Category Archives: Alternative Schools

Alternative education in Mumbai, including homeschool groups.

Waldorf Schools – The reality in India

Recently, on a very popular Facebook group for Moms (most of whom are in India, or are of Indian origin) a question came up regarding Waldorf Schools in India. Waldorf, also known as Steiner schools, is used the world over in various pockets of groups looking for an alternative way for children to learn to be. Waldorf isn’t about memorization or being the first child in the group to read at age 3 or write their entire name at age 2, in fact, it is quite the opposite. For that reason, many families are fearful of having their children in this type of alternative schooling. But, should we fear alternative education?

Alternative Education in India

I’ve previously wrote about a few schools that are of the alternative education route for India. But, the fact is, in the end, these schools end up getting the kids on to a “syllabus” for getting college admission. What it is, then, is a way for people to learn to be without the pressure early on when the self is developing.

Levels of Development in Steiner School

During the early years of education up to age 6 or 7 (learning or developing) for a Waldorf or Steiner school will really hone in on the practical, hands-on activities that help us develop. Outdoors and a clean environment is important. Hands on, creative play (imagination!) is important. There isn’t a focus on reading and writing at this point.

In a Steiner elementary school (also known as primary school), or beginning around grade 1 or 2, the emphasis is on developing pupils’ artistic expression and social capacities, fostering both creative and analytical modes of understanding. At this point there will be an introduction to reading and writing, while still focusing on development of the individual.

By standard 8, (or around age 14), developmentally, there is a keen focus on a person’s ability to really think and think critically. Plus there will be the sense of idealism.  Waldorf schools continue to encourage the use of imagination in learning. Artistic, practical and really keeping these all together to integrate the subjects of learning are important.

Waldorf focuses on a child’s development and not when the exam will take place for CBSE board.

 

Can a Waldorf child be a doctor?

Of course! Here’s the thing, a child who attends a Waldorf-inspired, or even a more TRUE Waldorf school will likely find a passion somewhere that burns deeply. By having an open learning that focuses on treating each other well, being aware of the environment, the spiritual world and beyond, a child may not take to a forced career. Thus, parents who choose Waldorf should be willing to allow a child to choose their own path when it comes to college and careers.

Does India recognize Waldorf schools?

Most Waldorf schools, and most Waldorf inspired schools, follow a Steiner education philosophy and then switch to the IGCSE board around standard 5 or 8. IGCSE schools generally do not have testing until around standard 5, thus, this is perfectly acceptable. A child may not test well early on, but it does not mean the person is not learning. In fact, their education is likely broader and they likely understand the material better than someone who only has memorized specific examples.

So, the school may not be “recognized” but the students generally end up passing with an INTERNATIONAL board, rather than a local board school.

What is Anthroposophy?

A concern for some families is anthroposophy and its relation to Waldorf schools in India. Anthroposophy is generally pretty well woven into Waldorf schools. Of course, many Waldorf-inspired schools may not take the anthroposophy as seriously. If it does concern you, do ask the school when enquiring for admissions.

Note: (And this goes for ALL schools) If a school doesn’t answer questions you have, will your child be allowed to ask questions for better understanding? If a school doesn’t answer questions DO NOT give your money to them, MOVE ON! I find it mind boggling the number of schools I visited where the officials are unwilling or unable to answer questions. Education, as prized as it is, is only as good as we allow it to be. If everyone demanded answers, imagine the difference we’d have when it comes to bribes, donations without receipts and more. Here’s the thing, many of the “big name” schools (not talking about Waldorf here, just going on a bit of a tangent) have shorter school days (5 or so hours) and then the kids are forced into additional tuitions. The schools accept advertising from these tuitions and then they get to say “oh we trained X toppers” – is your child really learning from that school? Really? What’s the VALUE of that school if your child is forced to learn from tuitions? Yes, I realize most of you know I’m a foreigner (with pending PIO status), but where I’m from there are few tuitions, instead there is tutoring. Few attend and usually it is to get someone caught up because they need extra help. NOT because the school requests the kids all take tuitions because in the 7 subjects, there isn’t enough time to teach the 45 or 60 kids per class.

Okay back to Waldorf

Waldorf is a philosophy that has been around in education for almost 100 years (95 ish). Its methods create a beautiful environment that really engages and invites the child to want to learn.

Music (eurythmy) is embraced, along with handicrafts (knitting, for example). Art is throughout the curricula. There is plenty of math and science in art, right? Symmetry, color wheels and more. It really can inspire a child to be engaged and really LEARN and embrace a topic.

Generally one topic is explored in depth and it is made to be relate-able. So one topic will combine many subjects over up to a month period. Of course, other things take place, but it really allows a topic to really be explored in depth, while taking into account multiple subjects. So, discussion about climates would include an artistic way to help children truly understand the topic in many ways… not just “Monsoon means lots of rain” :) Here’s a nice illustration of what to expect in a Waldorf school (from Association of Private Waldorf schools of North America).

Waldorf schools are respective of all cultures and religions

Now this is a blanket statement, so there may be exceptions, but, in general, the schools are known to be respectful. Most schools will celebrate and introduce the topics of major religions and cultures. Steins’s religious philosophy was a bit Christian leaning, but all religions are respected. This should be celebrated, of course. Divisions among religions causes a lot of strife, war and loss of life. There isn’t a religious requirement to attend schools, but eurythmy is used, and that is really a spiritual cause that is about developing the beings that we are as humans. Some conservatives may not understand or may not accept this as valid for kids, so please consider that as you look at schools as well.

Waldorf Steiner Schools in India

Here is a link to some “recognized” Waldorf schools in India. There are few, but there are MORE that are inspired and may not have made it to the list. Of course, I have no idea if there’s politics involved with the various Waldorf societies in India, or not, but there are a few different groups it appears.

Also view my list of alternative schools in Mumbai, as it continues to expand.

Here is a partial list of Waldorf schools, recognized and not, in India. Do comment or message us to have this list expanded. We welcome all comments on Waldorf experience as well.

Bangalore Waldorf Schools

Bangalore Steiner School
Sristi Farm, Thindlu Village,
Sarjapur Hobli, Anekal Taluk,
Bangalore,
Mobile # Smitha Mallya # 98458 19185,
Mobile # G.Manivannan # 94483 78949
E-mail: bangaloresteinerschool@gmail.com
Website : www.bangaloresteinerschool.org/

Delhi Waldorf Schools

Aarambh Waldorf (2014 begins Elementary program)
Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, INDIA
Phone: 9971968969

Mirambika Free School
Students here take NIOS at Grade 10, or can be an external candidate and prepare on their own for IGCSE, etc
Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Delhi Branch
Sri Aurobindo Marg,
New Delhi -110016

Ukti Waldorf School
D 979 New Friends Colony,
Near Mata Mandir,
Old Faridabad,
Faridabad,
Haryana 110065
+91-9654445795

Hyderabad Waldorf Schools

Diksha Waldorf School
Survey No 362 & 363,
Tumkunta Village,
Shameerpet Village, Ranga Reddy Dist.
Email : admissions@dikshaschool.in
Phone : 9000 DIKSHA (9000 345742

Prerana Waldorf School
47/9 Janardhan Hills (Opp. NCC Urban Apartments)
Telcom Nagar Bus Stop
Gachibowli ‘X’ Road
Hyderabad, 500032.
Land Line: +91 40 6455 5930
Cell Phone: +91 9618686016
E-mail : info@preranawaldorf.org
Website :http://preranawaldorf.org

Sloka, The Hyderabad Waldorf School
Plot 287 , Rd# 25 Jubilee Hills,
(off Rd #10 Jubilee Hills, next to Cafe Irani Chai)
Hyderabad 500033.Tel # +91 40 23545206/65994510
Tel # +91 08413 235050
Email: info@slokawaldorf.org
Website:

Kompally Waldorf Schools

Abhaya, a Waldorf School
Gundlapochampally Village
Near Apparel Textile Park
Kompally
RR District – 500014Tel #+91 8008222056;
Tel  # +91 8008222356

Mumbai Waldorf Schools

Inodai Waldorf School
Motibaug, Next to Andheri Fire Station,
SV Road, Andheri West. Mumbai, MH
Tel # 022-65222711
Mobile #  9819855336
Email: contactus@inodai.org.in
Website: www.inodai.org.in

Niraamayaa (for special needs only?)
113, Paradise 2,
Mukteshwar Ashram Rd,
Near IIT Market, Powai,
Mumbai 400076
Telephone: (022) 25780867
Mobile: (+91) 9987653780 / 9820963867
Email: info@niraamayaa.com

Shrishtri Waldorf School
Vimal, North South Road No. 3,
Juhu Scheme, Vile Parle West,
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400056, India
Phone: 91-9819096627

Tridha Waldorf School – Steiner School
Malpa Dongri No. 3
Near Pump House
Opposite Satya Darshan Society
Andheri East, Mumbai 400093
Email: tridha@hotmail.com
Phone: 022-26879209

Rainbow Bridge Waldorf Preschool
Lords Bldg, “B – 603”,
Sector 15,
Above Croma Showroom,
Palm Beach Road, Belapur,
Navi Mumbai 400 614.
Phone: 9322120655
Phone 2: 9819984795
email: admin@rainbowbridge.in

Reading Tree Preschool of Thane (Mumbai Suburb)
207 Arcadia Building
Hiranandani Estate,
Thane West, Maharashtra 400607
Phone: 0222530 7639
Email: thereadingtree@gmail.com

Pune Waldorf Schools

Amor Waldorf School
Plot 29, Kanchanganga Society, Maharashtra, 411037
N Rd, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Phone: +91 98 76 193157

Pune Waldorf School
Shalimar, Gurunanak Nagar, Shankarsheth Road,
Pune, Maharashtra, India
+91 88 88 535146

I hope this post is helpful in seeing how Waldorf works in India. If your child attends one of these schools, do fill out our survey to review the school as well.

Schools for students with special needs in Mumbai

There are a variety of school options for students with special needs. However, a very low percent of students who have special needs attend or school or have access to resources for being educated for learning at home. There are also inclusive schools in Mumbai which have students with different abilities learning along-side typically developing peers. These may or may not fall under the realm of alternative education options in India.

Schools in Navi Mumbai for students with Autism and ADHD

Sunshine School Navi Mumbai

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder mainly and other developmental disabilities like
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Dyslexia.
  • Global Developmental Delay
  • Language & Speech Delay.

Schools in Thane for educating children with Autism

Sri Ma Snehdeep School for the Mentally & Physically Challenged & Visually & Hearing Impaired, Thane
Sri Ma School for Remadial Education, Thane(W)
A School for Learners- Accredited by NIOS (New Delhi)

Schools in Mumbai for students with differing abilities like autism

Priyanj Special School
239/1905 Motilal Nagar no 1,
Achyut Behre Marg,
Near Ganesh Mandir, Road no 4,
Goregaon (west),
Mumbai -400104.
Tel: 022-28753880/ 9821098325
Email: priyanj_school@yahoo.co.in

Dakshinya Special Education Centre & School for Autism
A 32/250, Old Siddharth Nagar
Road no. 10, Behind
Aadarsha Vidyalaya
Goregaon (W),
Mumbai-400062
Tel: 09819023790

Podar Khushi Kids
(kindergarten cum therapy centre)
Podar Jumbo Kids
9A/1 Model Town, Near Takshila
Off Mahakali Caves Rd,
Andheri-East,
Mumbai-400093

The Gateway School
Sion Trombay Road,
Next to Deonar Bus Depot,
Govandi (E), Mumbai 400088

SPJ Sadhana School

  • Dr.Rosendo Reibero Children Complex,
    Sophia College Campus, B.D. Road,
    Mumbai 400026
From Sadhana School website
  • Trained special teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapist, sensory integration therapist, psychologist and counselors for a team to:
  • Reinforce training for self-care skills and spontaneous movement.
  • Reinforce training for physical strength, swimming, mat exercises, sensory integration exercises.
  • Intellectual stimulations and development of academic abilities and functional academics.
  • Emotional development to awaken hidden special abilities such as drawing and music.
  • Language stimulation and development through a wide variety of act ivies; reading, conversation, speech and drama, music, physical exercise, school events, excursions and others.
  • Pre-vocational training is initiated to prepare them for full time pre-vocational activities.

 

If you are aware of additional schools which offer support for students with special needs, please contact us to have our list updated.

Inclusion on this list does not indicate or verify any details.

Inclusive Education Schools – Special Needs

Finding a school that has inclusive education for students with special needs in Mumbai can be difficult. We are compiling a list of inclusive schools. These schools encourage and allow students with special needs or differing abilities to learn alongside their peers who may have standard abilities.

RTE and Speical Needs: RIGHT to education

Students with different needs have a right to education.

Schools with inclusive education in Mumbai include:

  • Witty Kids – Near Goregaon Mumbai
          • According to their website they offer:
            • Assessments: Educational / Psychological Testing (Informal)
            • Therapy: Physio / Speech / Occupational/ Educational / Behavioural.
            • Counseling: Individual / Family and Group.
            • Medical: Panel of Doctors. (On Request).i.e. (Pediatric & Neurologist)
            •  PD & Y: Personality Development , Yoga
            • Clinical: Formal Assessments

             

            Unique Services Provided (USP)

            • Experiential learning
            • Vocational Guidance and Aptitude Tests
            • Group screening and assessments
            • Awareness workshops.
            • Curriculum-based remediation and language therapy for regular school students.
            • Workshops for parents and school teachers

             

CBSE encourages Inclusive Education

Per CBSE guidelines updated they recommend more than just “book” learning, which helps encourage differing learning styles.

If you are aware of additional schools that have inclusive education policies in India, please notify us and we can update our list.

Please see related post for non-inclusive schools for students with differing abilities and/or special needs.

Alternative schools in Mumbai

Alternative education can be considered anything that doesn’t follow an Indian board, or, can be made more specific to include schools that use alternative teaching methods. Alternative options may be popular among returning NRIs and Expats, but more people are becoming familiar with Waldorf schools, Montessori schools and homeschooling in Mumbai.

Finding the best school in Mumbai takes a lot of work. You have to know your child, your family and the schools. Whew! A lot to consider to find the best school.

Some alternative teaching methods available in Mumbai:

  • Waldorf schools in Mumbai
  • Montessori schools in Mumbai
  • Homeschool options in Mumbai

Waldorf philosophy is based upon the work of Rudolf Steiner and the whole being is considered for the individual child and based on stages of development, roughly lasting 7 years each.

Waldorf Schools in Mumbai include:

Inodai Waldorf School

  • Admission status for 2014 is unknown
  • Fees Unknown
  • 118, Motibaug, S.V. Road, Next to Andheri Fire Station, Near Shoppers Stop, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400058

Tridha Waldorf school – students take IGCSE

  • Admission status for 2014 is unknown, appears to be accepting
  • Fees unknown
  • Malpa Dongri No.3, Near Pump House, Opposite Satya Darshan Society, Andheri East, Mumbai 400093.

Rainbow Bridge Preschool Navi Mumbai Waldorf

  • Admission is open but limited ages
  • Fees unknown
  • Lords Bldg, “B – 603”, Sector 15, Above Croma Showroom, Palm Beach Road, Belapur, Navi Mumbai 400 614.

The Reading Tree - Pre-primary program – Thane

  • Admission appears to be open for lower ages
  • Fees unknown
  • 207, Arcadia  Hiranandani Estate  Thane West  – 400 607

Montessori philosophy is based on the works of Dr. Maria Montessori. Now reaching around 100 years in practice, true Montessori schools will have certified teachers, specific materials and a mixed age group. Most preschools/kindergartens in Mumbai who say they do Montessori and Playway, etc are not true Montessori.

The following Montessori schools in Mumbai are known to follow AMI or AMF standards:

Discovery Montessori – Thane through senior kg

  • Admission available as of 18 Jan 2014
  • 16-17 Dev Prayag CHS, Opp. Thanawala Garage, Bhakti Mandir Road, Panch Pakhadi, Thane 400602

Harmony Montessori - Khar through sr kg (2 branches)

      • Admission information for 2014 is unknown.
  • Ground Floor, Neel Nandini, Block A, Khar West, Linking Rd, Mumbai, 400052, India
  • Second Khar W location: Plot no. 24b, Off Khar Danda road. Khar west.

Harmony Montessori - Santa Cruz Branch – Has an active elementary program!

  • Admission open as of Jan 18, 2014
  • 19 Crystal Building, Juhu Rd, Next to Santa Cruz Police Station, Santa Cruz

Casa Montessori – Marine Drive – S Mumbai

  • Admission for 2014 FULL – no waitlist
  • Fees unknown
  • Oceana Grnd Floor, Next to Hotel Marine Plaza, 214 Marine Drive, Mumbai 400020

Basant Montessori – Juhu – Montessori through 1st standard (not verified)

  • Admission unknown
  • Fees unknown
  • Theosophical Colony, Juhu Tara Rd, Juhu, Mumbai – 400049

Davinci Montessori

  • Admission is currently open for summer and fall sessions 2014
  • Fees unknown
  • Aditya Birla Center, Babulnath, Mumbai – 400007

 

More information is available for those looking for alternative education options in Mumbai. You may also consider homeschooling. Learn more about Indian Homeschoolers through their active website. They also have facebook groups and some people meet in person for meetings as well. Their annual conference is being held in February: click here to learn more.

Disclaimer: This information is believed to be correct and does not contain any advertising or paid links. If you have updates or corrections, please contact us or leave a comment.

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