school and college and join dad’s business. These will be the only 18 years that you will spend with your kids. Enjoy!

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    1. Urvashi, this is totally a first hand account and from my own experience as a parent… There are pros and cons and I am now finding that there are very few boarding schools really left of the traditional type around the world… They have all changed to day-boarding or 5 days boarding with weekends at home and there are hardly any boarding schools that cater to students from around the country. Not talking of India but around the world… (apart from England and India and the various international schools that run as a business…)

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  2. Hi Ravi, I congratulate you on a very well written article that endeavors to touch most of the aspects of a boarding school education. I am going to attempt to put forth my views as frankly and directly as possible:
    1) The worst reason I feel that one may send a child to a boarding school is because it is a family tradition. Our society has gone through a dramatic change in the past 25 years and social equations / life styles / careers have seen a sea of change. Like you rightly pointed out other factors have to be considered before sending a child to a boarding school.
    2) You have emphasized a lot on bullying in boarding schools. I feel that bullying has come down considerably due to heightened awareness and punitive laws that have been put into place after such incidents were splashed by the media in recent times. However if we look at other behavioral tendencies which may escape the eyes of the authorities but are very much encompassed in the term “ bullying” i.e. teasing, harassment, mockery etc. yes they do exist but I don’t think they are any more prevalent in a boarding school as compared to a day school. May I add that a little bit of bullying of the nature that I have described maybe good for a child in the growing years because I believe that it helps to correct a deviated trait in the child. Let me explain – if there is some teasing/harassment/mockery being directed at a child there are 80% chances that it is because of some outward display of a behavioral trait by the child. The child initially gets hit hard emotionally because of such bullying, but also becomes more aware of that trait and as a result improves with passage of time.
    3) Another important role that some Boarding schools play is the integration of children from economically weaker back grounds, for example scholars or children from the SCST quota.
    4) I think the best way to determine the direction in which Boarding schools should be heading today is to look into the future. Would we have more co-education? Air conditioned rooms? Communication via Skype etc. in times to come? I feel the answer is a resounding “yes”. Therefore why not facilitate them today.
    5) You have rightly mentioned that largely boarding schools have 80% of the children from nearby areas. This needs to be addressed by the schools concerned because it takes away a very important aspect of a boarding school education.
    It is actually very difficult to draw up a universal verdict and each family must take a call depending on their own needs and aspirations. However I do feel that boarding schools with their round education produce more ‘robust’ children who are better suited to cope in an imperfect world.

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    1. Gopal, thanks for your detailed comments. It gels so well in the theme. The idea is to highlight the pros and cons and I agree that there is a need for change and it will happen. Instead of mobile phones that are smuggled into the school by boys, there will be a time when it will be officially allowed. How can one keep iPads away from students in today’s education era when most schools around the world are moving to eBooks anyways. Internet access just requires a SIM CARD thereafter… In time, the schools will have to flow with the changes and times instead of attempting to block it. It is true that boarding schools specialised in “all round education” and if parents send their wards for this, then it is certainly the right reason.

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  3. We organize a “Boarding School “Fair” across 16 cities in India and 10 countries overseas which is now in the 10th year of its success and adding more locations each year. This has given us a great insight in how parents thinking changes just after mere 500 kms in India and so they do their perceptions.Boarding Schools are here to stay and a boon for many or it would have been a difficult task to continue our pursuit…the choice remains to take it or not.

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    1. Sanjeev, I am aware of your fairs for the boarding schools. You should be able to comment if the attraction for the schools are more from B level cities or large Metros. Secondly, I will be curious to hear if any of the traditional and reputed boarding schools such as Doon, Welhams, Mayo, Scindia, Lawrence School, Rishi Valley or St Pauls… need to participate in your fairs to attract students to them. Or are the participants newly setup commercially geared international type schools…

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    2. Dear Sanjeev,

      Can you about boarding schools fair, or website I can go to and understand about such fairs, thank you.

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    3. Yes Mr sanjeev
      I want admit my son to dheradun school from the std 8th
      I am from COIMBATORE, TAMIL NADU,
      I WANT TO KNOE GOOD SCHOOL FOR STUDIES AND BOARDING
      HOW I CAN GET THE MIDDLE BUDGET SCHOOL THERE
      NOW he is studying 5th std
      I want the admission for 8th std
      Please guide me

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  4. I studied in Sujatha High School , Hyd a very ordinary school and somehow I managed to complete till Post graduation with the help of model papers and student friendly guides. With limited knowledge I want to know, which school teaches street smartness? Boarding or day school? In todays world especially in India, to be successful one needs to be street smart. All ministers and bureaucrats are heading towards jails after getting the best education? I am always confused what is good education? What should we teach of children? How can they lead a successful, respectable and peaceful life?

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    1. Venu, very interesting comment indeed. Honestly, the boarding experience does work towards making one street smart. The ability to live with peers 24×7 and find ones way through this and away from the protection that a family offers is one of the reasons why we see pass-outs from several boarding schools as more independent and able to take decisions on their own. If one was sick in a boarding, he would go to the health centre on his own, take medicines and then return back to the routine of the day… No mom to press their heads… Street-smartness is often linked to the ability to deal with others surrounding us and this happens more at the boarding in difficult circumstances. As Gopal states above, dealing with bullies at school helps us in dealing with bullies in life. Similarly, there is a training that we are getting even through the breaking of bounds (rules) and in a way that we escape detection!!! Ask any boarding student from any of the leading boarding schools and he will have a story or two. The treks in the hills during term times, team sports and various spare time activities fosters completeness in personality and also makes the boys a team player… Networking is another form of street-smartness…

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      1. I am seriously thinking of putting Neha in a boarding school just for 1 yr for her 8th standard.I will need ur guidance then.

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        1. 1 year is too short an experience. In my experience, the first few months go in settling down and getting over the homesickness. Minimum 3 years, Venu. You can opt for a school that will allow regular contact with parents and atleast a monthly visit.

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    2. The whole “street smart” concept is a way to say the most corrupt, dishonest unethical person. I think we should move more towards decent, honest and qualified persons not so called “street smartness”.

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  5. Ravi, an admirable summing up of points which many are not aware of.
    Mr Venu, perhaps training in basic ethics is something lacking both in our school system as well as our society as a whole. Many examples can be given of persons from reputed colleges and schools abroad and from India who are in jail for serious offences.

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    1. Ajai, there is a dire need for change in our curriculum. I recently saw the TED talk by Sugata Mitra where he has shown that the model that we use for educating at schools was established by the British in the era when they wanted the same type of workers across the world to manage their empire. Times have changed and frankly there is a need to change… as education of todays is often out of sync. you are right on imparting basic ethical values and values such as compassion for others.

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  6. Dear Ravi sir,
    An extremely enlightening and freshly unbiased perspective on boarding schools.
    I have never been to one n as i write,don’t see myself sending my offspring to one,when the time comes.
    However,if U ask me,I think its a inward out situation of 90:10.
    90% of the reasons would favour a child being sent to the best boarding schools…to learn da qualities wich will last them,when the degrees of paper,turn yellow..
    At the outset,let me dismiss newage international schools da new age to even b mentioned in da same breath s a mayo,a Scindia, a St Paul’s,a welhams, etc.
    The new age schools R like hi quality carbon xeroxes of a hand painted picture of a beautiful lady, while da boarding schools of repute R da lady herself..
    The self reliance a boarding school cud n does reach,comes wid confidence as a by product…
    A child has to fight for fulfilment of his wants n sometimes,even needs,wich imbibes in him/ her that the world doesn’t owe them a living…they stop taking life for granted…
    Yes, they might misuse da freedom they get, they mite b disciplined by da voice if a cane, but then isn’t that a lesson n pro itself?? Gettin freedom n knoing how to handle it R two different subjects n 1 wich life alone,can alone teach u.
    Then we talk networks..networks not based on social strata,but on bonding wich cannot be created,except when thrown in an unfamiliar scenario, like the one most kids are…the tightest grip they say,is when ur holding a hand,when ur bout to fall…
    The 10% wich wud b against boarding schools is da rne away from parents…that is not to say dat children who go to boardings R any less closer to their parents..
    But I personally feel that the love n physical attention R the 2 intangibles,a child needs…its like water to plants..pretty simple, constant,immeasurable,but quintessential.
    Today the doors fly open, almost as soon as school is over,wid children leaving da cocoons of their homes to pursue grads or masters,then work,etc.
    If a child spends his tears from 8-18,transforming from a boy to a man n then,from18-58, proving da man he is, then from 58,being an elder to his family n loved ones, when will da child be a boy?
    n that is y I say ‘inside out’…bcoz it is this 10% that overshadows da 90%.n makes me feel a child shudnot b sent to a boarding early in his life…

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    1. Arijit, good to get the perspective of a parent who has not been to a boarding. Your 90/10 analysis is interesting. Certainly for those who have not experienced the boarding, the 10 becomes heavier than those who have experienced it themselves. The opinion of spouses is also a critical factor. You have beautifully detailed the comparisons between new and old boarding schools where one is the real while the other is a copy. I too don’t recommend a boarding experience too early (if it can be helped) and I say this being a parent who sent his 8 year old to a boarding. Several educationists believe that the age of 11-18 is the phase when the boy/girl needs most of the inputs that a boarding can impart. Physically, Mentally and Emotionally. These are the formative years and lays the foundation for life. If we are in an ideal world then well, I would recommend a few years(if not for the full duration) of boarding to every during this phase.

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  7. A great reflection on the Boarding school education! That too a comprehensive one hitherto not yet available on the Internet. Thanks Ravi for this undertaking!

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  8. The article gives a 360 view on residential schools. I too got my kid registered for one such school as he turned six (months). At nine years of age, when we ask his preference on boarding-schools, he replies in the negative. New- gen kids are smart, and their reasons, at times, makes sense. So, we decided to drop our child-like stubborn-ess and instead go with his reasons, respecting his point of view on this one. You are right, there are many good schools now. Things have changed in the last ten years.

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  9. hi Ravi
    This was a really good article.i and my friends discussed on this very issue time and again .But ,i request all the parents to send grownup children(16 years at least) to boarding/college hostel.

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  10. we can see different sort of reaction/experiences/views on sending children to boarding schools. One thing i would definitely like to share that the children should be sent to boarding once in a life time before they go to College , may be at a early stage or at a later stage. It will give the child a different dimension of life away from the dependency of parents on every aspect. However, a constant contact and progress review is important equally to see at early stage any thing going other way round.

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  11. Ravi, I read your article with interest and I generally agree with your view that parents should send their kids to Boarding Schools for the right reasons.

    However to make your article more balanced it should also address the fact that most parents don’t send their kids to Boarding Schools for the wrong reasons. I find that they don’t give Boarding schools a serious consideration more because of their own selfish interests than what may be in the best interests for their child. A misconception of life at boarding schools because of lack of exposure and information on them as well as typical stereotypes further reinforces their decisions.

    Being an involved parent of two kids attending boarding school after attending one of the NCR’s top day schools till the 6th grade I must say that, while it is especially hard on us parents, it is a decision which we are extremely happy about.

    There are boarding schools that are aware of the changing times and are continuously improving their offering to maintain their lead. This is evident by their academic results and more importantly their college placements.

    Some of the reasons that you have described as ‘minuses’ of boarding schools such as lack of good teachers, bullying etc. are problems being faced by day schools as well, among other distractions that one has at home. Just like there are top, mediocre and poor day schools there are boarding schools in the same categories.

    Lastly all parents don’t send their kids to boarding schools for tradition reasons or because they are not able to spend adequate time with them. We do so because we are convinced that this is the best way of providing a quality all round education to them, despite this being a tremendous sacrifice on our part. Of course the choice of School has to be right!

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    1. Good to get your perspective and this is why I invite active comments on my blog. Just a few quickies: 1)Indeed there are cases of bullying even in day schools but in day schools parents have the opportunity to quickly rectify the situation. At boarding school, if the school has been a little lax, the situation can get quite complicated. I am saying this from personal experience. 2)I agree that there is a general shortage of quality teachers but here too my point was not about the regular teachers but the fact that the type of teachers required in a boarding school differs. For example a 24×7 boys boarding needs strong “authority figures” who can maintain general discipline. This requirement is definitely more with boardings schools. With less males entering this profession, it is difficult to find such male teachers for all boys boarding schools and to that extent that the schools have to employ female teachers for this role. The female teachers can be good academic teachers but do find it more difficult in dealing with teenage boys in boarding environment. 3)It is true that schools differ and some schools are attending to the requirements of the time.

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  12. Hi Mr Ravi,
    A well thought of article ,,
    I had also gone through a similar experience with my elder daughter. She had been sent to Lawrence School, Sanawar, in cl 5th. Due to the my frequent movement on postings , being in the army and also family tradition.
    This was not a very satisfying experience due to most of the reasons listed above. Foremost being too much of the local nouve riche crowd, and at the same time too much interference by the old boys lobby.
    We shifted her out in class 10 to a day school in Pune.
    Now she is improving her grades.
    But you have hit the nail on the head when you say that these schools have to change and change a lot. The school children now also go through a rigorous drill and band program, for almost half the year- and when none of them is opting for the defence services as a career..
    Where also these things are changing. The boarding schools world over are accepting new norms and ways to make them more competitive, but somehow here in India we are staunchly favouring no change but further entrenchment into tradition without a reason,,,
    Well written
    Dhaliwal

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    1. Um, I too am an Old Sanawarian. I truly accept your point about acedemics, but Sanawar truly develops a person. Not saying because I am an O.S., but the things you learn at sanawar are difficult to be learnt at another other school.

      Like

  13. Hello Ravi sir,
    it’s Such a nice article by you.in today’s scenario the fashion of boarding school grow rapidly but the parents should select the the right school for there children.If you want a boarding school school in Dehradun than go with the top co-educational boarding school in dehradun which offers a unique educational environment that stirs the imagination, develops student’s critical thinking and inquiry skills & fosters a balance between academics & creative opportunities.

    Like

    1. Thanks Richa Awasthi… Please don’t use this blog to promote the “top co-educational boarding in dehradun” and so I have removed the hyperlink that you had to a new school and hence far from becoming a top one…

      Like

  14. Hello Mr.Ravi,
    Thank you for your interesting blog on the Pros & Cons of Boarding school. I just registered my only son to Jain International Residential School in Bangalore, he is going to Class VIII. My plan is to put him in the boarding for 3 yrs till 10th in CBSE, As he is a single child he gets very emotional at times that he don’t have sibling to play at home. Moreover, he is jack of all trades, due to the school timings and tuitions, he don’t get enough time for his hobbies. Also I am very over protective about him, so we finally decided that Boarding school is the right choice, he is very excited about it. But it was really difficult to convince his grandparents. We live in Doha, Qatar. Academic side of the best Indian school here is nothing compared to a normal school in India. After reading your blog I think we have made the right decision.

    Like

    1. Sincere best wishes to your son and to you. I studied at a boarding for similar reasons as my parents felt that they couldnot give the similar education in the place where we resided… Hence it was the right decision. The three years that you son spends will be worth it…

      Like

      1. Hello ravi sir
        Thanks for complete information on boarding school. So many things get clear after reading ur article.
        Pls I need ur advice as my son who is in 6th std. And I m thinking of sending him to bboarding school but confused between two
        Schools one is daly college indore and other is welhams boys school can u pls help me.
        Thanks
        Poonam
        Gujarat

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        1. Poonam, Both are very good schools. However “Daly College” would be my recommendation between the two. It is a co-educational school (the preference around the world) and the best in the region. Mr Sumer Singh who is the head currently has had wide experience as the head of Lawrence School Sanawar and before that as a senior teacher at The Doon School. Further it will be easier for you to reach from Gujarat as I do believe in frequent visits to your child in boarding. Regarding WBS, it started in mid 30s as a prep school or primary school complimenting those who wanted to go to Doon. Thus a student would start at WBS and then join Doon in High School. Thus the claim of alumni. I have been there recently and have not been too impressed with issues pertaining to discipline. It is an all-boys school and will continue to have the issue of being compared to Doon in the city and also compared with Welham Girls. It can do well if the old boys of the school come together more and the funding is generated… Hope that the above is of help.

          Like

    2. Hello Anila, How was your experience sending your son in boarding school? I am also sailing in the same boat..Hope your son has completed his grade X this year….

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  15. Hello Ravi sir

    Many Thanks for such comprehensive information on boarding school.

    One question that still remains unclear, are boarding school more apt for over all grooming of boys in comparison to girls.

    In this pretext we seek your advice regarding sending my daughter in 8th standard to daly college indore

    Best Regards
    Anurag Makwana

    Like

    1. I would not differentiate between boys and girls. I believe that girls need the grooming and independence even. Daly, which is your choice, is further a co-ed institution and this sounds good. Mr Sumer Singh who currently heads it is also a known educationist. (Has taught me at one stage).

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  16. Ravi, honestly at the end of reading your article (though explicit & brilliant) and the comments by various people, I am a bit confused whether or not one’s kids shud be in boarding schools. I have daughters currently in Class 6 of a day school. I plan to shift them to boarding next year to an all-girls school in Dehradun. My reason for doing so is – Get exposure to extra-curricular activities including sports apart from academics, which seems to be a problem area with most day schools, and develop an independent and responsible perspective on issues. In our case its not a family tradition, so that doesn’t bother. Probably I would say its the lack of this, which lures use to send ’em to boarding. However, after reading I’m confused. What would you suggest and/or advice? We are looking at Welham, Unison, Ecole & Selaqui. Which of these would you suggest and why? We would have liked Lawrence in Sanawar, but unfortunately their seats are full.

    Like

    1. well… my purpose was not to confuse but to provide all the perspectives. Thanks for finding the blog as excellent… Hope that it will help. Now to comment specifically to your comment… For your daughter, you can consider Mayo Girls, Welham Girls and Unison in that order. Unison is excellent as a school and very modern but will not have the advantage of alumni as the other two since it is more recent institution. Unison however is far more modern and was set up by Mr Gulab Ramchandani who has been the Headmaster of The Doon School and is widely respected. Having said this, comparison of an all girls school with a co-education school such as Lawrence Sanawar will not be an appropriate comparison. Both are different…

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      1. Thanks Ravi for your reply. It was not your article that confused me, but the responses and comments made. So apologies, if I conveyed otherwise. Thanks also for the advice on the schools. We are looking more at schools in Dehradun, hence the options on which I sought your advice. Additionally we are also looking at schools not just with academic and alumni, but also with extra-curricular activities promoting all-round development. Hence looking at Ecolé Globale.I agree that one cannot compare Co-ed and all-Girls schools, but if I am looking at academic excellence, alumnus, international exposure through exchange & other programs, availability of CIE/IB at 9th/10th levels and extra-curricular activities – would your suggestions remain the same?

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        1. Thats fine… I would not know much on Ecole Globale though have seen some adverts in flight magazines… If you are looking for the best international school in that region, I would think that Woodstock should be your option. Otherwise Welham Girls and Unison will meet your need.

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        2. Hi Sanjeev,
          I am thinking about sending my two daughters to Ecole Globale in Dehradun. Can you let me know if you did put your daughters there and how has it turned out? It’s not easy getting admission in Welham’s as we decided this rather late. We did try Lawrence in Ooty but the seats were full. I know Ecole is rather new and so only parents, friends or relatives of kids in that school may have a better opinion. Thanks in advance for sharing your inputs.

          Like

          1. NR, extremely sorry for the very late reply, My kids are in Ecole Globale now. Its still early days and the gals are settling in very slowly.

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            1. Hi Sanjeev,
              I came to know that your daughters are in Ecole. Please tell me which school shall I prefer for my daughter in class 8-Ecole or Mussoorie International. currently she is in CBSE school in Delhi

              Like

            2. Vandana, Indeed my daughters are in Ecole Globale and they have been enrolled in only this year. They were also from a CBSE School in New Delhi. I would not know about MIS, as we did not check that out. We’d only been to Welhams & Unison. However, we found the infrastructure to be much better for girls – in terms of dorms and other spaces. There are some teething problems, but then from our research, the same exists in all schools. My advise to you should be to visit a few schools before you take a decision. And yes, we left 50% of the decision to our girls.

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          2. NR, its still early days for our girls. I guess around 6 months or so would provide a better picture. And I am not sure whether you are still on the lookout. However, I do find a degree of change in my kids – confidence, self-reliance, independence, etc. and I only feel that will grow over time. There are some teething problems in terms of teachers and sports training – but from my research, such problems exist in most schools, especially in Dehradun, where there are a plethora of schools mushrooming.

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            1. Hi Sanjeev,
              Thank you for getting back to me and sharing your feedback as well. We did end up enrolling our daughters in Ecole in April. My younger daughter took a lot of time to adjust but all seems to be okay now after vacations. Still some issues, but it’s more to do with her own journey in her new world and finding her place. But the staff has been extremely supportive throughout and that’s something I deeply appreciate. Like all new schools they seem to have their set of issues, but they resolve it pragmatically. Moreover they are very approachable and welcome suggestions and feedback. So far so good …

              Like

  17. Dear sir,

    I am a single mother, living separate with my husband. I have a 8 year old son. I am doing private job. my financial condition is not very good. I am living with my parents. My child is very emotional for me. There is no good job in my city and I am unable to study more because of shortage of time. Will it be right to send my child to a day boarding school ? We both are very much attached to each other, but due to my long time private job we spent only a few hours at home. I am living in the position of no money, no time only work condition.

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  18. Hi Mr Singh,

    Great article…As a boarding school product myself, find it interesting!

    For my daughter have been trying to fit in a routine of her preference here at Pune. With best of my intentions and efforts, find enough scope/reasons for her exposure in a boarding school.

    Which one would be best for her?

    As parents, we are clear about one thing. We are not looking for a well reputed school but a good school. A simple school with a great environment to grow up!!

    Kindly guide.

    Regards,

    Like

    1. I am sure that there are several new age schools in Pune region that might suit you. Thanks for your appreciation for the blog. It always feels more complete with comments from those who have experienced boarding themselves.

      Like

  19. Hi,

    I am an NRI, and I have 2 boys aged 9. I tried an Indian boarding school ( JIRS, Bangalore), for 2 months, for my two children, here are the feedback. This might help the readers, while taking your decisions.

    1. For NRI children, who live in developed countries, Indian boarding school is NOT at all a good option. However, for residents of middle estern countries / africa, this may be an option, still.

    2. Jain International Residential School ( JIRS ), Bangalore, is NOT of international standards. NRI shouldn’t even try, for young aged children.

    3. We tried boarding for 2 months, for 9 year olds, and I think, the right age is around 13 – 14, ie, 8th grade.

    4. For details, please do not hesitate to email me.

    Regards,
    Raj Shetty, Norway
    shetty252000@yahoo.co.in

    Like

    1. Hello Raj, I would not have much idea on the Jain School and so would not comment. Certainly there are many that believe that boarding experience is more suitable from the High School onwards (School Yr 7 onwards) and not at the junior level. At the same time, there are family circumstances too that would necessitate boarding at an earlier level and then I tend to still advise that it may not begin earlier than the age of 9 for a child.

      Like

  20. Agree with you Ravi Lochan Sir.

    Your article is a fantastically written one. Infact, me and my wife had referred it, many times, and had discussed with each other, all the nuances, before sending our twins to boarding….

    But, our quality expectations were quite high , for the fees we paid to JIRS, Bangalore… One thing is for sure, for indian context (..sorry to say..) , Schools websites , and all governing documents, and mottos, might say wonderful things about holistic development of the children….. And, even further statements like ” Home away from Home”. But, in reality its hard to experience that, even while paying heavily. This is our experience however. 🙂

    I am giving my experience here, so that the readers of this blog could take an informed decision, and could save some hard-earned money !

    Readers could reach me on skype, for details : raj.shetty139 OR shetty252000@yahoo.co.in

    Like

  21. Very nice blog, indeed. I am trying for The Lawrence, Sanawar for my son (std 6). He has an entrance test on 15th Feb. The ranking of the school is good but would to know from your experience about the school. An early response will help me to take right decision. Many thanks, Hemant

    Like

      1. Hello sir, unfortunately, my son was not able to clear the entrance. I am now looking for admission in standard 7th. Please advise which all schools can be considered? There is an international school, Kasiga International in foothills of Mussoorie. Can you please guide about that school as well? Thank you very much. Warm regards, Hemant.

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  22. Sir, I’ve gone thru. the information as shared by you in bits and pieces, but over all subject is comprehensively discussed and explained. I must thanks all for their contribution. Like many others, I’m also in same league of decision making process for my son, I’ve been suggested one school – Durga Public School , based at Solan ( HP) where one of ours known’s child is studying and have greatly recommended. Any feedback would you have in the matter, as we as parents are also like 01st timers who wish to make quite a calculated decision , but one it comes to today’s exposure which a child gets at day boarding where he’s has all the comfort and facilities , his/her likes and dislikes are well obligated , makes them feel in demand, but not really preparing them to face the real world, challenges of life ahead. Whereas , boarding certainly is quite a hard decision for any parent to settle with at the first instance but makes a worth if it’s the right ( but not obviously famous, expensive ones) but newer ones as this one I came across , also can make deep and vital impact . Please suggest if this is right thought and any other suggestions, I’m greatly looking forward to.

    Like

  23. Hey.
    A very nice bolg written by you sir.
    I am a parent of a child in class 8th.
    Recently, we applied for the Scindia School, Gwalior.
    We have qualified but I am re-thinking because of negative feedbacks by many people.
    There have been many ragging cases which have been highlighted.
    Apart from that, I have also heard about many un-highlighted Drug Cases.
    Please help me out.
    We have to go for an appointment at Scindia soon so your reply would be helpful at the latest..
    Best Regards
    Anonymous

    Like

    1. Scindia is a good school and along with Daly, is the two leading schools from Central India. The adverse media coverage of the ragging incidence at the school has lead to the school embracing a zero-tolerance to ragging policy… Please remain in regular touch with your child even after he/she has joined a boarding school.

      Like

    1. Its a decent school. Recently there were adverse newspaper articles related to ragging and bullying at the school but am told that the school has tightened its discipline and has embarked on zero-tolerance to such acts.

      Like

  24. This article was really helpful in making up my mind to bring back my daughter who is in boarding for past 4 years although my husband is still not convinced. Please guide me for the same. She joined the school in class 4 and is now in class 8.

    Like

    1. There is really no right or wrong answer to this… If your daughter joined in class 4 and is now in class 8… and if she is “happy” then don’t disturb her current education and let her atleast continue till Year 10, if not the full schooling. Do remember that changing schools can be unsettling for children and if she is moved to a day school, she may have to encounter a period of loneliness too and thus why make a change if it is not required. Just remain connected to your child…

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  25. Hi Ravi,

    Reading your blog and others comments have been extremely informative. Your analysis had been very thorough. I always thought boarding school is mainly for those families which couldn’t offer normal childhood to their kids (like politicians and film artists) or or families which had to move often even to places where there is no proper schooling.

    I have been a housewife looking after my twins daughters all my life and they are teenagers now (std 10). I never insisted on them doing any house work and would clean up their mess all the time. Now I started worrying if I am spoiling them. May be it is time they change their habits and learn to be independent. I believe sending them to boarding school might help them. My reasoning might sound very trivial but I really believe they need to change for their benefit. We were considering sending them to one of the schools in Ooty.

    My sister who is a professor in the US is very much against it as she says that Drug & Alcohol is a very big problem in boarding schools and very rich kids come there who might have loose morals. I apologise for generalising it! She has reason to say that as one of her friends son become a drug addict at TISB, Bangalore and another friends daughter was expelled from RishiValley for some lesser serious reason. I felt your ‘no response’ to the drug issue raised by Anonymus reiterated this.

    I am also not sure if such a strict set up would make them rebellious at this stage as they are not used to it.

    Would appreciate your thoughts on this. Also if we were to put them in a residential school which school would you recommend?

    Like

    1. I believe that there are several generalisations in our mindset generally. We often are led to believe that only children unable to get regular schooling are sent to boarding schools. This is not true and there are many who opt for the system simply for the independence that the boarding schools foster in them. You are right in considering some boarding experience for your daughters for the reason desired by you. They will certainly begin to also think independently in addition to managing their work. The other generalisation is that children who study in boarding become drug addicts. This is unfair on the schools who often than not are strong enforcers on discipline. The children are often in an age that they want to break “bounds (boundaries)” and often want to try… This includes all aspects of life. I can tell you that I have seen several children who have been going to day-schools as possibly more affected by the the allurements around them and this is also because they have access to more of their Parent’s money and less discipline. After a certain age, parents tend to also feel helpless… The fact that Rishi Valley expelled your friend’s daughter for the “lesser reason” shows that some schools are fairly discipline oriented. Some go into extremes to set an example sometimes.

      I would always recommend good solid “old-styled” boarding schools for a couple of years. What is more important is that you should remain connected with your children for the full tenure of their schooling.

      Like

  26. Hello Ravi,

    Thanks for your response. As you correctly said my daughters also have a tendency to test boundaries……and rarely take “No” for an answer.
    If we decide to go for Boarding school, which one would you recommend in southern part of India? We are looking for a school that has IGCSE or IB? Regards, Anu

    Like

    1. Hello Anu, I would desist from recommending any schools as often I tend to be biased more towards the old and traditional schools though I also know that many of them need to quickly embrace the current times. Rishi Valley is known to be a good school in South. Some may prefer Lawrence School in Lovedale. Amongst the international school options, the american school in Kodai is well known. Not sure on many others… Do your own homework on this and may use the “Education World” rankings as a listing though don’t place much weight on the rankings by itself.

      Like

  27. Dear Mr Ravi,

    Please suggest me a boarding school for my daughter going to 6th class, ICSE syllabus. If its in Hyderabad or nearby, will be helpful. Even I opted for KIMMINS HIGH SCHOOL, Panchgani also. Is it a good choice ? I am very much confused. I checked Education times listing but all are expensive as per my budget. Looking for a budget good school. Awaiting for your suggestion as your blog cleared lot of doubts I had about boarding school.

    Like

  28. Dear Mr. Ravi.
    I am planning to send my Son to Maharishi International Residential School, Chennai with Integrated FIITJEE program.
    He is going to 9th Grade, my plan is keep him till 12th Grade. We are in Doha, Qatar the quality of education in best school much less compared to a common school in India.
    Would like to know your opinion plz

    Like

  29. hello ravi sir
    i am ritika sir your article was very helpful to me but sir then also i am littie bit confused about the selection of a proper hostel for my brother was is now going to come in 4th std sir if you will help me in the selection of hostel it will be your big favour on me

    Like

  30. Hello Ravi sir,
    I m sonia sir i m planning to send my son to Bishop Cotton school Shimla next year.Sir i m very much confused about it because he is my only son & he is very much emotionally attached with me. currently he is studying in grade 4.Sir i need ur help & suggestion what should i do?
    With Regards,
    Sonia

    Like

  31. Dear Ravi Sir,

    Firstly would like to congratulate on the wonderful blog giving insights on the pros & cons of the boarding schools.My son is studying from standard 5th in New Era High School Panchgani , Would seek your kind advice on the following :

    a) Is New Era a good & reputed boarding school.

    b) DO kids that study in boarding go away from theor parents emotionally.

    Regards & Thanks.

    Niel Goel

    Like

    1. Niel, I am not too sure on the institution since I don’t know much about it. It may be good and you can talk to the current students and also form an opinion after taking feedback from parents. Regarding kids going away from parents emotionally… I believe it depends on the parents to a large extent. Also there is a time when you need to let the children grow independently.

      Like

    2. HI Niel,
      Is your son still studying in New Era? I wish to seek admission for my daughter. What is your take on the academics and overall report of the school?

      Like

  32. Hi Ravi
    My kids are studying in international school in middle East (CBSE),how is Narayan residential school (Hyderabad) with IIT JEE program

    Like

  33. Hey ravi sir

    I’m thinking to send my children to bording school in india (maybe in December)
    we are from yemen , Our country is suffering from the war so schools are closed, and we want to help us in to finding bording schools (residental ), that we can let the children have safely for one academic year, where we will not be in India and we are leaving them until the end of the school year
    And i need informations about the fees of school for one year not exceed $ 3,000 inclusive all expenses
    also i want to know the registration requirements
    My old son is now 15 and will be in grade 11, and the other son is 13 Year it will be in grade 9.

    i need information on fees, admission exams and quality of living the the hostels etc

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated

    Like

    1. There are several good schools in India to consider. Your children are also at an age where safe study environment will be of help. However I am not sure if you will find too many decent schools in the budget you have indicated. You can check with The Daly College in Indore but I guess they will be a little higher though not too high.

      Like

    2. Mr. Bushra,
      If you are not an Indian, you may have to opt for schools with IGCSE, IB etc curriculums – Residential Schools with these curriculums in India may not have the fee that you are expecting.
      CBSE / ICSE schools with decent facilities will fit in your budget, but don’t know if they can study that curriculum.
      And some boarding schools in South India are reasonably affordable if region is not an issue for you.

      Best Regards,

      Like

  34. Thanks for the eye opener article Mr Ravi
    Beautifully written article n ended up nicely with Ram Charita Manas couplet.
    My son Kabir is 5 years old and m thinking of JK foundation Sahaydri and Rajghat Banaras for him from 3rd standard.
    kindly guide me ..

    Like

    1. Both are excellent institutions and possibly rooted in “Indian” culture. However, I will be reluctant to advise a boarding school at such an young age. Possibly from Class 7th is okay. Consider Doon and Rishi Valley as your first preference.

      Like

  35. Hello Ravi,

    I found your article very informative and helpful. Wonderfully written.

    My daughter is in her 11th grade now and is in Chennai Public School as a boarder starting this year. I am not very convinced with this boarding school. They are not very strict on their boarding policies like not to let the kids go home frequently, food not ok, etc. My daughter gets homesick quite often and since this boarding school is a bit near by our house, she ends up coming home every weekend. This is fine but the problem is she find this easy instead of trying to adjust. The school has both day scholars & boarders and this has its own plus and minus. Though they preach of having lot of extra circular activities with focus on academics as well, i don’t really see that happening.

    Initially i was planning to put my son as well in this school next year but now opting out. Have been checking for good boarding schools without day scholars down south for him for 9th grade next year. I am looking at Rishi Valley though i am not sure if he would get the admission. Need your inputs with regard to this school. And also would this be the right age for boarding. I am looking at a holistic development of the child.

    Regards,
    Kavitha

    Like

  36. Dear Mr. Ravi,

    your article is an actual picture of boarding school, when one is looking for the one. Its very helpful foe me.

    I really would like to know that I am a single parent and none from my family had ever gone to boarding school.
    So I am seriously in dilemma, should i send ma son in boarding school or not and what is the right age to get your ward admitted in a boarding school.
    would it not create differences and distances between me and my son….. or is it the right way to get my son out of all society bullies.
    Your comments does matter a lot.

    Like

    1. Boarding experience for your son will be helpful. It will also free up some time for you to focus on other things. In my opinion, a good boarding school for him at the age of 11-12 should be ideal. And as a parent you have to let your children fly at some time.

      Like

  37. hello sir, i dr rajesh garg, residing in a small city ,want to send my son in a boarding school. he is in class 2 and 7 yrs old. at this age we have only one option i.e. BCS shimla for admission in class 3. i want to know whether this is right choice for my son or i should look for another school in future. how much authentic are these rankings on net. should we make our decision taking them in account or not. pls guide us in selecting right school for our son. which one is better inbetween lawrence school sanawar, army public school dagshai, welham school dehradun and BCS shimla. waiting for ur reply sir

    Like

    1. Dr Garg, Lawrence School Sanawar, Bishop Cotton Simla and Welham Boys will be the preference in this particular order (in my opinion). However Class 2 and age of 7 is too too young and I would recommend considering boarding only around the age of 11 years.

      Like

      1. thanks mr ravi , for ur valuable comments. first thing i want to know, co-ed is better option or sinlgle sex school education & why? second thing i want to know as u told lawrence school sanawar is ur first choice , what exactly is difference between sanawar & BCS shimla apart from co-ed, so that i can opt better.

        Like

  38. Thanks Ravi for sharing this great post.

    Few month before I lost my wonderful wife and end up my 9 years of beautiful marriage life. My daughter is 8 years old and studying in class III who always wants to be an astronaut (since the age of 3). I am a software professional and have tight schedules throughout the year. Also need to fly out-of-country for months.

    I thought various option (including shifting my job or leaving it completely). But I think most practical and correct decision to send her to boarding school (for overall bring-up) in coming year (she will be 9 years in March 2016 – long, healthy, good in studies/play/extra-curriculum). My (really helping and close) sister is in Dehradun so I am planning to send her to some boarding school in Dehradun.

    Please suggest your opinion and also share some good schools. Also if you can share average yearly expenses needed for the same.

    Like

  39. Hello sir..this is one of the best articles that I have read so far.Sir,my husband and myself r both engineers and hv admitted our daughter in Birla Vidhyapeeth Pilani..she is 14..she has been selected for band which is a part of Rajpath Parade..its been two months bt she is still very much homesick..what r ur views about this boarding and is it the right age for her..should we continue her boarding till class 12.

    Like

    1. Thanks for appreciating the content. While I have heard of the school, I don’t know much about it to be able to comment. If your daughter is 14 years old, she is of the age that I would consider as okay for boarding. Homesickness is normal. However each child is different and as parents you should be able to take the best decision for her well being.

      Like

      1. Academically,r boardings efficient enough if a child opts for IITs or say AFMC..though in campus coachings r available bt do u think children r that competitive in boardings as they r in regular schools..

        Like

  40. Hi, found your article extremely interesting, being from a small town I was sent to mayo college , which was extremely beneficial then , but now since I am in mumbai I am thoroughly confused between cathedral and john cannon school mumbai or the doon school dehradun . Kindly share your views .

    Like

  41. Hi, this is a very well wriiten article sir, very beautifully described, i am exmaoyite and was sent to the the boarding school as i came from a small town…no regrets at all , infact very thankful. Now a big question in front of me is that shd i send my son to the doon school in comparison to the cathedral and john cannon school mumbai As i reside in mumbai …do share your views

    Like

    1. Dear Richa, My preference for Doon may be a little due to my bias as I am a Dosco. However it will be a fantastic choice. It is not fair to compare a day school such as Cathedral with boarding school such as Doon. Both are excellent options.

      Like

  42. very nicely written blog Mr. Ravi
    We are shifting to roorkee from Indirapuram and would like to send our daughter to a boarding school in Dehradun or Mussoorie. Since she is in CBSE so would prefer a CBSE school. But there are no good CBSE schools in that region. I have to make a choice between ECole Globale (which is CBSE) or Mussoorie international (which is ICSE). Please suggest.

    Like

      1. thanks mr ravi , for ur valuable comments. first thing i want to know, co-ed is better option or sinlgle sex school education & why? second thing i want to know as u told lawrence school sanawar is ur first choice , what exactly is difference between sanawar & BCS shimla apart from co-ed, so that i can opt better.

        Like

  43. Is child safe in daly college boarding indore my son age is 8 year I want to do his admission in 4th class and pls give information about daly college studies and food that eat in boarding school

    Like

    1. I have recently visited Daly College and was fairly impressed by the school. It is very ably led by Mr Sumer Singh who taught me at my school (Doon) years ago. Will not have specifics on admissions.

      Like

  44. As the time of entrance is approaching for the entrance at the doon my heart is skipping a beat .. What is your feedback on the academic structure at the doon as there will not be any tutors to help them on a day to day basis..secondly does the school help acheive the cutoff rate which is required now a days.Pls advice

    Like

    1. While at Doon, the boys don’t need tuitions on a day to day basis. They can access help when they need. However I have known of senior boys taking tuitions during holidays. Let your child focus on the entrance at this time and consider Doon for an over-all education and not just academics.

      Like

  45. Hi…would you know of any good boarding schools in and around Mumbai? My 14 yrs old son is completely out of control, refuses to study and has started smoking. Hence been looking out for options.

    Like

    1. I would not advise you to consider a boarding school as a way to punish your son. You need to spend more time with him and possibly consider a good school close to yourself. Even if you do consider a boarding school, let him be part of that decision instead of forcing him to one. Further, look closely at his circle of friends… There may be someone who can have a positive influence on him.

      Like

  46. Dear Mr. Singh,

    A beautifully written blog indeed!

    For me I have a 10yr old girl who is studying in a good school in Pune. But yes depended a lot on me and I feel cannot take decisions independently. Would like to know good boarding schools around Pune. I have just been to Sahyadri. How would you review Sahayadri School in terms of overall development? Any good school you would like to mention around Pune or in Panchgani? I am still in a thinking mode whether to send her to some boarding or not in a year or so but meanwhile doing my homework.

    Regards,
    Abhilasha

    Like

  47. hello sir
    this is meena,
    I WANT TO KNOE GOOD SCHOOL FOR STUDIES AND BOARDING
    HOW I CAN GET THE MIDDLE BUDGET SCHOOL THERE
    NOW he is studying 5th std

    Like

  48. Hi Mr. Singh,

    I am a little confused about sending my son to a boarding school. He is presently studying in class 6 at St. Xavier’s, Kolkata and is doing well. He is also very enthusiastic about all kinds of sports. I am planning to send him to Mayo College, Ajmer in class 7 next year.. Although he is preparing for the entrance test to be taken in November, but as a father, I’m not sure about this decision. There’s no family problem or anything as such, for which I am sending him. I thought it will help him in his overall growth. I understand Doon is the best but it is too expensive.

    Are you aware about the present standards of Mayo? and what about the ragging and bullying part? Also I heard that the students are divided into diff. communities, especially rajputs and gujjars and there’s always a tussle between them. I want to take the best decision but am thoroughly confused.

    Can you please help me out.

    Regards,
    Ravi Agarwal.

    Like

    1. You will need to talk to parents of students who have studied at Mayo in recent years. I am not too updated on the current situation though in recent past I met with students from Mayo on exchange to Australia who shared that there were bullying issues. I do hope that those have been addressed.

      Like

  49. Dear Ravi Sir, It was great to read all your feedbacks. It really helps many parents here. Would you advise the best residence school in south part of india. We are currently living in singapore and expecting relocation by end of this year. To be honest my son is 11 years old and studying 7th std, CBSE. He is not motivated and not punctual, regular on his works/ study, it seems to a lazz boy but actually he is a very smart boy and did utilise his skills. He also not a deciplined boy and did not behave well to others including mom. Though He has very difficulty to sustain friendship with others. He usually will broke up his friendship in a day or two with others. For this we are desperately thinking to send him to best residence school in india. Where we would belive he will improve and learn the hospitality. Indeed your reply would really help us to make a final call in this year. Can you advise the best, deciplined good ranking school in south part of india.

    Regards
    Muthu

    Like

    1. The solution lies in first reflecting on the reason for his behaviour. Maybe a child psychologist can help the family in this. Sometimes the fault is not so much with the child as it is with the parents and others around. Residential schools can help or aggravate the situation sometimes and thus one has to be fairly careful. Times have changed and so have the relationship with children for parents. Those old rules dont always apply. I am sure you all will be fine.

      Like

  50. Hi Mr. Ravi,

    One of the best articles and blog that’s truly informative and unbiased.

    I was a boarding student too from Class VI to XII at “only boys fully residential school” – Sainik School (AP) and my only son is going to take the entrance exam for the same school this year (though I don’t wish to send him there as it has not changed much – which many alumni feel as a good thing – which is not according to me).
    Of course, I wish to send my son to a good boarding school for 3-4 years.

    As you mentioned that you may be little biased or prefer those old reputed (so called traditional) schools, I differ with you or rather urge you to change your opinion 🙂

    Most of them haven’t changed much or not keeping pace with the present day – just because they are famous – did well in the past & they have reputed alumni, they are able to easily manage to get good students through the admission test and perform reasonably well.

    Unfortunately, they haven’t only not changed much on the infrastructure, but not much even on the technology adoption or the curriculum. Most importantly, the teachers are not of the same calibre as we used to have in the past. Today, we can see more better teachers in the recent HiFi schools (though they may seem to be commercial or business motive).

    Going through various queries & replies, I felt that most of the parents across the country think alike – one negative incident in a school is regarded very bad, and one student securing a good rank in an entrance exam like IIT JEE is considered very good on school behalf which is the general mindset of most parents in AP. What we miss is that Good & Bad, Success & Failure exist everywhere – parents need to visit & value the school on a broader basis, but not based on a single student or a single review – also they need to ensure that the fee commensurates the capabilities of the staff, facilities provided etc.

    Like

  51. Hi Ravi, thanks for an eye opening article. My son got selected in St. Georges College , Mussoorie for class 4,can you pls. advise about the ranking and environment of st. Georges and also i feel that he is too young to go to a boarding, pls. advise .
    Thanks

    Like

  52. hi mr singh,
    can u advice me about st georges college mussorie?. should i consider it for my child for admission in class IV there… also is welham boys dehradun better option over st georges college mussorie?? please suggest…
    thanks
    mukesh

    Like

  53. Hi Ravi, I was trying to find some opinions on boarding schools and bumped into your well addressed blog. After going through all the comments and recommendations ,I have reached to the conclusion that the boarding schools are indeed recommended during the foundation years. We are considering doon school for our 9 yr old (now) only son in grade 7. The only reason behind it is for him to be more independent ,confident and make friends . He is a voracious reader ( says ,”books are my best friends “) ,and kind of loner ( which makes me feel concerned at time).We just have returned from Australia after around 4 yrs. He is a very understanding child I would say. My husband says that I am obsessed with him which I agree to some extent. We have decided to continue till yr 10 as of now. He is also a superior intelligent child as assessed by a child educational psychologist in Australia. This one makes me feel confused too regarding the boarding school. Please guide. Do you think that we are making a right decision ?

    Like

  54. hi there Mr. Singh.
    i am a student studying architecture in bangalore and had to choose a thesis topic that would interest me. i thought that designing a international residential school in india would be quite interesting. i myself studied in a residential school for 11 years and have always thought about designing a school that i would study in (more like a dream school). By international i mean including the IGCSE’s and also the IB or the AP’s. Few questions came up in my mind…why do we need boarding schools in india, what would be a ideal place to build another one (for example, building in mussoorie, uttarkhand would not really be a good idea because they already have so many there). Would love to hear from you and it would mean a lot if you could help me out in any way.

    Sincerely,
    Arsh Bansal.

    Like

    1. I find growing demand for day-boarding schools or even schools that have boarding during the week and then have the children with family for three nights on the weekend (Friday Saturday Sunday nights). This will be fairly attractive for parents living in large cities with both parents as working parents. This is also a mid way to boarding. Leading boarding schools in India are all changing to four terms from the current two semesters allowing children to travel back home more often… Thus the theme should be that the schools is encouraging the independent living but also finding a way for the parental contact during the days when the parent is available.

      Like

  55. Hello Ravi,
    I found you blog very informative, thought my probelm is differant. I have two boys 12 and 10. My older one is addicted to internet and has lot of behavioral issues and my younger son is begining to ape him. I recently went through a divorce and moved back to USA to look for a job and left my kids with my parents. my parents now complain that their behavior is worse and insist I put them in boarding next year to discipline them because they feel I will no be able to manage them. Is this a good idea and will boarding really help shape them into better humans. You advice will be highly appreciated. Thank you

    Like

    1. Maya,
      You may consider a boarding environment and in all situations where the parental guidance is not possible on a day to day basis, a good boarding school can ensure that the child gets a rounded personality. However it is not a punishment at all. Your situation is such that your child will benefit and will be exposed to multiple spare time activities too. However keep a continuing rapport with your boys.

      Like

  56. I have personally been in boarding schools all my life and it was a family tradition too….my dad was a dosco and my aunts welhamites. My mother however thought that maybe a traditional boarding school might not be a right fit for me and at the age of 8 i was in a KFI school.
    i know that city schools these days do offer quality education but they mostly only focus on academics while residential schools offer a much more wholesome education. after finishing my 10th i moved to a city school for coaching purposes and thats when i realized how amazing the concept of boarding school is……in school our friends were our family and the student teacher relations were brilliant.
    i also think that boarders are way more confident and always stand out from the crowds. in the distant future i would surely put my child in a boarding school because i want them to have a childhood as brilliant as mine.

    Like

  57. Dear sir..

    Thans a ton for penning an exhaustive account on whether or not to send a child to the boarding school…

    I’m a Mayoite and certainly proud of being so…however I am definitely in a dilemma whether to think on the lines of boarding school education or to see my child grow in front of me….spending time daily with him rather than waiting for the vacations….
    I beleive once children are sent to boarding schools..they lose a major chunk of quality family time…..
    Although my kid is just a year and a half I’ve already accessing better options after std 4th….

    The quote of ramcharitmanas moved me…loved it…my family has a deep connect with ramacharitmanas…..

    Thanks a lot once again….

    Like

    1. Thanks for your comments. I fully understand your dilemma as have been through that too. My blog is neither “for” or “against” boarding schools. Have tried to give a balanced perspective allowing one to find the answers. Sometimes it can cause dilemmas too.

      Like

  58. Hello Ravi,
    Nice to read article with good Insights. The Indian education system apart from a significant increase in its educational budget needs a common curriculum for both government and private schools mainly English and vocational education to bring the poor masses to the mainstream. Else it will continue to create the economic divide creating the serving class as it has been doing so far. Thanks you!

    Regards:
    Priyanka Jain

    Like

  59. Dear Mr Ravi,
    I must congratulate you for a very well researched and balanced article. It is indeed very helpful. I am planning to send my daughter to a boarding school next year. She will be in Class 5. How would you rate Lawrence Sanawar in this regard? I understand they do not have a regular Principal for almost 1 year! Between Lawrence Sanawar and Lovedale which do you think should be a better choice? I will be anxiously awaiting for your valuable views and comments in this regard. It will help me to take an informed decision.
    Thank you once again!

    Like

  60. hi mr singh,
    Please help me to take the decision on whether to send my child to mayo college ajmer or welham boys dehradun in class 4th?.… please suggest…
    thanks
    mukesh

    Like

  61. Hi,

    I will be seeking admission to Sayadri school, pune for my daughter in 4th grade. I have a few questions in mind which I would be really glad to find an answer to by ex-students, ex-parents or current ones.
    1. Does the school allow parents and child a visit or a campus tour prior to applying for the admit? 2. You know, once you have mentally prepared yourself and the child that you want to get through this wonderful school and then the admission is rejected, its a let-down. So, how do you actually go through this entire admission process? What is the ratio of selected to rejected candidates?
    3. If you don’t get through one year, does it benefit to keep re-applying every other year?
    4. Also, if the intake is only 35 students per year…. isn’t that tough to get through?
    5. Is the admission process experience similar to the ones most parents face getting into mainstream Mumbai schools … which is really sad and depressing!!! I have no doubt that the school is good and will add value to my child. So, am looking forward to as much input as possible so that the admission is seamless.

    Regards,

    Anushka

    Like

    1. Hi Anushka,

      Did you got your child admitted in shyadri? If yes, how are you finding now? I am an enthusiastic parent who wish to put my child in shyadri. What is your opinion about this boarding school? Your early reply will be helpful.

      Thank you
      Neha

      Like

  62. Hi Ravi,

    A very well written article.

    I am a Dubai resident and find the quality of education way behind that in India.

    I am looking for a boarding school for my son currently in grade 8 DPS for the next academic year.
    In this part of the world Mc Donalds & playstations seem to be the ultimate aspirations for many students with no perspective on real life.

    He has been accepted in daly college and also Global Genesis International School Noida, on the basis of his marks in the last three years. Also looking at Kasiga School Dehradun.

    While I am keen on Daly College, connectivity is a big issue as there are no direct flights from here My husband is often travelling, it might be daunting task to travel to Indore on a regular basis, since I do intend to be in regular touch with my son. Unfortunately schools like Doon do not take students in grade 9 plus the NRI fee structure is exorbitant in schools like sanawar.

    I would await your recommendation.

    Would be happy to receive any other suggestion from you

    Like

    1. Of your options, Daly College is possibly the best and more reputed. I have known Mr Sumer Singh as a teacher and did visit the school recently to be very surprised with the beauty of the campus and also their student placements. The school definitely offers value for money. Indore is fairly well connected with major Indian cities now.

      Like

  63. Hello Ravi Sir,

    I have gone through your blogs, which helped me get a fair idea about boarding. Here I would like an advice from you with regards to an admission in boarding school. I have one 10 years old son, who is currently studying in DPS Ghaziabad. Being an only child, he is being pampered to great extend. Now, to take him out from this environment, I would like to put him in boarding, so that he can get exposed to external world and can handle things on his own. He would also like to have a great command on English language but at home everybody speaks in Hindi, so he is not getting that environment also. To give him right environment and exposer of an external world, we have identified three boarding schools for him i.e. The Doon School, Woodstock_Mussoorie and St. George Collage Mussoorie. Now, please guide, which is the best school in terms of education, extracurricular activities and learning English for my son. And also, is that the right time to put him as he has not gone outside without us and stayed alone so far.

    Please guide

    Regards

    GAAGAN G SAXENA

    Like

  64. Hi Ravi, as per your experience how would you rank among Bishop cotton Shimla, Mayo College Boys, Welham Boys. considering both academics and sports.

    Like

  65. I want to admit my son who is a 15 years old now reading in Class-IX and I intend my son continues to study in a Boarding House in Kolkata. Details expenses and other criteria I wish to know for that purpose immediately.

    Like

  66. Hi Ravi, thanks for the informative post. Currently Im doing my part of research on selecting a nice boarding school for my son (12-13 yrs.) We stay in Singapore. He is in a local secondary school and the standard is just too high. So much so that 3 years back we had the option to settle in Melbourne . We went there and I did my part of reccae. Somehow I felt that the curriculum was too simple and light over there. However since past one year , we have been contemplating sending him to a traditional boarding school. Of late we feel that there is too much focus on academics. I feel that he needs to be exposed to all kind of sports and outdoor activities. If not now, then when? Also we plan to keep him there till O levels and bring him back to do A levels here and serve NS in due time (something we really admire about this country).

    To cut a long story short, I need your views and opinion on Scindia school, Sherwood College, St George’s College and St Pauls Darjeeling. How do you rate these four ? From an NRI perspective which school do you think would cater to our needs. My son is a lovely, well behaved child and quite popular among his Chinese and Malay friends over here.

    Like

  67. Hi Ravi, I stay in Singapore and contemplating boarding school for my son. He
    is in grade 7 and we are seeking admission in the same class. I must say that the standard of education in Singapore is quite high(he is in a local school), but there are other considerations. We took some time to decide and now left with two options only. 1. The Scindia School, 2. Sherwood College. What do you suggest.

    Like

    1. Both Scindia and Sherwood have been good schools but am not sure if they have kept pace with the changing times. Scindia has had to deal with severe concerns regarding bullying which I believe has now been addressed. Now aware of how Sherwood these days. You should visit the schools and also do your homework. Times are changing and so is the usefulness of boarding schools. There are several decent new schools. Happiness of the child is more important.

      Like

  68. Dear Ravi,
    Thank for the article. I am looking for good residential school for my daughter for class 6th.Can you please guide some good residential school near Pune.?

    Venu

    Like

  69. Quite interesting. Now I have some idea of boarding schools since I never attended one but am planning to send my 2 boys off to.
    Good post.

    Like

  70. hello sir,
    would u be able to suggest about my child to take admission in mayo college ajmer or welham boys dehradun in class 7th?.… he’s got selected in both the schools…please help me decide..
    thanks..
    bhavya..

    Like

    1. Frankly both these have been known to be good schools. Mayo possibly has been better known and has an alumni list to be proud of. WBS was initially the prep school to Doon and thus may claim a similarly sound alumni list though they were mostly those who did earlier school years here. WBS has the challenge of being in the shadow of Doon and has had to deal with some issues in recent years as has been detailed in Mr Dev Lahiri’s book. Mr Lahiri was the Principal of WBS a few years ago. I hear that things have improve a little now. Mayo too has had severe issues of bullying that I have learnt of from some students and I hope that this has been dealt with now. Bullying in boarding schools can sometimes become a worry. Consider the new age schools too.

      Like

  71. Ravi we did our part of homework, so Sherwood is completely out of question. Their online review is horrifying. One of my friends son is there and she is planning to withdraw soon.For Scindia everything appears good except the standard of English which my friends term as more like Central School. Many feel that approach is quite laid back. Would you possibly suggest one or two decent new schools.

    Like

  72. Hi Thank u for giving me space on ur blog………can u plz suggest me boarding schools in india for my son who is 12 yr old slow learner/ADHD …kindly dnt suggest for mentally disabled ..

    Like

  73. Hi Mr. R. L. Singh, Greetings. I hv studied in govt. boarding school from class VIth to 12th and again stayed in hostel of university for almost 11 more years. I have very positive impression for boarding schools. I hv one query regarding psychological reactions of peers to children from humble background and psychological response of the same child to his middle class family, if child was admitted in schools like scindia? Thanks.

    Like

  74. How can I ‘ll send my brother in army bording school while he complete his matriculation last but now a day he become very arrogant by nature. Plz give your best suggestion

    Like

  75. Hi Ravi,

    My son (a 4th grader) is a slow learner and has a low IQ ( not having any LD) and take a lot of time to learn new concepts especially in Math. Me and my wife are both working and I travel a lot and are not able to do justice in giving him ample time for his education. We are looking at admitting him to a Boarding school so that he get the require attention in academics and sports as well (he is an excellent footballer and is apart of the school team).

    Kindly advice if we are taking the right move and also suitable residential schools in and around Maharashtra, in case you are aware of them. Thanks

    Like

  76. Dear Sir,
    Your article is extremely informative and helped me to decide to send my son in boarding school in India and I have selected St Paul school Darjeeling for my son in Class 7. I have heard that the academic pressure in ICSE based school is much higher than CBSE board. Is it advisable to send my son to St Paul school Darjeeling which follow ICSE board at this stage or I should select a CBSE based school ?

    Like

  77. Dear Sir,
    First of all, thank you for this informative article. I did my schooling from a boarding school and could relate with most of your opinions. Sir, there is a cousin of mine who is to be admitted to a good school and his father is a serving defense personnel. I did research on my part and found out that the good schools charge huge amounts as fees which my uncle cannot afford. I know about military schools and sainik schools which give concession to the defense personnel, but the problem is my cousin crossed the age limit by two months. Could you please help me in finding a good school which give concession to defense personnel?
    Thanks

    Like

  78. Dear Mr. Singh,
    All your comments and suggestions are very useful and helpful. we live in Dubai and my son is giving icse 10 th grade exam now . we are planning to take admission for him in IB school in India and we have short listed few schools and cant decide because its not easy to find reviews on these school . we need your suggestion please . schools we choose are
    * Cathedral school, Lonavala
    * The International school of Banglore
    * Sarla Birla Acadamy. Banglore
    *Kodaikenal International. Coimbtore
    * Gurukul , Pune
    *Mercidez benz , Pune.

    Kindly help us if know about any of this schools.

    Like

  79. Hi, my son is not at all interested in studies and is also not good at any thing and has developed into a poor student so I am thinking to send him to a boarding school.can you please suggest a strict and nice boarding school for him within India if possible in NCR itself?

    Like

    1. Boarding school should not be seen as a punishment. In fact, if your son needs closer supervision and attention, you rather have him with you and work with him. Try to identify his talents.

      Like

  80. I actually went to a boarding school, was there for about 7-8 years, and I absolutely hated it. Even to this day, 13 years later, I can still remember the tormented years I spent there where I literally wanted to hang my self every day. My education struggled so did my physical and mental health, to add to that received shit form family members for not doing well at school, which was a consequence of not being happy there, I ran away moved to a whole new country and now I am currently doing my masters in the UK, I believe none of this would have happened had I stayed in the school to finish the final exams etc,
    One this parents and teachers need to know is, if your child gets poor grades yelling at them, is NOT the best way to resolve the issue. YOU need to understand that there is a lot more going on in that little mind some of which they literally cant tell you because you are painstakingly yelling at them for not being good enough.
    Negative reinforcement, especially things like corporal punishment in schools and at home is just a way to plant in resentment in a child.
    There is a lot of shit that goes on in these schools which they don’t tell you about, simply cause they like keeping the hefty fees they charge.

    Like

    1. It’s touching to read your comment and I know that there are experiences of all kinds at a boarding schools. However most schools have been making attempts at an improvement in this direction. They are engaging with counsellors and also getting rid of corporal punishment. I will not be asking you to name the school but then the point made by you is worth putting out in front of all. All the best with your career and you may simply take lessons from the experience that you had and move on… I am sure you will do well.

      Like

  81. Dear Mr. Singh,
    I had been through all your advice and suggestions on the boarding schools debate. How ever i am confused if i need to send him to boarding schools.My wife and i have studied in boarding right through my education career. Few points below:
    1. Currently my son is studying in Kathmandu at a CBSE school. Just been promoted to class 3.Was thinking boarding for class 4. Do i need to send him to boarding school as i feel he is very young for boarding. Considering MAYO and Welhams.

    2. Reasons: I feel that kathmandu doesnot have ample opportunities for other E.C.A or other activities. home to school and vice versa.Students mix is not good. Only about 9 students in a section.

    3. Teachers: Seems teachers are not very experienced. Imagine a teacher pronouncing AKS for ask. what do i make out of this. Though my son has started to communicate with us in English and we always take care to correct him incase of some inaccuracies.

    Though i am searching for boarding schools in India but i am not very keen to send him there. It is just out of compulsion that we are thinking on the line. Further it is very difficult to get admission in the higher classes.

    Finally how would you recommend Genesis School Noida as well. Have my sight on Doon school but it is very challenging to get admission there.. Please advice.

    Regards,
    Abhishek

    Like

    1. The four schools that you mention are all fine institutions. Doon can be challenging but should be your first choice. Welhams Boys is fine but remains a lower option if choosing Dehradun. Genesis is a relatively new school but I believe has done quite okay. I may be wrong but my impression was that it is guided by a former HM of Mayo who has also been at Doon. Mayo is fine as an option too. You need to figure out if you want a traditional and reputed school or new age modern international type school. The happiness of the child at the school also matters. And I do believe that Class 4 is too young. Let him be with you for another few years.

      Like

  82. Dear Ravi ji
    Your article is extremely informative and helped me to decide to send my daughter in boarding school in India .Right now she is in 10th standard and we wish that for senior secondary section she will opt for boarding school. I have heard about Banasthali vidyapeeth Jaipur. Kindly guide us for good boarding school.
    Regards
    Nikhil

    Like

  83. Another pro for boarding school, would be that to take kids around for various activities is a serious pain in big cities. Not to mention the fact that kids have to go back and forth from school cutting into time needed for other things. Pollution and all those aspects can be compensated by having A/C buses though. Having the ability to walk 2 minutes to a class in a pollution free environment is a major plus.

    Like

  84. Hi..interesting informative blog..
    I am in my 50s..day school educated..and childless..so ‘ boarding schools ‘ was never a topic of interest for me… However in recent months I am in a conundrum as my devoted cook’s son, currently in 9 th grade… who is quite a bright kid is losing his focus on education because of lack of family support ..I (with his parent’s permission, of course) would like to sponsor him and send him to a good, boarding school with reasonable fees where he can get a decent education and some good physical training (he is taller than 6’ 2″, fit)..please advise..

    Like

  85. Hello All,

    Does any one can explain or suggest me the below query

    If my kid complete PYP-3 as per IB curriculum in Sweden By next year june’17. What would be equivalent class / grade can fit as per CBSE.

    For ex: PYP -3 is equivalent to CBSE-4 in India . IS this correct !! Pls correct me if I am wrong.

    Also would be good , if share any such cases study(like any doc/pdf etc)

    Like

  86. My kids go to a boarding schoo and they enjoy it. Not saying that every day I would like to take them out and do local. The big relief for the kids is they don’t have to travel back and forth in the traffic, not just to the school, but also for any other extra circular ac5ivites like swimming or music. Offcourse, specialization for the gifts kids becomes a problem, but our kids have not challenged us in those ways yet. 🙂

    Like

  87. Hi ravi your article was eye opener we have joined our son in residential school this year , your article clarifies lot of anxiety in us. he is 11 and would be 12 in three months, we have joined him in Amber Valley chikmagalur , we tried at Rishi valley but didnt get through.

    Like

      1. Hello sir
        Very useful and informative article written by you.And very balanced view is given of boarding schools.
        There is one more problem in taking admission in reputed schools like Doon.
        Not only they are expensive but also to clear it’s entrance exam.
        Entrance exam preparation coaching classes are taking full advantage of it.They are charging hefty amount of fees which is more than registration fees itself.And the students who are taking classes are in advantage in compare to students who can’t due to some reasons.
        Pls advice on preparation of entrance exams .
        Poonam
        Gujarat

        Like

      2. Hello sir
        Very useful and informative article written by you.
        But sir reputed schools like Doon are not only expensive one but also very difficult to clear it’s entrance exam.
        And some coaching centres charging hefty amount of fees to clear it.
        Schools should be more clear about syllabus of entrance exam so every student get equal opportunity.

        Like

  88. Very well described the advantages and disadvantages of boarding schools..I was in such a big dilemma of sending my son for boarding or not.you made it so clear…plz keep on writing these blogs..they can help someone to take right decision.

    Like

  89. Hi Ravi,
    After having read your refreshing article, i have decided on putting my girls aged 15 and 11 in boarding schools, i w’d like u to know which of the 2 boarding schools- St Lawrence Sanawar and Chinmaya International Residential school in Coimbatore are better for my girls. Am in a dilemma regarding the choice of school. Pl advice

    Like

  90. Dear , Ravi . Honestly you providing such a useful information. I am seeking for Boarding school for my 6 years daughter , Massoouri International School (MIS) is my first choice as they seems quite bond with culture actives and girls only school. I do not have much choice than send my lovely 6 years daughter to Boarding school due to family issue. She is currently studies in UK . Can advice me for any other school??

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  91. I am considering Unison World school for my daughter , MIS seems great as well with strong Indian culture influence . Mr.Singh I needs ur opinion in regards to sending my daughter’s future decision .She born brought up in UK and English is her first language .How international schools help child in initial settle down and long term career prospects ??

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  92. thanks for your experience. In my view keeping in mind of the affordability the C class school the students are facing a lot of psychological presser , in several field. as a parents once i have admitted and then the child not able to adjust on the campus then it is really very difficult task for the parents. the school must have certain redressal method to solve the issues

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  93. Dear Mr Singh
    Excellent Blog-a lot of times while i was 1st time reading the blog it seemed i and my wife are discussing the same subject wrt our kids…i have been into boarding schools all my life and i know the emotional strength which it gives-somewhere it was very well described by some other people too who commented above …

    In my opinion 2 years or 3 years exposure somewhere between 5th and 8th is great – if you as parents are giving sufficient time when they are back home- that way one gets the best of both worlds…kid who learns to be independent, emotionally strong, can relate to great schooling experience, have friends for life and when back home- character building, values, family bond etc

    One of the things which have attracted me to boarding schools is they dont have screens-lappy’s-ipads-smartphones-which i have seen most kids waste there time on – when @ home – as a result they seem to be exploring a lot of physical games – which is missing in todays times when @ home

    But as also deliberated by you – what can be very interesting is to get your kids into schools which not also give them exposure to boarding life and the advantages of it but also build the leadership qualities within them – make them nation builder and create a true leader out of them and make them real explorers of life…well if someone knows of such schools – i am keen to know

    Once again congrats Mr Singh and others who have given time and deliberated so well on subject giving invaluable insight to a lot of parents like me. Appreciated

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    1. Bharat, Thanks for the appreciation. My blog was in many ways a first hand account as someone who went to study in a boarding school and who had both children (son and daughter) at a boarding school fairly recently. Being one with an eduction focus, I kept analysing the pros and cons through the period of the schooling of my children. I believe that if you are considering a few years of such schooling, you may consider Class 7 to Class 10. Class 11-12 becomes fairly academic generally and this is the period when they may spend with you. After school, they are likely to be on their own. Situations differ for all and if you can let them study in a boarding school till the 12th, you may. Provided the link with home is strongly maintained and the attachments remain.

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  94. Hi Ravi,

    My son is in 2nd now. He will be going into 3rd the next year. I am planning to put him into boarding. I am a single parent and i am not able to give him proper time for imparting knowledge. I have a live in maid, however they are not able to control him and his major time is spent in TV, Ipad, and playing. He is a bright student, however, as his energy is not properly channelised, he is not able to perform well. He is becoming hyperactive and his listening capability has become almost nil.

    I need your views on sending him to boarding. Will it do him good or bad?

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    1. He is too young and children at that age are often spending more time with TV and iPad. This is not enough of a justification to have him choose a boarding school. This is a reality in today’s times and any decent school in your city will be able to engage him in several sports and other activities. Give him time. Boarding can happen a little later.

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  95. Hello Mr. Ravi,

    My son is presently in 6th grade at Symbiosys international school, Pune. He has secured admission at Woodstock school, Mussorie in 7th Grade for 2017-18. I would like to get your recent views on Woodstock school – is it worthwhile to spend 14L / annum on a boarding school in India.

    I have been following woodstock schools website, blogs and other content and their philosophy, expected outcomes align very well with our goal and expectations. My son is a bright child who has excelled in academics, music & creative writing all throughout and we expect that school we choose will strenghthen this by character building, successful but humble responsible individual. But this is what we read on internet – can you throw some light if you have some feedback from parents groups of woodstock community.

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  96. My son is studying in DPS R K Puram in Class 9. We have 1 hr. distance from my residence to school. No doubt school is very good but because traffic congestion and pollution condition of Delhi, health issue is very serious. Is it advisable to send my son in a good boarding school at any hill station. Please suggest some good boarding school.

    Thanks
    Vinay Kumar

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  97. great!

    you explain well enough

    I was really confused about while i send my son to boarding school or not. but this article help me take decision clearly. Thank you so much for sharing information.

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  98. dear sir

    This bog is really helpfull.could you please guide me with day schools or boarding schools for adhd or slow learners.

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  99. Hi Ravi,
    I am considering chinmaya vidyalayanam at Nauni near Solan in HP. For my daughter in class 11, pl advice if its a gud school?? Also it is under the aegis of Chinmaya mission. Though havent heard abt the school frm anyone. Pl advice

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  100. Hi Ravi , I am seeking Mayo College Girls Boarding school admission from year 4 for my daughter. She is bright child , as we lives in UK I ‘m always worry about her future and culture influence.
    Mayo ,MIS,Unison – are my final choice if she will be go in boarding school… But I’m in dilemma that will it be right decision to send her boarding school for her future???

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  101. Sir your blog is really helpful for me to take decision regarding sending my childrens to boarding school. Sir as you have studied in uttarakhand, I have selected st. George’s college mussoorie for my son and convent of Jesus and Mary Waverley Mussoorie for my daughter. please reply me are my choices are correct and these are good schools. Please reply me ASAP

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  102. Hi Ravi – Thanks for your detailed blog. This has certainly helped us in the decision making process. We were evaluating Sarala Birla and Rishi Valley for our son’s admission in class 8 next year, currently studying near Mumbai. The main reason of this shortlist was to choose a school which promotes Indian ethos and offers a clean and encouraging environment i.e. no bullying, boozing, drugs etc. Please share your views. We also realise that Rishi Valley could be difficult now for Std VIII.

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  103. Hello Ravi sir,
    I m Amit Bhardwaj sir i m planning to send my son to boarding next year.Sir i m very much confused between Punjab Public School Nabha And chinmaya vidalaya solan . currently he is studying in grade 3.Sir i need ur help & suggestion what should i do?

    Regards
    Amit Bhardwaj

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  104. Good Article Ravi,
    We are leaving in rural part of Maharashtra.. in my small town no Proper English Medium School, My son is studying in class 4.. from class 5 we are planning to send in him to boarding school.. the school which we selected is near to my place but allow only one visit it 45 days and only 8 phone calls during year.. can we go ahead and send our son.. as after reading your article and comments we are bit confuse on phone callas point.

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  105. Sir your blog is really helpful for me to take decision regarding sending my childrens to boarding school. Sir as you have studied in uttarakhand, I have selected st. George’s college mussoorie for my son and convent of Jesus and Mary Waverley Mussoorie for my daughter. please reply me are my choices are correct and these are good schools. Please reply me ASAP

    Like

  106. Hi Ravi,

    Could you please suggest good Boarding schools at Hyd; for my son who will be in 5th Std by next Academic year.

    Thanks,
    Raju

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  107. Sir,

    Need an advice. My 12 year old daughter will go to 8th grade the coming year. She got into Rishi Valley School in 6th grade. Though there were adjustment problems in the beginning, she finally settled down. She is about to complete 7th grade. Though she says she is happy with the school , she wants to come back home next year. She says she wants to enjoy her childhood with us at home. We are based in Vizag and the schools here are average in all aspects. I advised her to continue there till 10th. My daughter’s argument is that if she does so she might want to continue her 11th & 12th there only, thereby never be at home. I am at a loss on how to go about the issue as I find her concerns justified. Please advise.

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    1. This sounds so familiar to my own situation. When my son was in year 9, he gave similar argument. He was in a boarding school in Dehradun and we lived overseas. I get a feeling that we too missed him being away. We agreed and he (and also our daughter) joined us. My son left the boarding in the beginning of year 10. Now the way I look at is that it was emotionally very satisfying or all of us. However there were challenges: he took some time to settle into a new school and possibly didn’t make as close friendships too. Our daughter took even longer. In the hindsight, I am not too sure if it was the best decision. However, emotionally it was required at that time for all of us at that time. It is true that once the school is over, we hardly get time together as the kids move on and have to be away for their education, almost always. My son too is away now. I also get a feeling that we need to make the children desiring such movement to be aware that it might not be easy to fit into the new school and develop friendships quickly at that level of schooling. Also as a family you can choose to spend as much time as possible with your daughter even when she is at the boarding. Whatever decision is taken, make her a party to that and not push a decision on to her. Sometimes there is a reason behind every such expression and some of the reasons may not be obvious.

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      1. Thank you so much sir. Exactly my concerns that she might not be able to adjust to the new school as there would be a sea change in terms of environment and more importantly her peer group.
        There has been a remarkable change in her social skills and problem solving skills in the two years she spent at RV. As a parent I find it easy to convince her on some issues as she has begun to see my viewpoint. I am afraid all the positive change and maturity that I see in her might be reversed if she comes back home. Don’t you think so? Waiting eagerly for your opinion.

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          1. Thank you for your valuable thoughts. May be I should talk to her once more. Do you take up counselling formally?

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            1. I don’t counsel formally and nor am I trained as a counsellor. My blogs are from my personal experience only and my training is more with guiding students with education overseas.

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            2. Sir

              Finally brought my daughter back from Rishi Valley after a two year stint . It was a tough decision to make. Hope we made a right one

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  108. Sirisha…Me and my wife have been contemplating sending our Son to Rishi / Hostel only for 2 years exactly for this reason…we want him to get exposed to outside world and get emotionally stronger but we want him back in 9th so that focus / support for 9th/10th can be given – and more importantly family values / emotional support and strength can be provided too…i find it holistic

    I do understand that schooling may be mediocre in a lot of B Towns like yours and mine….but Values that we can impart @ home are also critical & so is the Family Bond Created (which remains for life long) …so i guess your daughter has a point and its good that she wants to come back home…i have couple of friends whose daughters dont want to come back (compromise on education/exposure & schooling)

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    1. You have a point there Bharat Ji. The value education that only parents can impart is an important aspect. But the mediocrity of the schools here sometimes kills the interest and creativity of the child. I have been a victim of that. Moreover, we as parents are forced into the rat race for marks how much ever we dislike that!

      Like

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