Far from the pandemonium of the city centre, Varthur plays home to a string of schools that seem to be thriving in the area's quietude and convenient location. The density of schools in the area, especially on Gunjur Road, offers a glimpse into the sheer choice before parents.
But why Varthur?
“When we source land for a school, we look at multiple factors to achieve a fine balance. Important among them are cost of land and response in terms of admissions. This piece of land here in Varthur worked well in both these aspects. Land on Marathahalli Main Road or in Whitefield would have been too expensive. In terms of accessibility, Varthur is close to both Sarjapur Road and Whitefield,” says Jethani, director of Chrysalis High, a recent addition to the growing school belt.
Paving the way
Running parallel to the neighbourhood's growth, most of these schools have set up shop in the last five years. Their growth has been aided by the development of proper roads and the influx of buses to the area. “When we initially set up, the road leading up to the school was really bad. But once the road was laid out, more children could come. As most families in the area live in gated communities, the school buses go all the way into the gated communities to pick up children,” says Aloysius D'Mello, principal, Greenwood High.
With access and response, the next thing for the schools was to pass the test of delivery.
“Parents look at different factors when choosing schools. Some look at proximity while others look at infrastructure. Generally, if we set up a school in a residential area, then, while there is proximity, there is no luxury of space. On the other hand, in areas like Varthur, you can choose to have a huge football ground within the premises of the school,” explains Jethani.
Besides, Aloysius adds, his school has class strength of 25 to 30 students. “In the city, the size of the class reaches 65. Here, we try to maintain a balance between curricular activities and academics. For the expats and NRIs who have now settled here, this is compatible with what they have in the U.S. for example.”
It is more than obvious that these schools have come up with a specific audience in mind. In the words of V. Rajalakshmi, a resident of Mahadevapura, close to Varthur, “The schools have come up mainly to cater to the innumerable residential layouts and gated communities that have come up in the area. It is largely a corporate area.”
Schools like Inventure Academy say they had a target audience in mind when they ventured into the area. “What we were primarily concerned with was the availability of land and we chose Varthur because we wanted to cater to the children of the IT crowd which was the economic group we were targeting,” says Preet Benjamin Aarons, head, Admissions and Community Relations, Inventure Academy.
“Parents do look for schools that are outside the city because there is less noise and pollution. All schools here cater to different sections of the society. But generally, although the fees of schools in this area are quite high, parents are willing to pay as long as schools manage to deliver,” said Archana Srivastava, principal, Chrysalis High.
Spoilt for choice
In this environment of healthy competition, parents too have a chance to make an informed choice. “When we were trying to find a school for my son, there were lots of choices. And there are even more choices today. Not just schools, many colleges are also being set up in and around the area. Evidently, it is fast becoming a hub for education,” says Rajalakshmi.