Tag Archives: BCS News

BCS, looking sharp!

BCS, geared to produce the next gen of Leaders.

From the Chandigarh Tribune publication of 2nd April earlier this year:

Message from Mr. Simon Weale / Director BCS

Dear Old Cottonians,

I thought I would update you with news of life at school.

The best thing is that we have pupils back in school.  Having ‘locked down’ last March, we were allowed to welcome back senior students from mid-February. There are now just over three hundred boys on the campus from Class VI to Class XII.

You can imagine this presents many challenges at the moment.

Indian Board exams have been put back by a couple of months so there has been an opportunity for the outgoing Class XII to enjoy some time together.  The outgoing Class X arrive back this weekend. Necessity has meant that we are accommodating boys in Class ‘bubbles’.  Boys of the same age eat, sleep, study and play together.

We are ensuring that there is regular testing of staff and a number of colleagues have already been vaccinated.  I am getting my first jab on the 1st April.

The ‘’outgoing’ and ‘new’ Class XII are together in Curzon. The ‘new’ Class X are moving to Lefroy and the outgoing Class X will be in Rivaz. Classes VI to IX are in separate dormitories in the Junior School.  It will be some time before the ‘House system’ can return to normal and different classes can share dorms.

The boys had to present a negative pcr test when they returned to school.  They have to wear masks around the school site and avoid mixing with other classes.  Their interaction with adults has to be strictly controlled. However, it is evident that they are mostly very happy to be back at school.  The spring weather in Shimla has been beautiful and the boys have enjoyed lots of sport and activity.  We have been trying to update photos regularly on our ‘Facebook’ page.

The current rise in Covid cases in India means that we will continue to face challenges.  The Himachal Government whilst restricting the opening of many educational institutes, are currently allowing Boarding schools to keep their students at school.  We are working with both them and the medical authorities to ensure we can keep things running smoothly.  I think there is an overwhelming case for the benefits outweighing the disadvantages of residential students being back in school in the pandemic.  It was noticeable how much weight many of our pupils had put on during their year away from school and it is pleasing how quickly they are embracing a healthier lifestyle.

We have welcomed many OCs back to the campus over the last year, but it is difficult at the moment to meet these requests as we must try our best to reduce unnecessary entry into the campus. Please bear with us in the next few months as we love to welcome alumni back to school.

Yours

Simon Weale – Director

Bishop Cotton School — how Asia’s oldest boarding school is coping with the pandemic

From The Indian Express:

Football season, a mountaineering expedition, a cricket tournament, an inter-school debate competition – these are some of the events which have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic at the Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, one of Asia’s oldest boarding schools for boys.

Though students are attending regular virtual classes from home, they are missing out on a number of sports and other activities, apart from the experience of community-living in the residential school, said Simon David Weale [MA Oxon] the school’s director.

“We’re eager for the campus to fill up with students again. They are attending 44 hours of virtual classes every week, and our teachers have improvised well and come up with innovative, teaching methods. But students are not obliged to attend all these classes as too much screen time could be unhealthy. Besides, the essence of holistic education provided here is the residential environment. That’s why even local students from Shimla live inside the campus,” said Weale.

A typical day at school begins at 6 in the morning and lasts till 10 at night, during which boarders are engaged in physical training, classes, organised games, prep and co-curricular activities such as public speaking, art and drama.

In summer, the school also organises outward-bound activities such as treks and adventure sports, and a month-long mountaineering training course for the outgoing batch, which have all been delayed this year. “The mountaineering course is usually followed by an expedition, and so far, there have been seven successful expeditions to Himalayan peaks above the altitude of 20,000 feet. For those who have missed the course this year, we are planning to rearrange it for them next year,” said Weale.

The school has a strength of about 450 students and 160 staff members. Though a majority of the students are from Himachal and neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi, there are students from all corners of the country, including Mizoram and Odisha, and some foreign students as well.
When the state government ordered closure of schools on March 14, around 70 per cent of the students left for their homes. Those appearing for their board examinations stayed back but left soon after the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CICSE) canceled the exams. Three boys from Thailand stayed back till as late as May but left as restoration of normalcy seemed distant.

Not the first disruption in school’s history

For many institutions, the pandemic crisis is unprecedented, but BCS has survived several such disruptions since it first opened for students in March 1863. On a Sunday in May 1905, when the boys were away for an outing, most of the school was destroyed in a fire. The students were shifted to other lodgings in town, and the school was rebuilt and occupied two years later in July 1907.

An outbreak of influenza in 1922 also affected the school, and the then headmaster FR Gillespy’s wife died while treating the children, said Weale.

After partition and independence, an exodus of Muslim, British and European boys led to the closure of the prep school in Chhota Shimla.

“We have also heard of some other disease outbreaks such as that of yellow fever during the school’s long history. And there was no internet back then to impart distance learning to the students, as is happening now,” said the director.

Legacy

BCS was founded as the first ‘public school’ in India (along the lines of the British ‘public school’ system, which incorporates a house system, a prefectorial body and a system of organised games) by George Edward Lynch Cotton, the then Bishop of Calcutta, in July 1859. First established at Jutogh, it opened for students in March 1863 with Frederick Naylor as the first student. The school moved to its present site at the south end of the Knollswood Spur in September 1868. Suren Tagore was the first Indian boy admitted to the school in 1881.

BCS has a long list of distinguished alumni such as writer Ruskin Bond, six-time Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh and Major Roy Farran (Curzon), a decorated officer in the British Army. The school also has an infamous alumnus, Reginald Dyer, a British general remembered for his role in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919. The motto of the school is:Overcome Evil with Good”.

Thank you Mr. Praveen Dharma for sending this in.

Best wishes,
OCA WEbmaster

Introduction by Mr. Simon David Weale [MA Oxon] – new Director [HM] of BCS

Dear Ocs, I am forwarding herewith an amended version of introduction sent by Mr. Simon Weale. I am sure you all will enjoy meeting Simon Weale, new Director of Bishop Cotton School on 9th February at OCA lunch in Hauz Khas.Deep C. Anand – OCA President Emeritus

I am writing to introduce myself as the new Director of Bishop Cotton School.

As you may be aware my title is to be Director rather than Headmaster. The Board of Governors of Bishop Cotton School feels this title more accurately reflects the multi-faceted nature of modern school leadership.  I am responsible to the Board of Governors for ensuring that every aspect of the leadership and management of the school is of the highest class.

I was brought up in London where my father was a university lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, London. I studied Modern History at Oxford University where I was a contemporary of UK Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and David Cameron as well as Mr Rajdeep Sardesai (who was in the same cricket team as me). I began my teaching career at the Judd School, one of the finest government schools in the UK. I am married with three children. My wife Rebecca will be overseeing admissions at the school, our youngest daughter (aged eight) has come with us to India. We have two other children. Our oldest daughter is a corporate lawyer and our son is studying History at the University of Warwick in England.

In my thirty-year teaching career, I have worked in several of the top independent schools in the UK and I have significant experience of raising academic standards within those schools and helping students to achieve places in world class universities both in the UK and abroad. Those schools all had extensive numbers of international students and they underlined to me how similar young people are and how connected they are with their peers around the world.  The Board of Governors of Bishop Cotton School are determined that we build upon its distinguished reputation as one of the finest schools in India. We must maintain our incredible track record of producing young men who will make a difference to both India and the rest of the world. Under my leadership our ambition for the boys will be evident and we will offer them a range of experiences to help them become productive and successful global citizens.

I am a passionate believer in the holistic and values driven education upon which Bishop Cotton School is built. As well as each boy’s academic progress it is essential that they are tested on the sports field, that they have the chance to be creative and that we provide for their spiritual development. Character is built outside of the classroom as well as inside.  It is proven that students who have strong core values study more effectively and contribute more to the world around them. The Bishop Cotton School boarding community allows each individual to develop into confident and resilient young men. The Christian tradition of the school encourages students to be ever mindful of others especially those less fortunate.

After six years of Headship within the UK at Shebbear College, I am extremely excited at the opportunity of working in modern vibrant India – the largest democracy in the world. I look forward to bringing my skills to bear upon the task ahead and also to learn from the expertise that exists within the school already. One area I am particularly keen to develop is how we prepare our students for university.  We will review our offer so students do not feel they need to leave for ‘coaching’ and we will improve the quality of spoken English so that it is of ‘undergraduate standard’.

A change in school leadership is always unsettling and I am indebted to the support and handover I have received from my predecessor Mr Robinson (and Mrs Robinson) who has been such a tremendous and effective servant of the school.  As such when the boys return to school it will be ‘business as usual’ The rest of the school community has given us a very warm welcome and of course we have already met many distinguished OCAs in Delhi and Chandigarh. Mrs Weale and I are already living in Shimla and look forward to the OCA lunch in Delhi on 9th February.  We welcome your ideas as we plan for the future and will write to you with a simple questionnaire about what we might do to develop the school. Most of all we look forward to sharing another tremendous chapter in the history of this great school with you.

BCS stands the test of time

An adticle in the Hindustan Times

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bishop-cotton-school-in-shimla-stands-test-of-time/story-puUclUIrjMwyOsRHZP42eO.html

Bishop Cotton School, one of Asia’s oldest boarding schools, was opened on March 15, 1863, with Frederick Naylor as its first student. Initially, 35 boys were admitted that year and the school increased its strength to 65 students in 1864.(Deepak Sansta/HT )

BCS sets an example

Rainwater harvest by Northwest: How this school in Shimla has emerged as an example for other residential schools.

Bishop Cotton School in Shimla tides over water scarcity by harvesting rainwater, setting an example for other residential schools located in hilly regions.

bcs_water_harvesting_1Shimla school goes from students bathing every other day to swimming daily!

Mathew Jacob, estate supervisor at Bishop Cotton School (BCS) in Shimla, remembers when he took his students walking in single file to the nearby stream to wash and bathe every other day in the summers. Shimla is a city blessed with very high precipitation but a poor distribution network which results in water scarcity in the summers. Established in Shimla 1859, the famous boys’ residential school with illustrious alumni including author Ruskin Bond, and golfer Jeev Milkha Singh to name a few, was also victim to this crisis.

Rising strength of the students and staff continued to burden the already stressed supply but the school managed by hiring water tankers and providing only short supplies to residents. For Jacob, it was a situation that could be easily handled. “I belong to Kerala where we have traditionally been harvesting rainwater in wells and ponds. At a household level, we hang a muslin cloth over four sticks and the rainwater passing through the cloth is collected in a pot to be used for drinking and cooking,” he says.

Rainwater is first made to go through a mesh which stops the big particles from the rooftop
Rainwater is first made to go through a mesh which stops the big particles from the rooftop
The concept of rainwater harvesting is simple but to implement this at an institutional level, technical know-how especially about filtration and plumbing systems was required. Help came in 1992 from the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), which was running a programme on rainwater harvesting for institutes. Two storage tanks were dug and lined with polythene to collect rainwater from rooftops.

Though the programme ran only for two years, it introduced the school management to the basics of the required set up. The storage tanks were fortified with cement and new structures were built with links to the rooftops. Already slanting roofs of the buildings in the hills easily fit into the scheme of things. By the year 2000, rainwater was also being used for flushing in the washrooms and bathing. The school also got four borewells of which two are still functional. The water falling on around 1350 square metre of rooftops is collected at different locations.

bcs_water_harvesting_2

The rainwater is led through a mesh which stops pollen, pine needles and monkey droppings from going into the filtration chambers, which are mainly lined with pebbles, coarse sand and charcoal. The filtered water is then sent to the storage tanks from where it is either pumped to the overhead tanks for use in the toilets and kitchen or for gardening. The water from the storage tanks is also sent to the central filtration plant before its use for drinking and cooking.

“When I joined here 22 years ago, we had a storage capacity of just 14,000 litres. Today, there are four storage tanks with a capacity of around 7 lakh litres. Of this, rainwater makes up around 3 lakh litres,” Jacob says. The daily water demand of the school is around 1 lakh litres of which 60 percent is met by the Municipal Corporation. “During lean months, this supply further reduces but we have enough water for the residents, and water tankers are not required,” says Rabinder Kaul, former incharge of the school’s Nature Club.

The experience also inspired the school to look for natural solutions to a challenging situation. In April 2006, the swimming pool had no water due to a supply problem from the Municipal Corporation. The management decided to hire 24 water tankers at cost of Rs 60,000 to fill the pool as swimming classes were getting delayed but before that could happen, clouds gathered and the management changed its mind. “Rainwater flowing out through the open drains was diverted towards the pool downhill. It was made to pass through a steel tank lined with filter media. By next morning, the pool was filled to its maximum capacity of around 2 lakh litres without any expense,” Jacob explains.

The school spent around Rs 45 lakh on its water set up which includes the centralised water filtration plant costing Rs 35 lakh. “Though rainwater is usually clean, we were not sure about the supply from the Municipal Corporation. Besides, we also use groundwater through borewells which requires filtration,” Jacob says. BCS has emerged as an example worth emulating especially for residential schools in the hills which are bound to have high water demand but low supply.

Originally published on India Water Portal’s blog. Republished here with permission.

http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/shimla-school-goes-students-bathing-every-other-day-swimming-daily

Celebration: 17th October 2014 at BCS

This was received via a text message today. It is suggested that you contact KJS Sidhu for details and confirmation, also do inform the HM of BCS if you plan to visit the school :

We OC’s have planned a musical evening at school on the 17th Oct 5:30 PM onward to celebrate BCS becoming India’s no. 1 Boys Boarding School; Vikram Chauhan’s great achievement;  and of course OC’s Buwal & Dr Deepinder won the Raid De Himalaya! We have arranged for Rodriques (a famous band of Chandigarh) to play for us that evening. The HM has extended an invitation to all for dinner that evening. Would like for as many OCs to attend! Looking forward to seeing  everyone at BCS on the 17th!

Regards KJS Sidhu / 09814073289

BCS Won the SLATER DEBATES 2014

XIX Revd. Dr. Slater English Debates 2014

Finals

Bishop Cotton School wins XIX Revd. Slater English debates 2014 

Participating Teams:

  1. La Martiniere Girls,   Lucknow
  2. La Martiniere Boys College, Lucknow
  3. Mayo College, Ajmer
  4. MayoCollege for Girls’
  5. The Doon School, Dehradun
  6. St.JamesSchool, Kolkata
  7. Auckland House School, Shimla
  8. The SriRamSchool, Gurgaon
  9. Vasant Valley School, New Delhi
  10. The Aitchison College, Lahore
  11. Bishop Cotton, Shimla-Cambridge
  12. Sherwood School, Nanital
  13. Loreto School, Kolkata
  14. The Assam Valley School, Assam
  15. The LawrenceSchool, Sanawar.
  16. Bishop Cotton School, Shimla – Oxford

On 26th April Saturday , Bishop Cotton School won Slater Debates 2014, Yashvardhan Singh of Bishop Cotton School was adjudged the best speaker of Slater Debates-2014. Ved Mehta, of St. James’ was awarded the Best Speaker in the first semi-final as St. James’ School, Kolkata managed to defeat Loreto House Kolkata with the topic reading “It is time to end caste-based reservations in India in order to bring about social equality”. The second semi-final featured hosts Bishop Cotton squaring off with international participants Aitchison College, Lahore. . The topic for the debate was “Corruption Is the Price We Pay for Progress”. The fourth speakers of the teams were called upon as the debate was adjudged as a tie. Bishop Cotton ultimately emerged victorious after a keenly contested tie-breaker with Yashvardhan Singh of Bishop Cotton being adjudged the Best Speaker.

In the evening, the much anticipated final debate was held between the hosts Bishop Cotton and St. James’ Kolkata with the topic being “During elections, image building makes a mockery of Indian democracy”. The Chief Guest for the evening was Mr. Deepak Sanan, a very senior bureaucrat presently working as additional chief secretary in the Government of Himachal Pradesh. He is an eminent personality, a writer, and writes for various column and almost all newspaper.

The opposition side Bishop Cotton managed to get the title under their belt as Yashvardhan Singh and Ankit Gongal of Bishop Cotton bagged the Best Speaker award while Ved Mehta of St. James’ managed the 3rd position.

The individual prizes were as follows:

  • Courage in the face of Adversity: Syed Rafay Hassan (Aitchison College, Lahore)
  • The Most Promising Speaker: Ved Mehta (St. James’ School, Calcutta)
  • The Best Speaker of Slater Debates: Yashvardhan Singh (Bishop Cotton School, Shimla)

The 19th edition of the famous Revd. Dr. Samuel Slater Memorial Invitational Inter-School English Debates was won by the hosts Bishop Cotton School, Shimla for the second consecutive year. The debating event which lasted for a period of five days was successful in strengthening bonds between elite schools from across the country as well as maintaining the highest standards of total education.

The whole program was conceptualised and planned by the Master Incharge debates Mrs Sushma Kaul under the dynamic leadership of The Headmaster Mr. R. C. Robinson.

 

 

Bishop Cotton School Shimla students scale Mt Deo Tibba in Manali

http://hillpost.in/2013/06/bishop-cotton-school-shimla-students-scale-mt-deo-tibba-in-manali/89052/

BY:  JUNE 20, 2013 00:07

Shimla: A team of four students of Bishop Cotton School have successfully scaled the 19688ft (6,001 m) Mt Deo Tibba (Mountain of Gods) – a technical peak set back in the Manali valley.

BCS-Students-scale-Mt-tibba

A team comprising of Mahim Gupta (student leader), Sanjeev Sikri, Anirudh Dipta, Madhav Sahejpaul and Shubham Hissaria was accompanied by Mr.Dinesh Kumar (teacher/instructor).

The expedition began on June 3, and ascend to the summit was carried out in the early morning hours of June 11. The weather was furious and unfavorable for climbing so the team, taking on the odds, had to ascend from the advance camp (set at 16000ft) to the summit i.e. a seven hour trek on 80 degree inclined ice walls, in one go.

Crossing over open crevasses and heading through snowstorms and temperatures as low as -20 degrees, the team reached the summit and unfurled the school flag and the tri-color at 9:15 am of the June 11.

Unfortunately, Shubham Hissaria felt altitude’s blunt at 18200feet and was forced to descend to the advance camp to seek medical aid.

Though, the height of the peak may not seem really challenging for a professional mountaineer, but the equipment, skill and stamina required for scaling the peak was no less than that required for any other higher peek in the Himalayas.

The team of students underwent a basic mountaineering course and training at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali (ABVIMAS).

Mr.Rajiv Sharma, former deputy director of ABHVIMAS, Manali was the team’s technical adviser of the expedition, which was planned by Trek India Outdoor under the supervision of Mr. Naresh Kumar.

It is worth noting that recently a team of students from Lawrence School Sanawar set a new record as six of its members’ summitted the world’s highest peak – Mount Everest!

BCS-Students-scale-Mt-tibba-1-285x285 BCS-Students-scale-Mt-tibba-2-285x285
BCS-Students-scale-Mt-tibba-3-285x285BCS-Students-scale-Mt-tibba-4-285x285

 

BCS students on exchange to Marlborough College

Click for a larger view

Click for a larger view

A milestone was reached on Sunday 5 May 2013 when the first two BCS boys on a Student Exchange Programme entered Marlborough College.

The School Captain, Raghav Gandhi and his friend Manvendra Tomar, a Prefect of the school, arrived at Heathrow Airport at 7 a.m. that Sunday morning. They were met by John Whitmarsh-Knight, who took them to his home to await collection by taxi for their journey to Marlborough College.

Mr Mark McVeigh, the College International Liaison Coordinator, saw them settled into their respective Houses for a good night’s sleep, before getting into the School routine the next day.

The boys, who are wonderful ambassadors for BCS, have been shown tremendous kindness and help and been made to feel absolutely at home from the moment of their arrival. Doubtless they will have their stories to tell when their all-too-brief stay is over.

I travelled over from Mallorca to see them but could not do so until the Sunday as they went on a School trip to Bristol all day on Saturday.

On Sunday I was invited, with them, to the home of Mr and Mrs McVeigh for Sunday lunch. Two girls from Waterford School, South Africa, on a similar exchange programme, also joined us. After a delicious meal, we three OCs watched the Old Marlburians playing cricket. The day was completed when we went for a curry at the Raj Indian restaurant, where we were joined by Mr Martin Evans, Secretary of the Marlburian Club.

On the Monday and Tuesday both boys went up to London to enjoy the experience of the ‘big city’. A few days later – on 25 May – they returned home, after a memorable time.

Many people have been involved in this programme. From B.C.S., the Headmaster, Mr Roy Robinson and his able Assistant Praveen Dharma. Old Boy K.C. Anand has helped liaising between School, parents and the British High Commissioner to obtain visas and saw them onto the plane at Delhi Airport. Mr Deep C. Anand has cemented the relationship between the two schools, hosting a Reception for the Master of Marlborough College, Mr Jonathan Leigh and his wife Emma. Present at the Reception, along with Old Boys and their wives, were two Marlburians on the Exchange Programme – Hugo Wilson and Sam Green – who, having been accommodated at Mr Deep C. Anand’s guest quarters in Gurgaon, were then accompanied up to Shimla for their stay at B.C.S. We hope to see them and their two predecessors from the year before – Rory Manley and Max Adams – at the OCA Lunch on 29 June at the Bombay Brasserie.

From Marlborough, the newly appointed Master – Jonathan Leigh – took immediate interest and through Mr Mark McVeigh, the successor to Larry Lamont, the programme was put in place. Mr Martin Evans, Secretary of the Marlburian Club, has kept an eye on the programme and with Jane Pendry – Alumni Relations Manager- ensured that the exchange has featured in the Marlburian Magazine and Newsletter.

Last but not least we are grateful to Mr John Whitmarsh-Knight, who has spent several spells in BCS teaching the boys – amongst them Raghav Gandhi and Manvendra Tomar – for his support and wonderful act of meeting the boys at the unearthly hour of 7 a.m. in London.

We must now look forward to the repeat of this Exchange on a yearly basis – with longer time being spent in Marlborough and eventually the exchange of teachers being added to the programme.

With our sincere thanks to all those involved for their time, effort and keen interest in the success of the exchange.

With best wishes

Gay Niblett
Hon. Life President OCA (UK)

Kurt Mitson

Received from Mr. Robinson – Headmaster of BCS headmaster@bishopcotton.com

OBITUARY

Kurt Mitson was born in Kharagpur, in West Bengal on the 19th April, 1981. His early education was at La Martiniere College for Boys, Lucknow and he later graduated from Pune University. He was married to Banita Mitson. Kurt Mitson served as a Junior School Teacher at Bishop Cotton School from March 2009 till December 2010. He was last working at Don Bosco, Siliguri.

Kurt Mitson passed away on the 9th of May, 2013 at a tender age of 32. He is deeply missed by his wife, mother, sister, brother and other members of the family. He will be remembered with sincere gratitude by all the staff & students at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla.

Yash Vardhan Singh best speaker at BCS Slater Debates, 2013

BY: RAVINDER MAKHAIK

Shimla: Hosts Bishop Cotton School, Shimla (BCS) came out winners at the prestigious annual 18thSlater Debates, pinning down 15 other top schools of the country, with Vasant Valley School giving a tough time in the final round that ended today.

For the final topic ‘Juveniles deserve adult punishment for adult crimes’ had BCS debating it on the affirmative side and Vasant Valley School, Delhi on the opposite side.

Judged from diction, presentation, clarity of topic and other debating parameters Yash Vardhan Singh of BCS was declared the best speaker at the Slater Debates, a little while ago.

Courage in the Face of Adversity award went to Garvit Chaudhary of Pine Grove School, Dharampur and the Most Promising speaker went to Shreya Kohli of  La Martiniere Girls, Lucknow.

At one of the semi-final debate rounds held today Yash Vardhan Singh of BCS was 1st, Ankita Niyogi of Sri Ram School was 2nd and Ankit Gongal of  BCS was third. The topic of the debate was ‘Bribery is an accepted norm in the contemporary society’.

At the other semi-final debate between Vasant Valley School, Delhi and La Martiniere Girls, Lucknow (LMG) on the topic “Advertising creates artificial needs.” Vasant Valley School won with Namrata Narula and Anjani Gupta securing 2nd and 3rd positions Shreya Kohli of LMG, Lucknow bagging the 1stposition.

Started in 1996 by former headmaster Kabir Mustafi, the Slater Debates are held in honour of Revd. Dr. Samuel Slater was the first headmaster of BCS.

The format adopted is the Cambridge pattern with three speakers for and three speakers against; along with 1 reserve speaker each, to generate a healthy debate on current issues confronting society and the country.

Spread over four days the inter-public school debating exchange helps to facilitate friendship, exchange of views and ideas with a view to foster student inter-action, so that they can gather together and debate in a friendly and competitive spirit, said a BCS spokesman.

Slater Debates at BCS Shimla

Top 16 Schools to slug it out at Slater Debates at BCS Shimla

BY: RAVINDER MAKHAIK

Shimla: Fifteen top schools from India and one from Dubai meet here to trash out debating points, starting Wednesday, at the Slater international inter-school debates hosted by Bishop Cotton School.

The schools participating are Frank Anthony Public School, Delhi, La Martiniere Girls School, Kolkata, Dubai Modern High School, La Martiniere Boys, Kolkata,    La Martiniere Girls, Lucknow, Pine Grove School, Dharampur, Modern High School, Kolkata, St. James School, Kolkata,  The Assam Valley School, Assam, The Doon School, Dehradun, The Lawrence School, Sanawar, The Vasant Valley School, New Delhi, La Martiniere College for Boys, Lucknow, Auckland House Girls, Shimla and The Sri Ram School, Gurgaon. The lone international school participating in the debate is the Dubai Modern High School.

Based on the Cambridge debate pattern, with three speakers for and three speakers against speaking on a topic as many as 19 topics ranging from abstract to topical would be debated upon over four days by the participants.

Held in honour of the first headmaster of BCS, the Reverend Dr. Samuel Slater Memorial Invitational Inter-school English Debates have acquire a reputation of being amongst the best debating platform for school children since 1996 when top schools began to be invited for it.

Some of the topics slated to be debated upon this time are Using torture to obtain information should be banned, Socialism is dead, Bribery is an accepted norm in contemporary society, Corporal punishment should be reintroduced in school, Indian democracy is nothing but a game of numbers, There are no bad children only bad parents, The media offers a biased outlook on events, A presidential form of government would be better than the current parliament system, Advertising creates artificial needs, New technologies add little to the quality of education and The united nation organization is a toothless lion.

Winners of the last three consecutive debates, La Mariniere Boys’ School, Kolkata have in 17 years been on top in five years (1999, 2002, 2010, 2011 and 2012), the Doon School Dehra Dun have won on three occasions (1996, 1997 and 2007), Mayo College for Girls, Ajmer (2001 and 2009), La Martiniere Girls School, Kolkata (2004 and 2006) and Bishop Cotton School, Shimla (1998 and 2005) have won it on two occasions each and St James School, Kolkata (2000), The Cathedral & John Connon School, Mumbai (2003) and The Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehra Dun (2008) one  time each.

Among those who have witnessed and judged these debates include the former BBC India correspondent Mark Tully and late Mrs Amita Malik, the famous media critic.

BCS introduces Scuba-diving

Bishop Cotton School Shimla is the first school in the country to introduce SCUBA DIVING as an adventure sports activity. BCS is expected figure in the LIMCA Book Of Records for this achievement. Congratulations to all!

Click the picture for a full view.