The Valley School


The Valley School

"For schools of similar names, see Valley School"

The Valley School is a co-educational private day school about 20 km south of Bangalore city in India (coord|12.8535|77.51). The school was founded in 1978 by philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. The student population of the school is around 325 from classes 1 to 12 (ages 6 to 17).

Culture

The culture of The Valley School is the biggest attraction for the students present, and former. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, the dress code is casual. Interactions between teachers and students is informal and based on Jiddu Krishnamurti’s philosophy that “Learning cannot happen when there is fear”. Freedom with responsibility is emphasized from an early age, and rewards and punishments are kept to a minimum. Students are encouraged to direct their own learning. A common criticism is that the school provides the students a false sense of utopia that does not prepare them to meet the challenges of the real world. However, it is evident that The Valley School, though providing a false sense of Utopia, prepares the students for the 'real world' far better than other similar institutions.

Education and Curriculum

The lower school is run based on Jiddu Krishnamurti's philosophies, where teachers and students are given a lot of freedom and flexibility. Along with a standard curriculum of science and humanities, various extra curricular activities are encouraged. Tests and examinations are kept to a minimum. Higher classes follow a standard ICSE curriculum, where they appear for a nationwide public board examination at the end of class 10. Class 12 students appear for the ISC examinations conducted by the same board.The school however has been criticized for its casual approach towards these exams conducted by the board and rightly so.

Campus

The school is set on a convert|120|acre|km2|sing=on campus which also has a lake and two artificial Ponds, Dams, 3 ancient Banyan trees (over 100 years old), and lightly wooded rolling hills. Academic buildings are concentrated around the main school in the eastern section of the campus; the student dormitories, residential quarters, guesthouses and “Art Village” are located on the western side. The school has three entrances, the first gate being the main entrance to the school building, while the third gate gives access to the Study Centre and the residential houses, as well as the Art Village. A stylized Neem Tree - which rests the highest point on the land, is the logo of the school and also proves to be a great vantage point for the sunset. The school is divided into three divisions- Junior School- classes 1-4, Middle school- classes 5-7, and senior school- classes 8-12.

Transportation and Housing

Most students commute to school by bus. The school buses operate on different routes in the city, picking up and dropping students off at various points. Boarding is optional and is available for classes 8 and higher. Student hostels are located on campus.

Important Events

* Schools Birthday (July 17th)

Flora and Fauna

The school is a regular spot for second Sunday outings of the Birdwatchers' Field Club of Bangalore. About 215 species of birds have been recorded by former students on campus. 15 species of mammals including deer, wild boar, elephants and a resident leopard, over 20 species of snakes are amongst the significant indicators of the biodiversity of the region.

Sister Schools

India
* Rishi valley school
* Rajghat Besant School
* Bal-Anand
* Bhagirathi Valley School
* Sahyadri School
* The School

United Kingdom
* Brockwood Park

United States of America
* The Oak Grove School

Encroachment Scandal

Recently the Forest officials demolished the Art Center and other buildings such as the Kitchen since the school apparently encroached on Reserve forest property. Apparently the forest officials accuse the school of illegally cutting down and storing of sandalwood which is a serious forest offense under the Forest Smuggling Act.

The article below is from the news daily 'The Deccan Herald' (17th February 2008)

Land grabbed by school recovered DH News Service,Bangalore:

The Forest Department on Saturday reclaimed around five acres of land which was part of the reserve forest from a premier private school, off Kanakapura Road on the outskirts of the City.

The approximate value of the land cleared of encroachment is around Rs 7.5 crore.Department officials also seized around 500 kg of sandalwood comprising logs and artifacts from the school premises.

In an operation which began at around 8:30 am, a team of around 35 forest officials demolished 10 buildings of the Valley School run by the Krishnamurthy Foundation of India, which were “illegally” built on Survey number 85 of B M Kaval Reserve Forest. The area was declared as a reserve forest in 1935 by the then state of Mysore.

The team led by Deputy Conservator of Forest, Urban division, O Palaiah and Assistant Conservator of Forests B Jayaram cleared the forest encroachment by the school in the presence of police officials.

“The buildings included the administrative and kitchen blocks, three paragolas and five other rooms, used as kilns and store rooms. Some of them had GI sheets for roofing, others tile and hatched roofs. We also seized some sandalwood artifacts from the centre and sandalwood logs which were dumped elsewhere inside the school premises,” said Mr Palaiah.

The forest officer alleged that environmentalist Leo Saldanha rushed to the spot and “obstructed” their operations. “He said his wife Lakshmi is a teacher in the school and they bring the sandalwood to teach children wood carving. He didn’t allow us to start the demolition. We have filed an FIR against him under Section 353 of the IPC, for obstructing government officials from carrying their duty and Sections 86 and 87 of the Forest Act, for illegal possession and cutting of sandalwood.

“These are non-bailable offences and if convicted, the accused can be imprisoned for five years and fined with Rs 25,000,” said Mr Jayaram.

An FIR has also been lodged against School Director Satish Inamdar and Principal Jairam, who according to the forest officer, are “absconding”. When contacted a relative of Dr Inamdar said he is not available.

The Forest Department knew that the school had encroached upon the forest for a long time and had issued enough warnings and time to the school authorities to vacate the land. “But they didn’t comply. We had no option but to demolish the buildings and reclaim the encroached land,” said Mr Palaiah.

The proceedings started last year when the RFO, Kaggalipura booked a case against the Valley School for encroaching the forest land and submitted an FIR to the jurisdictional court and DCF, Urban division. “He instructed the RFO to enquire and submit the report to him. Later, the ACF, South subdivision conducted 64 (A) proceedings under the Forest Act, giving an opportunity to the encroachers to explain with relevant documents. The school authorities failed to produce proper records.”

“On April 7, the ACF passed an order asking the school to reply within 20 days of the issuance of the order. Till Friday they had not responded,” said Mr Jayaram

In December, the Valley School authorities had complained to the Forest Department that a leopard had strayed into the premises.

“We went there and found that part of the school is built on the elephant corridor and is close to the Bannerghatta National Park.” I warned chief administrative officer Amit to vacate the land otherwise we will take action as per law,” said the officer.

Two months ago, the Forest Department had recovered around 65 acres of forest land encroached by the BDA in Survey numbers 5, 82 and 86 of the Turahalli forest area. “The total worth of the property is around Rs 100 crore,” said Mr Palaiah.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Government of Karnataka, A K Varma said the department remains committed to clearing any encroachment of the forest land. “Forest land is national property. It cannot be encroached upon,” he said.

See also

* Jiddu Krishnamurti
* Rishi valley school
* List of schools in India

External links

* [http://www.thevalleyschool.in]
* [http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/ Jiddu Krishnamurthy]
* [http://www.kfionline.org/ Krishnamurthy Foundation India]


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