|Spread over two acres in Pune’s (pop. 3.9 million) budding industrial and IT hub, Hadapsar, VIBGYOR High, NIBM Road (estb. 2006) is a co-ed day school affiliated with the Delhi-based Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), and Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), UK. The K-12 school, which admitted its first batch of 269 students in 2006, has rapidly evolved into one of the city’s top-ranked primary-secondaries offering rigorous academic and extra-curricular education. In the latest EducationWorld India School Rankings 2014, Vibgyor High, NIBM is ranked #6 in Pune and among the Top 50 co-ed day schools in Maharashtra. Currently, the school has an enrolment of 2,465 — including 1,045 girl — students mentored by 275 teachers, 37 auxillary and 150 support staff.
Vibgyor, NIBM is a constituent institution of the eponymous chain of 21 schools promoted in seven cities (Mumbai, Kolhapur, Pune, Lucknow, Surat, Vadodara and Bengaluru) with an aggregate headcount of 25,000 students and 4,000 teachers. The Vibgyor schools are promoted by newgen edupreneur Rustom P. Kerawalla, an engineering graduate of the Manipal Institute of Technology who switched to education after a career spanning 15 years in Indian industry, including successful entrepreneurial ventures in the hospitality and financial services sectors.
Kerawalla established the first Vibgyor school in Goregaon, Mumbai in 2004, and Vibgyor, NIBM two years later. Since then, Pune — Maharashtra’s fast developing industrial hub whose population has doubled during the past decade — has become the epicentre of the Vibgyor group. A second school was inaugurated in 2011 in Balewadi (ranked #9 in Pune) and another in Magarpatta last year.
The school’s distinguishing features are its world-class infrastructure, an integrated curriculum, wide range of co-curricular and sports activities and highly-qualified teachers. “Our objective is to provide a stimulating learning environment which develops the intellectual, artistic and kinaesthetic — sports — intelligences of our students. To this end, we offer well-designed curriculums with a focus on experiential learning, a 1:10 teacher-pupil ratio and high-quality co-curricular and sports education programmes. The outcome is that our students excel in board exams, science Olympiads, Spelling Bee, sports and cultural competitions at the state and national levels,” says Chaitanya Chilamkuri, an alumnus of Nagarjuna University, Andhra Pradesh who served with GEMS (India and Dubai) and MIT Vishwashanti Gurukul schools before being appointed principal in February.
Given the school management’s comprehensive approach to education and hands-on learning, it’s unsurprising that students have been performing consistently well in board examinations. In 2015, 30 of the 69 students who wrote CISCE’s class X exam averaged 90 percent plus while five of the 19 students who wrote CIE’s class XII (‘A-level’) exam passed with ‘A’ grades. Moreover, in 2013 the school was conferred the British Council’s International School Award for “outstanding development of international learning in the curriculum”.
A stroll around the compact and well-planned campus indicates that the Vibgyor management has invested liberally in contemporary academic, co-curricular and sports facilities. The campus is dominated by its distinctive white and yellow five-storeyed main academic block, with 109 spacious air-conditioned classrooms with audio-visual equipment providing easy access to computer and science laboratories, canteen, visual art studio, dance and music rooms, and gymnasium. The junior and senior libraries together house over 10,000 volumes and offer easy internet access.
Sports facilities extend to outdoor games such as cricket, football, handball, basketball, and swimming while an indoor games room offers judo, gymnastics and a yoga hall. Day care is offered for kindergarteners/primary schoolers who can play-learn in a toys room equipped with 500 visual learning aids and outdoor sand pit. A fleet of 44 buses equipped with GPS tracking devices ferry children to and from school, and electromagnetic student identity cards ensure school personnel/parents can track and monitor their children.
Co-curricular and life skills education receive top attention with dance, drama, music, community service, literary and nature clubs featuring prominently in the school’s academic calendar. Engagement with the performing arts and sports activities is compulsory for all students. This is supplemented with enrichment programmes, domestic education tours, and community service such as visits to orphanages, villages and government schools. “Our performing arts and sports curriculums are integrated with in-classroom learning to nurture the multiple intelligences of students and provide them international exposure to develop their cultural sensitivities. For instance, every year in June we organise the Vibgyor High Model United Nations attended by student delegates from across the country, for exposure to global social, political and economic issues,” says Chilamkuri.
With this co-ed day school having quickly established a sound reputation in Maharashtra and beyond, the management has chalked out plans to enhance student opportunities for international exchanges. “We will shortly sign student exchange programmes with schools in Europe under the EUMIND (Europe meets India) programme to provide global exposure and enable our students to interact and learn from their peers abroad,” adds Chilamkuri.