City Montessori School

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City Montessori School
TypeRegistered Not-for-Profit Non-Governmental Society
MottoJai Jagat
(Victory to the World)
FounderJagdish Gandhi
Bharti Gandhi
EnrollmentNearly 52,000[1]
AffiliationCouncil for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE)

City Montessori School (CMS) is a co-educational English medium private school that offers education from Pre-school up to K-12 (Grade 12) level in Lucknow, India. The school was founded in 1959 by Dr Bharti Gandhi and Dr Jagdish Gandhi. It held the 2010-11 Guinness Book of World Records for the largest school.[2] In 2015, the school's enrollment was reported to be 52,000.[1] CMS is affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations.

In 2014 CMS society was accredited with the United Nations Department of Public Information as affiliated NGO.[3]


The husband and wife duo of Jagdish Gandhi and Bharti Gandhi founded the City Montessori School with just 5 students and a borrowed capital of just Rs 300 or US$5 (approx) in rented premises in 1959. Currently CMS has 20[4] separate branch campuses spread across the city. In 2002 CMS was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education.[5] The school has also received the 'Hope of Humanity' Award from spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.[6]


The campuses of the school are spread all over the city of Lucknow. The campuses include:[7][not in citation given]

  • Station Road Campus
  • Gomti Nagar Campus I
  • Gomti Nagar Campus II
  • Mahanagar Campus I
  • Mahanagar Campus II
  • Mahanagr Campus III
  • Aliganj Campus I
  • Aliganj Campus II
  • Rajendra Nagar Campus I
  • Rajendra Nagar Campus II
  • Rajendra Nagar Campus III
  • Rajajipuram Campus I
  • Rajajipuram Campus II* Station Road Campus
  • RDSO Campus
  • Kanpur Road Campus
  • Asharfabad Campus
  • Jopling Road Campus
  • Anand Nagar Campus
  • Chowk Campus
  • Indira Nagar Campus

In the news[edit]

In 2015, CMS refused admission to 31 students of economically weaker section of the society under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act on the grounds that they were ineligible according to the state's own RTE rules. The school's rationale for not admitting the children were that either they were below 6 years of age (definition of child as per RTE act is a person aged between 6–14 years) or they resided beyond 1 km radius of CMS or they had other private schools nearer to their residence than CMS.[8] Ramon Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey sat on a hunger strike against CMS and other private school's refusal to admit children of economically weaker backgrounds. A meeting was arranged between the city administration, Sandeep Pandey and the school management but the issue remain unsolved reportedly due to either side's refusal to budge from their stand. CMS challenged the DM's order in the Allahabad High Court.[9] Following an interim order by the Supreme Court on school's appeal, CMS admitted 13 children who were found eligible by the apex court.[1][10]

The activities of the school have made impact during testing times, like in 1992, when the Babri Masjid was demolished and religious riots had cost hundreds of lives.[11] The school also initiated an Indo-Pak children's pen friend's project to promote friendship between children of India and Pakistan.[12][13]

Following the beheading of Indian army soldier, Lance Naik Hemraj by the Pakistani forces in 2013,[14] and Indian Army responding aggressively to the incident in 2014,[15] tensions were once again high between India & Pakistan. So a Pakistani school's participation in a Cricket tournament conducted by CMS was cancelled.[16]

For the session 2017–18, school management increased the children's fees by 12%.[17] In 2013, it increased its fees for all classes by 10% and for Nursery and Kindergarten classes by up to 16% in comparison to previous year's fee.[18] The school's reputation was challenged when one of its teachers was blamed for slapping a child hard.[19] Reportedly, a student of class 10 at the school's Mahanagar branch committed suicide in 2011, after his principal Nalini Sharad, allegedly, threatened to shame him before the whole school. After the student's suicide, upon his parents insistence, the court took cognizance, rejecting the police enquiry and ordered in 2013 that a case should be registered against Sharad. Nalini Sharad was relieved of her services as Principal of CMS in 2013 when she retired. The matter is sub-judice since then.[20]

The school uniform, including socks and belt were changed by the school management after 33 years. On receiving complaints by guardians who reported that the uniform was being sold at higher prices than the fixed price, the school established a helpline for parents to check the prices.[21]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Overdorf, Jason (16 December 2015). "52,000 students and 1,050 classrooms: inside the world's largest school". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Largest school by pupils". Guinness World Records. 9 August 2010. Retrieved 20 Nov 2015.
  3. ^ "United Nations Department of Public Information Increases Global Network of Associated Non-Governmental Organizations, Approving 15 More Groups" (Press release). United Nations Department of Public Information. 10 June 2014. NGO/796-PI/2100PRESS RELEASE. Retrieved 20 Nov 2015.
  4. ^ School, City Montessori. "City Montessori School".
  5. ^ "The City Montessori School (India) awarded the 2002 UNESCO prize for Peace Education" (Press release). UNCESCO. 6 June 2002. Retrieved 20 Nov 2015.
  6. ^ Education, Independent (13 November 2015). "The biggest school in the world". Independent Education. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Contact info for campuses". City Montessori School. 2015. Retrieved 20 Nov 2015.
  8. ^ "RTE dispute: HC orders inspection of school". The Times of India. The Times Group. Times News Network. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  9. ^ Shahira, Naim (16 July 2015). "UP stumbles on the Right to Education front". The Tribune. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  10. ^ Times News Network (30 September 2015). "CMS admits 13 poor kids on SC directive". The Times of India. Lucknow: The Times Group. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  11. ^ Dylan Mathews. "War Prevention Works" (PDF). Oxford Research Group. pp. 24–25. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  12. ^ Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty. "Pals we are!". The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  13. ^ Mohit Dubey (9 November 2012). "Kids blame media for portraying India and Pakistan as enemies" (45). The Weekend Leader. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  14. ^ DANIEL MILLER (14 January 2013). "Give me back my husband's head': Widow of Indian soldier killed in Kashmir border clash in plea to Pakistani forces who decapitated him". Mail Online UK. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  15. ^ Ritesh K Srivastava (31 July 2014). "Army gave befitting reply to Pakistan on beheading of soldiers: Gen Bikram Singh". Zee News. Zee News. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  16. ^ Press Trust of India (8 December 2014). "Pakistan school excluded from International School Cricket Premier League". Cricket Country. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  17. ^ "बी.टेक, एमबीए से महंगी नर्सरी की पढ़ाई" [Pre-school education costlier than B.Tech, MBA Courses]. Hindustan (newspaper) (in Hindi) (Lucknow Live). Lucknow: HT Media. 27 March 2017.
  18. ^ Jain, Isha (2 April 2013). "New academic session, new fee structure". The Times of India. Lucknow: The Times Group. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  19. ^ Times News Network (25 August 2014). "CMS student receives 'deafening' slap from teacher". The Times of India. Lucknow: The Times Group. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  20. ^ Times News Network (25 July 2013). "Ex-principal to face trial for student's suicide, says court". The Times of India. Lucknow: The Times Group. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  21. ^ "अभिभवकों ने यूनिफाॅर्म खरीद ली तब भेजा नोटिस". Amar Ujala (Newspaper). Amar Ujala Publications. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°47′23″N 80°53′39″E / 26.7896°N 80.8942°E / 26.7896; 80.8942