City Montessori School

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City Montessori School
सिटी मॉन्टेसरी स्कूल, लखनऊ
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh,
Type Registered Not-for-Profit Non-Governmental Society
Motto Hindi: जय जगत
(Victory to the World)
Founded 1959
Founder Jagdish Gandhi
Bharti Gandhi
Enrollment Nearly 52,000[1]
Affiliation Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE)

City Montessori School (CMS) (Hindi: सिटी मॉन्टेसरी स्कूल, लखनऊ) 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. The City Montessori School, Gomtinagar Campus has been ranked 1st by academic reputation nationally by the Education World magazine recently in its September 2015 edition[3] and has received numerous awards.[4] According to an independent analysis of ISC (Grade 12) results of 2015 carried out by the website, City Montessori School, Gomti Nagar Campus stood second among all the ISC schools in India by the parameter of average across Eng+best 3 subjects of all the appearing students.[5] On the same parameter, as declared by, the Aliganj and Mahanagar Campuses of City Montessori School stood 5th and 6th nationally.

In 2017, two CMS students secured All-India 2nd and 3rd Ranks in the country in the ISC Board Exams.[6][7] Another specially abled CMS student, who lost both his limbs and right leg in a bid to save five children playing on a railway track, secured 79.25% in the ISC exams. He was educated free of cost by the school from Montessori till class XII.[8]

Another alumna of CMS Aliganj Campus, secured All India Rank 51 in the Indian Civil Services in 2017.[9]

In 2014 CMS society was accredited with the United Nations Department of Public Information as affiliated NGO.[10]


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. The first words that the students wrote on their slate on the first day of the school were 'Jai Jagat' or 'Glory be to the World' which later became the motto of the school. Currently CMS has 19 separate branch campuses spread across the city. City Montessori School is well known for its comprehensive peace education curriculum which can be witnessed in all the school activities like All-Religion Prayer, World Peace Prayer, World Parliaments, Peace Marches etc.[11] In 2002 CMS was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education.[12] The CMS philosophy revolves around the "twin poles" of globalism and godliness, and the school's mission is to promote world unity and peace by shaping future generations as "world citizens" whose minds have the virtues of unity and peace impressed upon them from day one.

"A school must act as a lighthouse to society; providing direction, guidance and leadership to students, parents, and society and also concern itself with the affairs of the age" is one of the core beliefs of school.

City Montessori School organizes over 2 dozen international educational events in a calendar year.[13] Thousands of children from different countries of the world regularly participate in these international events.


Since the year 2000, City Montessori School has organized an annual international conference for chief justices of the world where chief justices and judges from the supreme courts of many nations of the world, world statesmen, interfaith leaders, experts from the fields of education, civil rights, and others, share perspectives and inspire governments, students, teachers, their parents and society to actively work for peace, not only in their community, city, province and country but also globally.[14][self-published source?] Personalities like the Hon’ble Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader have been guest speakers at these Conferences.[15][16][17]

His Excellency the Late Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India and an idol for millions of aspiring young minds has also visited the school.[18] CMS also organises an annual International Children's Film Festival.[19]


The campuses of the school are spread all over the city of Lucknow. The campuses include:[20]

  1. Station Road Campus
  2. Gomti Nagar Campus I
  3. Gomti Nagar Campus II
  4. Mahanagar Campus
  5. Aliganj Campus I
  6. Aliganj Campus II
  7. Rajendra Nagar Campus I
  8. Rajendra Nagar Campus II
  9. Rajendra Nagar Campus III
  10. Rajajipuram Campus I
  11. Rajajipuram Campus II
  12. RDSO Campus
  13. Kanpur Road Campus
  14. Asharfabad Campus
  15. Jopling Road Campus
  16. Anand Nagar Campus
  17. Chowk Campus
  18. 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.[21] 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 the school management's uncompromising attitude. CMS challenged the DM's order in the Allahabad High Court.[22] 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][23]

Religious Harmony, World Unity & Peace Education have remained an integral part of the school's agenda and is thoroughly engrained in every activity of the school.[24] The peace building activities of the school have had positive impact during testing times, especially in 1992, when the Babri Masjid was demolished and religious riots had cost hundreds of lives.[25] The school's initiative of starting an Indo-Pak children's pen friend's project in the aftermath of Kargil war, when tensions were running high on both sides of the border, was widely lauded.[26][27]

Following the beheading of Indian army soldier, Lance Naik Hemraj by the Pakistani forces in 2013,[28] and Indian army responding aggressively to the incident in 2014,[29] tensions were once again high between India & Pakistan. So a Pakistani school's participation in a Cricket tournament conducted by CMS was cancelled.[30] However, the project has been re-instated since then with schools in Pakistan recently responding to the CMS letters.[31][32]

Despite its massive size, the school fees is at least 25% less than some of the other elite schools of Lucknow.[1] For the session 2017–18, school management had to increase the fees by 12% in the wake of increased salaries of teachers and staff as per the Central Government's Seventh Pay Commission.[33] In 2013, it increased its fees for all classes by less than 10% and for Nursery and Kindergarten classes by upto 16% in comparison to previous year's fee.[34] The school's reputation was once again challenged when one of its teachers was blamed for slapping a child hard.[35] 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 on 2013 when she retired. The matter is sub-judice since then.[36]

The school uniform, including socks and belt were also 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.[37] On 11 April 2017, Lucknow district's DIOS, Umesh Kumar Tripathi issue notice to CMS, Chowk branch for conducting regular classes on a public holiday after receiving complaints from guardians.[38]



  1. ^ a b c d 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. August 9, 2010. Retrieved Nov 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ "EducationWorld Rankings, City Montessori School". Education World Portal. Sep 30, 2015. Retrieved Nov 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Awards & Recognitions". City Montessori School. 2014. Retrieved Nov 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Top CISCE(ICSE/ISC) Affiliated Schools based on ISC-2015 Results". March 2015. Retrieved Nov 20, 2015. 
  6. ^ Jain, Isha (May 29, 2017). "ISC 2017 results: Lucknow girl Ayushi secures all-India rank 2". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Srivastava, Richa. "ISC Class 12 result 2017: Second topper Ayushi Srivastava had to work hard on maths". Hindustan Times (May 29, 2017). Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  8. ^ Mullick, Rajeev (May 31, 2017). "Young man who lost limbs in bid to save children battles all odds to score 79.25% in ISC Class 12 exams". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  9. ^ Jain, Isha (May 31, 2017). "Lucknow girl bags AIR 51 in UPSC, fulfils father’s dreams". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "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. June 10, 2014. NGO/796-PI/2100PRESS RELEASE. Retrieved Nov 20, 2015. 
  11. ^ CMSJaiJagat (2012-04-06), CMS on NDTV India show, retrieved 2016-03-14 
  12. ^ "The City Montessori School (India) awarded the 2002 UNESCO prize for Peace Education" (Press release). UNCESCO. June 6, 2002. Retrieved Nov 20, 2015. 
  13. ^ "27 International Educational Events 21015-2016 organized by City Montessori School, Lucknow, India". City Montessori School. 2015. Retrieved Nov 20, 2015. 
  14. ^ 60 countries express their resolution to form an effective "NEW World Order", Aaj Ki Khabar, retrieved 2016-03-14 
  15. ^ The Dalai Lama at CMS (abhilashaproductions (2011-01-06), CMS, Lucknow, retrieved 2016-03-14 )
  16. ^ News 24 (2015-10-10), Cabinet minister Gen V K Singh addressing at CMS LKO, retrieved 2016-03-14 
  17. ^ collegecampusbuzz (2010-12-11), Dalai lama in Conference of Chief Justices in Lucknow 
  18. ^ (2014-05-25), Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam at City Montessori School (CMS), Lucknow , Aug 3 2009 
  19. ^ Kamath, Sudhish (30 April 2013). "Cinema for curious minds". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 
  20. ^ "Contact info for campuses". City Montessori School. 2015. Retrieved Nov 20, 2015. 
  21. ^ "RTE dispute: HC orders inspection of school". The Times of India. The Times Group. Times News Network. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  22. ^ Shahira, Naim (16 July 2015). "UP stumbles on the Right to Education front". The Tribune. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ Carolyn Cottom. "In India / A Bold Experiment in Teaching Values". Educational Leadership. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  25. ^ Dylan Mathews. "War Prevention Works" (PDF). Oxford Research Group. pp. 24–25. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  26. ^ Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty. "Pals we are!". The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  27. ^ Mohit Dubey (9 November 2012). "Kids blame media for portraying India and Pakistan as enemies" (45). The Weekend Leader. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ 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. 
  30. ^ Press Trust of India (8 December 2014). "Pakistan school excluded from International School Cricket Premier League". Cricket Country. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  31. ^ Rajeev Mullick (13 February 2017). "‘Aao Dosti Karein’: Schoolchildren share letters of peace across Indo-Pak border". Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  32. ^ Jain, Isha (14 February 2017). "A unique friendship bid by Indo-Pak students". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  33. ^ "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. 
  34. ^ Jain, Isha (2 April 2013). "New academic session, new fee structure". The Times of India. Lucknow: The Times Group. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  35. ^ 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. 
  36. ^ 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. 
  37. ^ "अभिभवकों ने यूनिफाॅर्म खरीद ली तब भेजा नोटिस". Amar Ujala (Newspaper). Amar Ujala Publications. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 
  38. ^ "सरकारी छुट्टी पर ख़ुले स्कूल, नोटिस जारी" [Schools opened even on government holiday, Notice issued]. Hindustan (in Hindi) (84). Lucknow: HT Media. 12 April 2017. p. 20. 
  39. ^ "Know Cjay". Celina Jaitly Official website. 2015. Retrieved Nov 20, 2015. 

External links[edit]

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