Kendriya Vidyalayas – My Experience Across Five Cities
Kendriya Vidyalayas or Central schools are a part of the largest network of CBSE schools in India and abroad. They are a system of government schools which came into being in 1963. The whole idea behind establishing this framework of schools was to provide interruption free education to the wards of government officials who are transferred frequently.
There are various state boards in India and the curriculum varies in them. Hence it will be very inconvenient for a student to change the curriculum in the middle of the year if his/her parent is transferred to another state in the middle of the academic year.
There are various languages spoken in India and the state boards follow those languages in their education system. Hence it is practically impossible for a student to have Hindi as his/her second language in class 2 and Kannada as his/her second language in class 4, for example.
KV NAD Karanja, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
My father was a civil engineer and was working with National Building construction corporation Ltd. In 1982 he was transferred to Mumbai as he was deployed to be a part of the jetty construction on the Arabian Sea. Since I was old enough to start primary school, my father along with the children of his colleagues went to speak with the principal.
Since I had to start with class 1, I had to undergo a simple admission test which I passed with flying colours and my journey in a primary school started. Every morning all the children of my dad’s company (we used to live in the company provided quarters in the same area) used to board a company provided matador (those days there were no school buses) and go to school. I stood first in class I and II and participated in story-telling, recitation, solo song, painting and essay writing competitions. I was a good student and won several prizes in those co-curricular activities and participated in the annual functions too. All my teachers adored me and appointed me the class monitor every year.
KV Salt Lake, Number 1, Kolkata
My father got posted to Iraq to build railway lines there in 1984 and my mom and I shifted to Kolkata where we had a flat in Salt Lake, Karunamoyee. My mother did not want to go to Iraq with my father because the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya was 500 KMs from the posting place of my father. Hence the school going children could not attend regular classes and did home study. They only appeared for the half-yearly and annual exams and got promoted to the next class. My mom did not want me to stay at home and lose in touch with the regular habit of going to school. Hence she chose to stay in India while my dad went to Iraq to complete his assignment.
My days in KV Salt Lake were full of fun and frolic. Here I faced tougher competition than KV NAD Karanja and I did not stand first in the class. In class III I stood third, in class IV fifth and in class V second. I participated in various co-curricular activities and sports like solo song, group song, elocution, story-telling, calligraphy, memory race and won prizes in most of them. I participated in a play ‘’Pied piper of Hamlin’’ during the annual day function when I was in class III. I was a very popular student and class monitor in all the three years.
KV Number 2, Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh
My dad came back to India in 1987 and was posted to Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh. I had already completed my primary classes and joined this school in class VI. Here the competition was lesser than my previous school, and the environment was very friendly. I still have some friends from this school with whom I am in touch with. I continued with my academic excellence and enrolled for private music classes too. I learnt Hindustani Classical in the evenings and acquired a junior diploma in that.
I continued participating in various co-curricular activities in the school and within a few months of joining the school, I was elected as the class monitor. I participated in the annual day functions and as always was a part of the team to welcome the chief guest.
KV NOIDA, Sector 23, Uttar Pradesh
In 1989 my dad got posted to Delhi and they chose to stay in NOIDA as this KV had a good reputation. However the school was run in tents and the approval was given for the construction of the school building. However till the building was ready, we had to attend the classes in the tents. The students were very hardworking in this K.V and I had faced a tough competition here.
It was amusing to study in a school which was held in tents. In the summer months it was quite hot as there were no fans. Often there were winds (known as loo in the Northern part of India) and our classes were disrupted. And then when there were rains, the water used to enter our tents and the winter months were the worst. The cold winds froze us when we attended our classes and often our teachers took us in sunny areas and we had open air classes.
Even here I was chosen as a class monitor in class VIII and IX both and I did well in studies too. I played the role of Swami’s grandmother in a play from Malgudi Days, a famous series from R.K Lakshman’s stories and Swami and I studied in the same class. I even attended Mathematics Olympiad and only two students cleared it among 100+ students who had appeared for the exam and I was one of them. I secured 70% marks.
KV Salt Lake, Number 1, Kolkata
My father got posted to a project in Kolkata in 1991 and I studied in the same school where I had done my class III, IV and V. However a lot of things had changed as many students had moved to other KVS when their fathers were transferred and many new students had joined. I was the class monitor of my section when I was in class X and I was elected as a prefect in class XI and XII.
We experienced board exams in class X and I scored fairly well and took up the science stream. Since I wanted to become an architect, I chose Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as my subjects along with English and Hindi as language subjects. I started taking extra tuition classes in order to clear the entrance exams for engineering colleges.
In Class XII, my friend Sagarika and I created a Chemistry project on Blast Furnace which was selected to be represented in the regional KV Meet to be held in KV, Karagpur. So in August 1992, 3 other students and I went to represent our school in various categories and my project was selected to be represented in the national meet to be held in KV Malleswaram, Bangalore.
Three other students from other KVs of West Bengal and I along with our physics teacher Sadhu Ma’am went to attend the meet. We got an opportunity to interact with the students of other KVs from all across India and I still have a good friendship with a few of them.
Along with the science exhibitions, I participated in various debate competitions, elocutions, creative writing competitions and won several prizes. When we were in Class XI, we organised the farewell for the final year students and when we were in Class XII, we received a grand farewell from our juniors. Being a prefect, I had an additional responsibility always towards organising various competitions, annual day functions and other programs.
Our basic learning about organisational skills, leadership, delegation and project management started from our school days. I am thankful that I got an opportunity to study in so many schools in India and learn about the culture of those states. It transformed me into an individual who can mingle with others easily. This came handy during my professional career too. The culture of KVs always teaches you to ask questions, follow your dreams and adapt yourself to the environment- some of the life skills which have always come handy when I grew into an adult and stepped into the professional world.