Lucknow, the capital city of India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh, is now home to the world’s biggest school, according to the new edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. The last academic year, 2,500 teachers taught a mind-boggling 39,437 students in 1,000 classrooms at Lucknow’s City Montessori School. According to the school’s website, it now boasts over 44,000 pupils.
The school was founded in 1959 by Bharti and Jagdish Gandhi with just 300 borrowed rupees ($5.70 at current exchange rates) and a total of five students. More than half a century later, the school, which spreads over several campuses, can’t gather for assembly as there is no venue in town that is big enough. Students ages between three and 17 are divided into classrooms of 45 children each; every pupil wears identical school uniforms, AFP reports. Younger students pay about $18, older students $47 in fees per month. The school held the record once before, in 2005, when it had 29,212 pupils — beating a school in the Philippines with roughly 20,000 pupils.
Uttar Pradesh is in dire need of schools. The Northern state has a literacy rate below India’s national average of 74% and ranks 29th among India’s 35 administrative divisions, according to the 2011 census. Lucknow’s City Montessori School not only excels in size, it has over the years been showered in awards and recognition. In 2002, it received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. Two years ago, the Dalai Lama conferred his Hope for Humanity award to the school founder.
The size of the Gandhis school, which does not receive government funding, is however dwarfed by the world’s largest university, also in India. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in Delhi has no less than four million students — ten times larger than its U.S. equivalent, the online University of Phoenix.
India, a country of extremes, boasts some other, more obscure, records: nowhere have there been more people standing on one moving motorcycle (54), has a larger foreign object been left in a patient (a pair of 13 inch-long artery forceps) or a higher number of green coconuts been smashed in one minute by elbows (92, 7 of which were disqualified).
Content created and supplied by: NanaOT (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More