Noyonika R. Premnath, a Class 5 student of Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan, Delhi has a dream. She wants to become a doctor in the armed forces when she grows up. “I love going to school. I admire women in uniform and want to be like them one day. I loved it when I performed on the stage and dressed up as Flight Lieutenant Bhawana Kanth, the first woman pilot of the Indian Air Force. I aim to be a doctor in the armed forces,” she says with determination. Noyonika is lucky to be part of the armed forces school system where equal importance is given to academics and extracurricular activities while instilling a sense of discipline.
The armed forces schools spread across the country run classes up to 10+2 as per the CBSE curriculum. These schools can be broadly grouped into Sainik Schools, Rashtriya Military Schools, Army Public Schools, The Air Force Schools, and the Navy Children Schools.
Number of Schools: 34 Type: Residential. For boys Affiliation: CBSE Eligibility: Clearing AISSEE for admission to class VI/IX Mandatory exam after 10+2: NDA Stream offered after class 10: Science Controlling body: Sainik School Society under MHRD
The Sainik Schools were started with the aim of imparting quality education to the rural masses and act as a breeding ground for the National Defence Academy to pick officers to groom for the armed forces. “Since the Sainik Schools are considered the cradle of Indian military leadership, a proper amalgamation of theoretical as well as practical learning is ensured. The cadets are exposed to the latest training aids and online learning tools to ensure a strong foundation,” said Col. PK Sharma, Principal, Sainik School Purulia, West Bengal.
At present, there are 33 Sainik Schools across the country. Each has a maximum strength of 500 to 550 students. The 34th school will be coming up by the end of this year in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, and is expected to start academic operations in 2020.
Set away from the bustle of cities, these all-boys schools are residential in nature. “The school was started by the first defense minister in the 1960s. The purpose was to pick up young people to be groomed as soldiers and that grooming required a strategy different from the routine outside life,” said Col. Sushen Chakravarty (retd.), an alumnus of Sainik School Purulia.
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