The Scindia School marks 125 years keeping up with mental well-being, community development initiatives

As the Scindia School in Gwalior celebrates its 125th anniversary in October this year, it takes firm steps to strike a balance between centuries-old legacy, and rich cultural heritage with a slice of modernisation. Nestled in the historic Gwalior fort built in 1897 by Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia as the Sardar School, it now offers a glimpse of history combined with spiritual upliftment.
Students at the school have been indulging in ‘Astachal’, which the institution has been practising for over 90 years now. It is an old exercise that helps the students strengthen their minds and increase focus. Ajay Singh, principal of The Scindia School told the Education Times, “Students’ mental health was acknowledged by the school in 1930. During Astachal all the students assemble at the amphitheater during sunset for five minutes of prayer or to enjoy soothing music. Students are also encouraged to read Indian scriptures, spiritual audio and religious manuscripts to calm their mind.” Most students cherish the experience of ‘Astachal’ which remains etched in the consciousness even after they pass out of the school. Old students confirm that the habit formed during their stay here helped them shape their personalities and strengthen their minds better, adds Singh.
Creating mindfulness
The school is focussing on restricting its curriculum according to the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and National Curriculum Framework (NCF), which aims at offering practical training to the students and also addressing their mental well-being. Mindfulness and learning from real-life experiences help more than textbooks, so the students are involved in activities including tree plantation, rainwater harvesting and teaching the underprivileged students. “We aim at developing a nature-integrated learning experience for the students, wherein they participate in various activities that make them responsible citizens and learn to give back to society. Students are working on setting up a solar plant within the campus, with 315KW capacity for the entire city” says Singh.
Pacing up with technology
In sync with NEP 2020, the school is focussing on introducing technology-rich classrooms, conceptual clarity, language learning, exposure to the industry and more such learning advancements for the school students. “The major change is the integration of technology aligning with NEP-2020, for which we are training the teachers. Making students learn without books and providing structural material is on the list too,” says Smita Chaturvedi, vice-principal.
Providing social skills
Apart from academic abilities, the school has to take the initiative to help students develop social values. “To inculcate social skills, students are involved in the social work activities that are extended by the school’s social work society. Under this students helped two villages: Sonsa and Nathukapura, to get transformed. We prepare citizens who are global yet deeply Indian,” says Chaturvedi.

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