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4 Montessori schools make it to top 10 list

Times of India
http://bit.ly/2fyri1J
Celebrities like Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have become ambassadors of unconventional education by talking about its impact on their lives. Smitten, city couples with toddlers are quickly discussing Montessori education in their social circles. The system of learning that lays emphasis on the liberty of the child has caught on so much that EducationWorld's annual preschool rankings list four Montessori schools among the top 10 preschools in Chennai. 
 
While Vruksha Montessori in Alwarpet secured the number one slot, Sprouts Montessori in Mylapore bagged the seventh place. Patasala Montessori School and Srishti Montessori School in Nungambakkam came ninth and tenth. At least one Montessori school has found place among the top 10 preschools in nearly all the 10 cities the survey was conducted in. And many of the other schools on the lists adopt the Montessori system of learning partially or fully. 
Done in collaboration with market research agency C-Fore, the survey asks parents, teachers and principals to rate preschools on 10 parameters, including teacher competence, individual attention to students, special needs and infrastructure. "There is interest generated about the Montessori type of education among parents, and there's been an increase in the number of applications for admissions. There is greater awareness of how this methodology boosts understanding and caters to the individual needs of the child," said Prathima Muralidhar, principal and correspondent of Srishti Montessori School. 
Montessori educators said that parents see the long-term impact of early Montessori education in their children or in those of their acquaintances, and are taken up by it. Bhavani Kumar, principal of Patasala Montessori School, said the principal of one of the leading schools in the city recently called her up to tell her that she was impressed with children from Patasala seeking admission to her school. "She said that these children were different from the others. They made eye contact, were more confident, and spoke well. This is not just with the children in my school. All those who experience the Montessori system of education show these qualities," Kumar said. 
 
This is why despite the difficulty in getting admission to a K12 school in the city if it's not at the entry level, many parents are willing to take the risk and admit their children in Montessori schools. A few in the city offer beyond Class 5, though the curriculum can be extended till the child turns 15. Montessori educators said that when the children have to leave the school, the parents keep asking if the school has plans to start higher classes. "Their first choice is to continue in this system. This is because real and meaningful education happens here," Kumar said. 

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