COMM: The first day in class is a daunting prospect, so imagine being one of the 47,000
pupils on the register of the world’s biggest school. 00:11
COMM: City Montessori in Lucknow, India, is so large that no venue is big enough to hold
an entire school assembly. Dr. Jagdish Gandhi has the unenviable task of presiding over
the twenty campus school, which has been recognised by Guinness World Records. 00:28
JAGDISH: I founded this school with only five children, and that too I got with great difficulty.
So from word of mouth it spread, and slowly and slowly children have started coming in.
and year after year the numbers swelled. It has twenty campuses in the city of Lucknow.
Even in a small town the population isn’t as big as 47,000. 00:51
COMM: For fourteen year old like Kanika Gupta being one of thousands of students at CNS
has it’s ups and downs. 00:58
KANIKA: I would certainly say that all schools are good but CMS, I would not think of leaving
it, I would not imagine leaving it. 01:06
COMM: Lessons in the schools 1,000 plus classrooms may look fairly familiar, but the subjects
taught often aren’t. 01:14
COMM: Alongside geography, history and English, classes of up to 47 pupils are also taught
messages of universal peace. Miss Archana Misha is one of two thousand five hundred
teachers charged with sharing this unique message with students. 01:28
ARCHANA: I’ve been a part of CMS for the last six years, teaching is not so easy nowadays
because we are dealing with the generation which is hi-fi, hi-tech, they know everything,
they know about everything, sometimes they even know more than us. We give them extra
classes, supposedly you’re not able to give attention to any particular child. 01:50
COMM: Everything about CMS is big, it has 4,000 staff, around thirty thousand computers,
and goes through thousands of pounds worth of stationary each year. The daily fifteen
minute lunch break is no less chaotic. 02:05
COMM: Each day at ten forty AM, up to 12,000 pupils swirl the school’s tiny canteen area,
scoffing hundreds of vegetable patties and burgers. 02:15
COMM: And out on the sports field, preceding to have an element of military pomp to them.
Egg and spoon races are ditched, in favour of human pyramids and sack races. 02:25
JAGDISH: I never realised it was going to become so big. It was a very proud moment
for us when the Guinness Book of Records included this school, it was 1999 at the time we only
had 22,000 children, but now the number has been more than doubled. 02:41
COMM: Despite already being the world’s biggest, City Montessori’s growth doesn’t look like