India Schools : Welham Boys’ School, Dehradun
In January 1937, with 1000 pounds borrowed from her mother, Miss H.S. Oliphant , who came from a distinguished family of landed gentry and had many years of experience in India, set up a small preparatory school for boys in Dalanwala, Dehra Dun. Her enthusiasm, drive and initiative soon made it the only school of its kind in India . In 1957 she founded Welham Girls High School . Thus living up to the school motto, "From Strength to Strength". Mr. S. K. Kandhari, was the principal for almost 18 years, and helped raise the school from preparatory to Class XII.
The school occupies about 11 hectares of land near the Rispana river and commands a pleasant view of the Himalayan foothills. The open spaces on campus are interspersed with large classroom buildings located in three separate wings - Junior, Middle and Senior, equipped with modern laboratories and computer facilities. The school has residential sections for the junior, middle, upper and pre-college students. They consist of pleasant hostels, neat and well managed dormitories, experienced and proper facilities. There is a well equipped hospital with a resident doctor and trained nursing staff.
The academic faculty consists of qualified and trained teachers who closely assess each student in their charge and fulfil the role of overseer, guide and helper.
There are no special quotas or reservation for any community or for non-residents of India. The school has 550 students and all the boys are in residence. There are no day scholars. To provide maximum contact between the teacher and the taught, the strength per class is always small . There are never more than 27 boys in a class.
The school is affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, New Delhi. Initially started as a preparatory school, the school, in 1977, began a process of gradually going up to the XIIth class. Today it sends its pupils for the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the Indian School Certificate (ISC) examination at the Class X and Class XII levels. The medium of instruction is English while Hindi is a compulsory subject.
The school fees at present are about Rs. 62,000/- per annum, i.e. Rs. 31,000/- per term and covers tuition, boarding and lodging, text books, stationery, games, laundry, repairs to clothes and shoes etc.
A non-refundable admission fee per child is also paid at the time of admission. A sum equal to one-term fees per boy is levied at the time of admission. This amount is refundable after the boy leaves school. A deposit too must be paid with the first term fee against which the cost of articles of uniform etc., provided by the school will be debited. An imprest fee must also be paid at the time of admission.
Boys are admitted from the age of six. They are required to take the test in Hindi, English, and Maths and there is an oral interview in which the candidate must qualify before admission. Vacancies in Classes IV and V are few and in Classes VI to X rare. There is a registration fee per child (for overseas boys US$ amount is chargeable) which is neither refundable nor transferable. All new admissions are on probation for a year.
In 1956 Miss Oliphant, the founder, created an educational trust for the promotion of education for Indian boys at the Welham Preparatory School. The charitable and educational scholarships are available to deserving boys on merit-cum-means basis.
The school provides facilities for cricket, football, hockey, basketball, athletics, tennis, badminton, table tennis and volleyball. Special taekwondo classes are another feature of the school. For the young ones there are sand pits, slides, swings and "jingle gyms". Swimming is a popular sport and the small pool (with its chlorine based filtration plant) is the scene of great activity from March to October. The school has its own van which is most useful for taking teams for outside matches as well as for expeditions to the hills, forests and rivers.
Extra Curricular Activities
An excellent Art Department and a Music School ably run by highly motivated staff are a prominent feature of Welham. Art and music are compulsory for all boys up to Class VII, as are computer studies. Electronics, motor mechanics, carpentry, dramatics, debating, gardening, etc. are all active interests pursued by many of the boys, with enthusiastic participation by the staff. The school has its own 16 mm projector and audio-visual equipment like VCRs and over head and slide projectors, all operated by the boys. Groups of students regularly visit Raphael- home for leprosy patients and Cheshire Home. They also work on the school estate in spheres like gardening, tree planting, cycle repair, motor mechanics etc. There is also an active afforestation programme.