Macademia Soft Corner, White Leaf, Neo Art Vaish, Panacea National, Happy Harvest, Divine Happy, Commerical, Astro Play House.
Wondering what these are? I am certain that you wouldn’t have the faintest idea. So I will be nice enough to enlighten you. Just add ‘High School’ or ‘Public School’ after the names and viola! You have the names of schools in the Capital!
I found them while browsing the net one afternoon. Actually it was not a random search but a deliberate one, after one of our friends told me that his son was going to a school called I Discover I and that it was very good. No it is not a spiritual school where one goes to find one’s inner self or some such lofty stuff. It is a play school. In this day and age when children and adults alike are becoming so self-centred, one wonders what effect such names will have on young minds. Of course the names are given to lure and sometimes dazzle parents.
Come to think of it, what do parents look for when they want to admit their children to a good school? Is it a catchy name or the quality of education that a school provides? That had set me off on a quest of school names that were…well…different, shall we say? After all, I am a connoisseur (if I can be called that) of anything unusual.
Here I am reminded of the nursery school which my nephew attended in Mumbai in the late 70s. It was called Doctor’s Academy and was run by a retired Army doctor. The uniform consisted of mini replicas of army fatigues and the kids had to give a military salute to the Doctor when they entered the school and had to be punctual and well groomed. Fortunately, the curriculum was very relaxed and easy on them and they had a good teacher.
Frankly, I think those who set up schools should give some thought to what they want to call their institutions instead of settling for the first name that strikes their fancy or they think sounds good. Some are so different that I wonder how the kids studying in, say Macademia Soft Corner would feel (incidentally, there is no suffix of School or Public School to the name). If it means the macadamia nut, would the children know it? And what is soft about macadamia? Frankly it sounds like the name of some skincare product than a school name to me. The spelling is changed – perhaps to make it sound like ‘Academia’, maybe?
And Panacea National School? What kind of name for a school is that one? And White Leaf? It sounds like some blight affected thing sans chlorophyll. Some names are very apt though. The Commercial Sr.Secondary School, for instance. With schools becoming nothing short of commercial propositions, it is a very honest name, don’t you think? What would Rich Harvest School call it when they have a 100% passes in the Boards – Bumper Harvest, perhaps?
And then there are the ‘convent’ schools, regardless of who owns and runs them. There are so many of them around that I got serious doubts about my understanding of the word and looked it up in the Oxford online dictionary. According to it, the word convent means:
— a Christian community of nuns living together under monastic vows.
— (also convent school)a school attached to and run by a convent.
— the building or buildings occupied by a convent.
Now take a look at these names: M N Convent Sec School, Kapila’s Convent, Saviour Convent, Neo Convent (!!?), Kataria Convent, City Convent, Indraprastha Convent, Lancers’ Convent, Holy Convent, Delhi Convent, A.J.Convent….I think none of the schools mentioned are run by Christian missionaries. If I am wrong, please correct me.
I asked a staff of one of these ‘convents’ about the name and she looked dumbstruck — at my ignorance of course.
‘Convent ka matlab badhia school hota hai na?’ (Convent means a good school, doesn’t it?)
The best part was that she had no doubts about it at all, only about my level of intelligence!
The same thing goes for the prefix St. There is a St. Angel’s which is doubly blessed since it has a saint as an angel. Will you believe me if I say there is a St. Girls High School? If an angel can be a saint, why not girls? In fact they have every right to be sainted in a country like India. There is a St. Prayag Public School too. The prefix is obviously to lure parents into believing that they are run by the Church and so boast of a certain standard of education. I used to wonder about the name St.Soldier Public School, till I realised that Sikh saints were also soldiers and so that makes sense.
I genuinely don’t understand why the spellings of words are distorted. It might be fashionable and the ‘in thing’ to misspell a word as in koffee or donuts, especially in an ad, but carrying that to school names is stretching things a little too far, don’t you think? This probably is done to avoid copyright issues, but at a time when youngsters don’t know actual spellings thanks to the sms language that is in vogue, this can pose serious language issues later in life. There is a play school called Your Kids “R” Our Kids, complete with the double quotes for the letter R. What are these schools trying to prove? That they are ‘with it’ or that they don’t care about what they call their schools as long as it sounds attractive enough to lure the parents?
And guess what? There is a Harward Academy in Delhi! Now one doesn’t have to go abroad to become a Harvard scholar but can get a certificate right here in Delhi! And who is going to look at the spelling of your school name, that is if they know the right spelling at all?
Much like in branding of merchandise, one can also see a lot of ‘sound alike’ names in schools. There is a Spring Days School, a Holy Convent and so on. With so many schools coming up every year, perhaps the founders are running out of ideas and names. Narcissism could prove the solution, with the founders naming their schools after themselves.
I couldn’t help wondering how the students of these schools would feel as adults while remembering their alma mater – proud or embarrassed?
Whatever it might be, I have some doubts regarding some school names I came across. Can anyone help me find the answers?
- We have all heard of Tiny Tots, but Junior Tiny Tots? There are several schools named that in Delhi. Do babies in diapers go to these schools!
- And please! This one is urgent. Will someone enlighten me about the name Shemrock? This is a well known school with many branches. Why, oh why, is the name spelt so? I googled for an hour trying to find out if there is indeed a shemrock that I have not heard of, but got zilch for my efforts. Was it a deliberate distortion of Shamrock or did someone misspell the word and it stuck?
- Do the teachers teach a child how to plan a career in Career Public School?
- Do kids learn how to become an astronaut in Astro Play house or maybe they play with space toys?
- Is the word Modal a surname or is it a case of misspelling of the word Model, in Shiv Modal School?
I am sure there are similar school names in other cities too. How about sharing them?
Disclaimer: This post is just about school names and does not in any way denigrate the educational or other credentials of the schools mentioned.
Image courtesy: fabulouslybroke.com