City Montessori School

Coordinates: 26°47′23″N 80°53′39″E / 26.7896°N 80.8942°E / 26.7896; 80.8942
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City Montessori School
Coordinates26°47′23″N 80°53′39″E / 26.7896°N 80.8942°E / 26.7896; 80.8942
TypeRegistered Not-for-Profit Non-Governmental Society
MottoJai Jagat
(Victory to the World)
Founded1959; 64 years ago (1959)
FounderJagdish Gandhi
Bharti Gandhi
EnrollmentNearly 55,547[2]
AffiliationCouncil for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE)[1]

City Montessori School (CMS) is a co-educational English medium private school that offers education from Pre-school up to K-12 (Grade 12) level in Lucknow, India. The school was founded in 1959 by Dr. Bharti Gandhi and Dr. Jagdish Gandhi. It is mentioned as the world's largest school by the Guinness Book of World Records which reported 55,547 students as of 2019.[3]

In 2014, CMS society was accredited with the United Nations Department of Public Information as affiliated NGO.[4]


Dr. Jagdish Gandhi and his wife Dr. Bharti Gandhi founded the City Montessori School with just 5 children in 1959 in a room at their home.[5][6] This first campus is now known as the Station Road Branch. Each student is placed in one of the four houses which are Love, Hope, Unity and Peace with the colours Green, Red, Yellow and Blue representing each house respectively. In 2002 CMS was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education.[7] The school has also received the 'Hope of Humanity' Award from the spiritual leader of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" school of Tibetan Buddhism, Dalai Lama.[8]


The campuses of the school are spread all over the city of Lucknow. The campuses include:[9]

  • Aliganj Campus I
  • Aliganj Campus II
  • Anand Nagar Campus
  • Asharfabad Campus
  • Ayodhya Road Campus
  • Chowk Campus
  • Gomti Nagar Campus I
  • Gomti Nagar Campus II
  • Indira Nagar Campus
  • Jopling Road Campus
  • Kanpur Road (LDA Colony) Campus
  • Mahanagar Campus
  • Rajajipuram Campus I
  • Rajajipuram Campus II
  • Rajajipuram Campus III
  • Rajendra Nagar Campus I
  • Rajendra Nagar Campus II
  • RDSO Campus
  • Golf City Campus
  • Station Road Campus
  • United world campus
  • Khokha market campus
  • Serpentine couple campus


Model United Nations,[10] the CMSMUN, is organised by the school.

Children of the school have appealed to the world judiciary at International Conference of Chief Justices of the World.[11]

Various campuses conduct International events annually, like the IYMC, ITMO, Reflections, Confluence, Inter-Faith Harmony Week etc.

Student Quality Circles[edit]

The idea of SQCs (Students' Quality Circles) was presented by City Montessori School (CMS) Lucknow India at a conference in Hong Kong in October 1994. It was developed and mentored by two engineers of Indian Railways PC, Bihari and Swami Das, in association with Principal Dr. Kamran of CMS Lucknow India. They were inspired and facilitated by Jagdish Gandhi, who founded CMS after his visit to Japan, where he learned about Kaizen. CMS has continued to conduct international conventions on student quality circles every two years. After seeing its utility, educators from many countries started such circles. The World Council for Total Quality & Excellence in Education was established in 1999. It monitors and facilitates student quality circle activities in its member countries, which number more than a dozen. SQCs are considered to be a co-curricular activity. They have been established in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Mauritius, Iran, UK (Kingston University and started in University of Leicester), and USA.

Awards & Recognitions[edit]


In the news[edit]

In 2013, CMS became a center in Uttar Pradesh for the Scholastic Aptitude Test popularly known as SAT, the major test required for admission in US universities SAT.[13]

In 2015, CMS refused admission to 31 students of economically weaker section of the society under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act on the grounds that they were ineligible according to the state's own RTE rules. The school's rationale for not admitting the children were that either they were below 6 years of age (definition of child as per RTE act is a person aged between 6–14 years) or they resided beyond 1 km radius of CMS or they had other private schools nearer to their residence than CMS.[14] Ramon Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey sat on a hunger strike against CMS and other private school's refusal to admit children of economically weaker backgrounds. A meeting was arranged between the city administration, Sandeep Pandey and the school management but the issue remain unsolved reportedly due to either side's refusal to budge from their stand. CMS challenged the DM's order in the Allahabad High Court.[15] Following an interim order by the Supreme Court on school's appeal, CMS admitted 13 children who were found eligible by the apex court.[16][17]

The activities of the school have made impact during testing times, like in 1992, when the Babri Masjid was demolished and religious riots had cost hundreds of lives.[18] The school also initiated an Indo-Pak children's pen friend's project to promote friendship between children of India and Pakistan.[19][20]

Following the beheading of Indian army soldier, Lance Naik Hemraj by the Pakistani forces in 2013, and Indian Army responding aggressively to the incident in 2014,[21] tensions were once again high between India & Pakistan. So a Pakistani school's participation in a Cricket tournament conducted by CMS was cancelled.[22]

For the session 2017–18, school management increased the children's fees by 12%.[23] In 2013, it increased its fees for all classes by 10% and for Nursery and Kindergarten classes by up to 16% in comparison to previous year's fee.[24] The school's reputation was challenged when one of its teachers was blamed for slapping a child hard.[25] Reportedly, a student of class 10 at the school's Mahanagar branch committed suicide in 2011, after his principal Nalini Sharad, allegedly, threatened to shame him before the whole school. After the student's suicide, upon his parents insistence, the court took cognizance, rejecting the police enquiry and ordered in 2013 that a case should be registered against Sharad. Nalini Sharad was relieved of her services as Principal of CMS in 2013 when she retired. The matter is sub-judice since then.[26]

The school uniform, including socks and belt were changed by the school management after 33 years. On receiving complaints by guardians who reported that the uniform was being sold at higher prices than the fixed price, the school established a helpline for parents to check the prices.[27] Students have also performed yoga at the United Nations in New York to mark International Day of Yoga on 21 June 2017.[28] Children's films are showcased at the International Children's Film Festival.[29][30] An international music concert was organised at City Montessori School on 20 April with musicians from 17 countries and 11 states of India ABRSM.[31][32] There are a number of students from the school who have managed to secure distinction in recent CISCE Examinations.[33][34]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Find a Cambridge school".
  2. ^ "Largest school by pupils".
  3. ^ "Largest school by pupils".
  4. ^ "United Nations Department of Public Information Increases Global Network of Associated Non-Governmental Organizations, Approving 15 More Groups" (Press release). United Nations Department of Public Information. 10 June 2014. NGO/796-PI/2100PRESS RELEASE. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  5. ^ "City Montessori School, Lucknow, India". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  6. ^ "ISC and ICSE Schools in Lucknow".
  7. ^ "The City Montessori School (India) awarded the 2002 UNESCO prize for Peace Education" (Press release). UNCESCO. 6 June 2002. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  8. ^ Education, Independent (13 November 2015). "The biggest school in the world". Independent Education. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Campuses". City Montessori School. 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  10. ^ ND News[dead link]
  11. ^ "Kids appeal to judges: Save our future". The Times of India. 5 November 2018.
  12. ^ "City Montessori School, Lucknow, India".
  13. ^ Press Reader[dead link]
  14. ^ "RTE dispute: HC orders inspection of school". The Times of India. The Times Group. Times News Network. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  15. ^ Shahira, Naim (16 July 2015). "UP stumbles on the Right to Education front". The Tribune. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  16. ^ Overdorf, Jason (16 December 2015). "52,000 students and 1,050 classrooms: inside the world's largest school". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  17. ^ Times News Network (30 September 2015). "CMS admits 13 poor kids on SC directive". The Times of India. Lucknow: The Times Group. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  18. ^ Dylan Mathews. "War Prevention Works" (PDF). Oxford Research Group. pp. 24–25. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  19. ^ Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty. "Pals we are!". The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  20. ^ Mohit Dubey (9 November 2012). "Kids blame media for portraying India and Pakistan as enemies". No. 45. The Weekend Leader. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  21. ^ Ritesh K Srivastava (31 July 2014). "Army gave befitting reply to Pakistan on beheading of soldiers: Gen Bikram Singh". Zee News. Zee News. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  22. ^ Press Trust of India (8 December 2014). "Pakistan school excluded from International School Cricket Premier League". Cricket Country. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  23. ^ "बी.टेक, एमबीए से महंगी नर्सरी की पढ़ाई" [Pre-school education costlier than B.Tech, MBA Courses]. Hindustan (newspaper) (in Hindi). No. Lucknow Live. Lucknow: HT Media. 27 March 2017.
  24. ^ Jain, Isha (2 April 2013). "New academic session, new fee structure". The Times of India. Lucknow: The Times Group. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  25. ^ Times News Network (25 August 2014). "CMS student receives 'deafening' slap from teacher". The Times of India. Lucknow: The Times Group. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  26. ^ Times News Network (25 July 2013). "Ex-principal to face trial for student's suicide, says court". The Times of India. Lucknow: The Times Group. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  27. ^ "अभिभवकों ने यूनिफाॅर्म खरीद ली तब भेजा नोटिस". Amar Ujala (Newspaper). Amar Ujala Publications. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  28. ^ "On Yoga Day, Lucknow Students to Perform at UN Headquarters".
  29. ^ "Lucknow will host the biggest children's film festival".
  30. ^ "राजधानी लखनऊ में होगा सबसे बड़ा अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय बाल फिल्म महोत्सव जाने इसके बारें में". 11 March 2019.
  31. ^ "Músicos dominicanos participan en histórico concierto en India". 23 April 2019 – via Press Reader.
  32. ^ "Indo-Austrian composer's heart beats for his city". Hindustan Times. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  33. ^ "CISCE ICSE, ISC merit list 2019: Lucknow students steal the limelight". 7 May 2019.
  34. ^ "ICSE pass percentage up in UP, but no merit list due to Covid".

External links[edit]