Mahatma Gandhi International School is based on the tenets of equality and freedom. Going against the current this is a school which provides quality education that is accessible to all sections of society irrespective of caste, socio-economic status, religion and nationality. At the time of its inception, many refused to break the status quo – the apartheid in education. Many questioned how students from different castes, religions and different backgrounds could be brought together, why international education was at all necessary. They questioned why one fifth of the students should come from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and why children facing difficulty in learning should be integrated with bright, intelligent students and children hailing from comfortable households. Today, MGIS stands vindicated as the Right to Education Act now makes it mandatory for all schools across India to integrate students from poorer sections of society – a policy that was adopted at the inception of the school fifteen years ago.
The school provides equal opportunities and inclusive education and reaches out to the economically disadvantaged by providing partial and full scholarships all through their academic years.
Mahatma Gandhi International School was the first international school in the state of Gujarat. Recognized by the International Baccaluareate in 2001, at a time when the word ‘international’ was laced with negative connotations. MGIS was an effort ahead of its time. Today many schools in Gujarat are now vying to becoming an international school, this is in direct contrast to the resistance the school facedit tried to establish an international school in 1998.
Again, in another pioneering effort, MGIS has launched the first of its kind vocational center to develop skill based technical education at school level. It is the first BTEC School In India, creating a vocational center nestled within the school premises. MGIS is the first school in India authorised by EDEXCEL (UK’s largest awarding body) to deliver the BTEC Qualifications in Level 3 in Creative Media and Production. The first batch was launched on ‘Gandhi Jayanti’, the 2nd of October 2011. The BTEC (Level 3) program in Creative Media Production is designed to provide specialist work-related qualifications in a range of sectors in the Multi Media industry. These qualifications have been developed to provide an introduction to the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to prepare learners for direct employment. This course is provided for MGIS full-time students and Alumni who are either working or studying at University. The course is now open to interested candidates from Gujarat.
MGIS was one of the first schools in the city and the state of Gujarat that used Apple Technology. We also have iPads and computers which are freely used by students. Teachers use a mix of print books and ebooks to facilitate the classes and children have access to a state of the art editing studio where they use applications like iMovie and iBooks Authors along with professional application like Final Cut Pro X. We have a Wi-Fi campus with internet connectivity to students and teachers.
MGIS believes in allowing individuality to express itself. Since clothes are an important semiotic marker for identity creation, the school hence follows a policy of no uniforms.
The pace of learning follows the learning requirements of the student. Although the school recommends break timings, teachers can modify it if a class discussion or activity requires more time for completion, if students are engaged and do not wish to take a break immediately etc.
The focus of education should be on learning rather than exams in the initial years of schooling. MGIS prepares students for exams as evidenced by the excellent results of the Diploma Program examinations in Grade 12, the school however believes in continual formative and summative assessment to identify student progression instead of examinations, as it gives students more time for learning and holistic development, and more importantly it reduces stress.
The school believes in helping students author their own content based on their understanding, that way they construct their knowledge and express it as well. By prescribing text-books, this engaging and creative process is removed or ignored from the learning process as it becomes more about completing the content rather learning the concepts and enjoying the learning process.
The school encourages a non threatening, non hierarchical environment to promote meaningful conversations between the different stakeholders of the school- students, teachers, parents, management, alumni. Since the school promotes a democratic approach to learning and teaching, students feel comfortable to walk into the principal’s office to make a request or just chat.
MGIS is the most affordable school offering the IB program in the world. Students from different parts of the world enrol along side the middle class and the full scholarship, underprivileged students to avail the benefits of quality education at MGIS.
In a true democratic process that places the learner at the centre, the children hold council meetings and also provide valuable feedback to their peers and their own faculty. The faculty are called initiators and are an integral part of the learner group. Their role is to initiate the group into a joyful, meaningful and enriching process of learning.
Dr. Chazot and his wife championed the cause of creating a schooling experience that promotes inter-cultural understanding and mutual respect by encouraging all forms of diversity (cultural, intellectual, physical, linguistic and other) within and without the classroom in order to engender diverse learner interactions, which are a fundamental resource to its innovative pedagogy. This required serious changes of attitudes and mindsets at the policy level. In terms of logistics and every day functioning also, it sets the school apart. With a heterogenous group of students from all socio-economic classes of the local community as well as expatriate children seeking an internationally recognized education, the pedagogy used in the class room is inclusive, experiential and holistic. This is primordial when you put a part of the real world into the class-room – diversity. To tackle the challenges and the requirements of putting a medley of children together, the school has developed a pedagogy which allows for learning to be an enjoyable experience that is purposeful, logical and coherent.