What's in a school name

A leisurely perusal of the names and we are reassured that the free-wheeling creative imagination and literary legerdemain of private management in conjuring up names for their schools are alive and well.

John Keats English Memorial Pre-Nursery School, Doresanipalya. This was one of the names that caught my eyes and I could imagine bright-eyed two and three-year-old toddlers being taught by diligent teachers to annotate, paraphrase and comment critically on the verse and muse form of Keats’ sonnet, ‘Ode to a Grecian Urn’.

Another school name in similar vein is William Wordsworth English Lower Kindergarten School, Chikkahanumanahalli.

It is heart-warming to know that private managements in and around Bangalore are contributing their humble mite, after pocketing a hefty ‘voluntary’ donation from hapless parents of course, to preserve for posterity the immortal names of great English poets and men of letters. “More power to their elbow,” I say.

How about this school name — William Shakespeare Adarsha Vidya Samasthe? Here clearly is a noble attempt to merge hoary Indian and English cultures.

Macmiller English Higher Secondary School, Goraguntepalya. This was another school to have borne the brunt of the Education Department’s ire. The name sounded very high hat — straight out of a list of Scottish Highlands Lord of the Manor. May be Macmiller was a famous Scottish missionary who had rendered yeoman service to spread liberal English education in Goraguntepalya around the turn of the 18th century, or possibly, he was a star centre forward stroker of the Glasgow Celtic Football Club. But, it is too bad that a school with a name like Macmiller English Higher Secondary School should be publicly tarred and feathered and run out of town by being “de-recognised” for the name does conjure up visions of the British Raj at its zenith.

Out there in Doddagunte, there is the owner of a “de-recognised” school who must undoubtedly be a keen military buff for he has named his school Monty English Higher Secondary School, presumably after the swashbuckling hero of Second World War, Field Marshal Montgomery. It would be just a matter of time before a rival school springs up in Doddagunte sporting the name of Desert Fox Erwin Rommel English Lower Kindergarten School.

Little Holy Angels Daffodils Nursery School, Pipeline, Maistrypalya was another name that caught my fancy and I could imagine the school being located in a picturesque honeysuckle cottage amidst a sea of fragrant daffodils in early spring bloom, but there was a catch. The school, according to the Education Department, was situated in a ‘pipeline’ (with pupils crawling in and out?) and I couldn’t believe that daffodils would grow in wild profusion, even in concrete lined steel pipes.

But let’s be grateful for small mercies. No one, at least not yet, has named his school as Adolf Hitler Moral Studies Playpen or Idi Amin Religious School. So, what’s in a school name? Plenty, if it happens to be a blue stocking name like William Makepeace Thackeray English Lower Secondary School.

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