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67%
3.67 

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Verified Member MouthShut Verified Member  
Bangalore India
Recommended Boarding School
Dec 30, 2017 12:27 AM 5918 Views
(Updated Nov 25, 2018 01:32 AM)

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I studied in this institution in the period 1994-2000. My parents wanted me to study at a boarding school to have exposure to all round development so that I may have better chances to understand or get a whiff of all my strengths and open out more. Ultimately, when I got admission to this institution, it just felt right and I decided to get admitted. Here is what I have to say about my experiences there.


ABOUT THE SCHOOL - HISTORY, STRUCTURE & BASIC DETAILS


Back in 1994, Mayo was regarded as one of the 4-5 best boarding schools in India along with St. Lawrence, Sanawar, Doon School, Dehradun and 1 or 2 others.


It was originally built for royalty of princely states to parallel Eton in England in terms of education. It was found in 1875 by the then viceroy of India and the 6th Earl of Mayo county in Ireland. It is in the present day, a boarding school for aspiring Indian residents. It is widely believed that the campus stretches over 300 acres. I studied in the Boys' school which is affiliated with C.B.S.E. board. The adjacent Girls' School is supposed to be affiliated with I.C.S.E / I.S.C. board. Perhaps with the Girls' School, the overall campus size comes to more. The boarding houses are named on whatever lines is applicable, relevant to some place or some famous celebrity in Indian history. Different history is associated with each house.


The school was formerly divided into Junior School, 7th Grade, Middle School and Senior School, i.e. Grades 4, 5, 6 (Junior School), Grade 7 (Standalone), Grades 8, 9, 10 (Middle School) and Grades 11, 12 (Senior School). But in my last couple of years there, it was reorganized by combining Middle School and Senior School. Different boarding houses are associated with the different schools mentioned. The different schools mentioned have different administration in place, with the senior school administration sort of being the master administration. I joined in 5th standard and studied till 10th grade. There was an eating mess / cafeteria associated with each school mentioned.


The school uniform was white shirts with grey shorts / trousers, a tie and a blazer if applicable with some special attire on special occasions. The kit for sports activities also varied. The school motto was quite encouraging which said, "Let there be light!" and the mascot was a "Peacock". The school publication was "Mayoor". It wasn't really a Christian school and we celebrated several Indian festivals throughout the year. But at the same time, we observed certain things which perhaps convent schools would indulge in, owing to the old traditions and the association with the founder, Lord Mayo since the days of pre-independence. It was an English medium school. Students of this institution refer to themselves as Mayoites.


NOTABLE THINGS ABOUT MY SCHOOLING EXPERIENCE


1) CAMPUS: I don't think any student studying here can complain about the campus or the campus facilities. There are multiple playing grounds or courts for almost every sport you can name with good equipment for those interested. Even swimming pools and a gymnasium. There was a temple within the campus, a hospital, a vast library and provision of a dhobi and other basic daily needs for students. Because of the huge distances, we had to walk a lot to get from one place to another. I suppose there is something both positive and negative in that.


It was also like a mini-sanctuary with trees full of parrots, monkeys, snakes, peacocks, turtles and sometimes camels. I being an animal lover, this was an initial draw. I recall teaching a turtle to swim backstroke once. There were several archaic, yet attractive buildings dating back many years, giving it a haunted or historic look at times. The boarding houses were headed by a house master / mistress with one or more assistants.


The campus when viewed from inside, was surrounded by several hills - "Madar Hill", "The Sleeping Giant" and maybe several others. Not surprising considering it's located to the east of the Aravalli mountain range.


All this was in addition to the day school facilities which is typical of any school.


2) CURRICULUM: The curriculum cannot be called rigorous from what I can remember. When it was school time though, the classes were followed with a certain amount of seriousness and at the same time did not feel like monotonous studies most of the times. It is affiliated to C.B.S.E. board but all teachers strictly did not adhere to only that and deviated whenever they felt it necessary. It was interactive when it needed to be and wasn't when it didn't.


Majority of the teachers did allow one leeway to work at one's own pace and for the most part, one's own style and strength too. It was the type of atmosphere where teachers did their part and how well a student did subsequently mostly depended on their will and extent of self-study. This suited my proclivity quite well.


3) FACULTY: There were a wide variety of teachers for many subjects. Some of them taught multiple subjects, if they could. Some of them even played a part in physical training and other outdoor activities or some multiple role as assistant house master / mistress. It was a system which was working well for them. They were also from various parts of the country. I think they did their jobs well overall.


4) STUDENTS: The school typically attracted students from various parts of the country. This was a good thing as compared to a day school, as one got to live, interact and do stuff together with people from different parts. So, one's outlook towards life evolves as a result as compared to spending your whole life in one state. One becomes a more competent human being because one has grown up with humans from different parts.


5) STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO: This was reportedly 10:1 according to some sources. I doubt the number, but surely it was much better than a regular day school setup.


In any case, If a student is eager to learn more or pursue something deeply, they were quite supportive in and out of the class and encouraged further studies and investigations if one's interest supported the same.


6) EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: There were a plethora of things one could pursue here based on individual interest. In addition to studies, one had the provision of pursuing sports like swimming, basketball, cross country, hockey, soccer, cricket, squash, tennis, table tennis, boxing, gymnastics and athletics.


Even other than that, one could pursue horse riding, trekking, debating, elocution, singing and indulge in offbeat things like polo, meteorology department, NCC, scouting and so on.


In earlier classes, there was a choice of mandatory sports activities and other extra-curricular activities one had to pursue along with their studies. So, one had the option of dabbling with several things and then, if found suitable could pursue it deeper.


I did pursue somethings seriously at first like swimming and even competed at district level. I also excelled briefly at elocution, singing and some other things. But eventually I opted out of most, owing to medical reasons and also because I opted to give academics priority. But because I participated in most interhouse sports competitions on various occasions and owing to my analytical nature, I have a pretty good practical idea about several sports.


7) INFRASTRUCTURE: The boarding houses had dormitories (or rooms for senior students) with changing rooms and wash / restrooms. There were acceptable classroom facilities, albeit old. Most of the main buildings had really thick walls and despite lacking fans, provided an automatic cooling effect even in the arid weather of Rajasthan.


The facilities have already been briefly touched upon, in the "CAMPUS" section. There were ample classrooms, playing grounds, hospitals and pretty much anything one could desire while leading a regular life while growing up outside of a big city life.


8) CO-EDUCATION: This was one aspect where it could definitely improve. There was an adjacent girl's school which came into being in the late 20th century. They were supposed to be our sister school, but only in name. I think we sometimes visited their yearly events and they visited some of ours. Other than that, there was no co-education involved.


9) WEATHER & LOCATION: It was located in the city of Ajmer, which is located east of the Aravalli hills in Rajasthan. That in turn, also allowed for some good precipitation, in addition to extremes of weather. One could have close to 0 degrees Celcius in Winters, close to 50 degrees Celcius in Summers and during the period I studied there, we also recorded some of the heaviest rainfall in the city.


Ajmer is famous for its Dargah, known for fulfilling one's wishes. A lot of celebrities visit it for the same. While I was there, the Pakistani cricket team once visited it as well. Pushkar, a town lies in close proximity to the college. It is also famous for the only Brahma temple in the world. It is a fascinating place with temples galore and hordes of monkeys. I always enjoyed going there.


10) CAMPUS FOOD: The mess / cafeteria food was pretty good for school food with reasonable variety with breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner and each school within the campus had a separate mess.


11) SENIOR-JUNIOR STUDENT CONFLICTS: This was one aspect where newcomers really suffered at times owing to their misfortune or lower mental tolerance levels. The ragging aspect used to be pretty bad at the beginning, but I think the merging of middle school and senior school was partly done during my later years to mitigate this possibility. I think it worked to some extent as the familiarity between various student levels got cultivated from an early stage.


I was in general pretty good at evading all this, along with events I didn't like and on the rare occasions I was a participant, I think my harder tolerance levels mostly pulled me out of these situations with flying colors.


12) VACATION & HOLIDAYS: There was a bi-yearly summer and winter vacation when the school itself arranged for different parties to allow students belonging to different locations to reach their homes. A few chose to go home themselves.


There were a lot of impromptu holidays on days of heavy rainfall / sandstorms / hail storms and the usual national holidays as well. I had a weird experience when one day I woke up from bed to see a sandstorm brewing and school was cancelled. The very next day, school was cancelled because of a serious hailstorm. What are the odds? :D


We also had a mid-term break where each boarding house arranged for a trip to some other place in the country or in Rajasthan. It was different for different groups and on account of this, I did visit some places in India pretty early. We also sometimes had weekend boarding house parties where we enjoyed fully without inhibition.


13) SCOPE OF FUN / STRAYING AWAY: Since these were school days at a boarding school, there were a lot of rules involved. But rules do attract some who break them and during childhood days, one is more prone to doing so. One common rule that was broken was that one wasn't supposed to exit the school premises. Yet several did, from time to time. A lot exited the premises and did a lot of other things. We also indulged in several pranks within the premises.


Childhood days are also the time for discovery. People pick up several addictions / bad habits at that stage as a result. I witnessed several indulge in several things but was lucky and strong enough not to pick up any bad ones for myself. I suppose that's one potential disadvantage of children at young ages, staying away from parents at a boarding school. Some turn this into an advantage. Others indulge in things which ultimately turn into a disadvantage. Depends on an individual's circumstances.


14) OTHER NOTABLE OCCASIONS / PROCESSES: We celebrated most of the hindu festivals seriously sometimes even dressing for the occasion and sang the national anthem on select occasions. We also had to go to the temple to sing shlokas as a weekly ritual on some days. At the same time, we also said the lord's prayer before any meal and indulged in some things maybe convent school students would do.


There were a lot of ghost stories during my 6 years there doing the rounds, on account of it being such a huge and old campus. I lost fear of several things there itself. :)


We also had a morning assembly of all staff and students to kick off proceedings. There was an annual prize distribution ceremony where the students who excelled most in various categories were duly felicitated.


15) TECHNOLOGICAL ACCESS: I am not sure how the school has evolved with the advent of internet and other technological means. During the period I studied, it was not a factor. But since then, there have been several technological advances and it is important for any educational institution to keep up with that. I hope Mayo has, too.


All in all, the place provided any student from any background ample opportunities to grow as a human being and shine wherever applicable. I am lucky to have had the opportunity. Thereon, it depends on who takes it in which way. Overall, I would rate it 4.5 / 5 for the period I studied there.


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