Ganapathy High School Campus, Mangaluru. Kotekar Campus, Ullal

In November 2012, a core-committee of dedicated educationists requested our Mathadhipati – Parama Pujya Sadyojat Shankarashram Swamiji to become the Mentor of their reputed group of academic institutions that included the historic Ganapathy High School and the Parijnan PU Junior College of Science and Commerce. The gracious Acceptance of Swamiji has resulted in a meteoric rise on the all-round success graph of each unit .

It is matter of great pride for all of us that a few dedicated individuals from a small community like ours invested time, resources and skills and made a humble beginning with a tiny school which has today blossomed into a mighty group of reputed academic institutions.

The adage ‘the higher you lift your light the farther its radiance sheds’ can be applied to this school, for that is what this institution has done so far and is still doing…guided and directed by fair and honest means”, wrote our 10th Mathadhipati – Parama Pujya Parijnanashram Swamiji III in November 1972, blessing the “action, duty, drive and endeavour” of the committed core-group that had ensured the “victorious survival” of the Ganapathy High School, Mangaluru through all trials and tribulations and enabled it to celebrate its glorious centenary! “We have offered prayers to Lord Bhavanishankar for the abounding success of their endeavour” our Visionary Guru Swami assured. Little wonder therefore, that after a modest start the success story of Ganapathy School recorded a meteoric rise to unprecedented heights! First, the humble institution begun in the year 1870 on the verandah of Sri Uma-Maheshwar Temple as a Sanskrit school soon became a model school with a proper curriculum prescribed by the Education Department of the (then) Madras Government as at the time Mangaluru was part of the Madras Presidency.

Then, what was initiated by a group of enthusiastic Saraswats to benefit the locals was taken over by the Trasi brothers in 1879 and Trasi Parameswarayya became its first headmaster. On the 27thof September 1908 the school came under the umbrella of the Saraswat Education Society (SES)and Shri Kabad Rama Rao , retired Deputy Collector became its first Chairman. In 1915, the school shifted to its present campus and sincerely serving the cause of education its exemplary Headmasters – the Late - Shri M. S. Ekambara Rao, Shri H. Panduranga Rao and Sri Kodial Shankarrao ensured that the school scaled great heights from 1924- 1972. The school was upgraded to a High School during Shri Bondal Sadshiv Rao’s Headmastership and later, public demand led to the establishment of a Junior College. Recognising a growing need the Ganapathy English Medium School was started in 1989 under the able stewardship of then SES Secretary – the Late Gopinath Bhat Gulwadi. Today, the two-acre campus proudly houses – the Ganapathy Kannada –medium Primary and High Schools, the Ganapathy English-medium High School and the Ganapthy Pre-University College!

In 1946, the Saraswat Education Society , Mangaluru had started Anandashram High School at Kotekar, near Ullal. Today, this reputed school, housed on a six-acre campus has admirable facilities for both academic pursuit and physical fitness and it has on its rolls both local students and those from Kasargod District of Kerala. The Parijnan Junior College was inaugurated on the same campus on June 1, 2005. This too has soon become a well-known institution with many students in both the science and commerce streams.

In November 2012, the Saraswat Education Society requested our present Mathadhipati – Parama Pujya Sadyojat Shankarashram Swamiji to be the Mentor to these institutions and accordingly appoint new office bearers . Under Swamiji’s Guidance, the office bearers initiated several constructive changes in both the administrative and academic working of these institutions . The current office bearers carrying forward the good work to make future prospects of this laudable Society even bigger, brighter and better are – Shri Praveen P. Kadle ( President), Shri Dileep G Mavinkurve ( Vice-President) , Shri Mahesh L. Bondal ( Secretary) ,Shri Arun Pandit ( Treasurer) and Shri Ramachandrarao Alekal who is the Chief Executive Officer of al the educational institutions of the Saraswat Education Society (SES).

The positive makeover augmented by the committed effort put in by the School Management and teaching faculty has yielded 100 per cent result in the SSLC Examination with many distinctions and first classes! Added to this are the laurels earned by students in sports and cultural activities too, leading to the stamp of approval from the Block Education Officer about the heightened excellence of the school on all fronts.

With overwhelming gratitude towards the inspiring Guidance, Grace and Blessings of our Beloved Swamiji after He graciously accepted the Mentorship of SES, Alekalmam lists the many happy changes that have cemented the sound cultural foundation, accelerated the flowering of the school’s activities and success on multiple fronts and thereby , of course, the reputation of all the institutions under SES.

Only individuals who have a strong commitment towards academic excellence and teaching impressionable minds are appointed as faculty members and periodic training is imparted to keep them abreast with all that is new and worth imbibing.

An academician and educationist with 35 years of experience in the Education Department has been appointed as the CEO of all the institutions under SES.

Equal importance is given to imparting quality education and to heightening cultural and moral awareness. On three days in a week, the children chant the entire 13th and 15th Chapters of the Bhagwad Gita. On the remaining three days of the week, after the regular prayers, the CEO teaches them one Subhashita in Sanskrit along with an explanation of its meaning and more importantly, with an insight on how this wisdom can be applied in day-to-day life! To ensure that the students get an opportunity to learn different skills from the best in the land, there are plans afoot to start a Shankar Mahadevan Academy of Music and a Prakash Padukone Academy for badminton soon!

In 2016-2017, on 10 consecutive Sundays, 300 students and staff members joined the Swachha Mangaluru Abhiyaan and cleaned the major streets around Ganapathy High School, the old bus-stand and the railway station. This laudable effort was greatly appreciated by the public and widely covered by the media. The participating children received certificates as a pat on the back for their willing volunteering.

Parama Pujya Swamiji’s visits to the campus and His invaluable Ashirvachan-s have inspired students and staff alike and boosted their morale tremendously.

Eminent personalities have visited and interacted with the students, among them Prof. Meena Chandavarkar, Vice-Chancellor, Bijapur Women’s University and MP and BJP’s National Spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi.

Having Pujya Swamiji as an Infallible Guide at the helm has created an ambience of great joy and it is normal to see a smile on every face, an eagerness to absorb all that is being taught and at the same time, a heightened degree of decorum and discipline.

Last, but certainly not the least, the academic performance of students at all levels and especially at the SSLC and PU Public Examinations has been exemplary.

On June 3, 2017, as the first step towards creating a full-fledged English medium school following the CBSE program at Kotekar-Someshwar near Ullal, a nursery school – Parijnan Vidyalay was inaugurated by Parama Pujya Sadyojat Shankarashram Swamiji.

“In its very antiquity lies its strength and beauty”, writes Savitri Babulkar in her tribute tracing the glorious history of SES and acknowledging her gratitude for the goodwill she received during her rewarding tenure as Principal of the Ganapathy Junior College. She quotes educationist - the late T.A.Pai and Shri Veerendra Patil who was President of the Mysore Pradesh Congress Committee applauding Ganapathy High School as “one of the best in the State which gave unstinted support to Harijans.” She also recounts how every teacher and caring Headmaster has left an indelible mark on the progress of this laudable institution and also in hearts of every student who have passed out of its noble portals.

The reason for the meteoric growth of all the institutions of the Saraswat Education Society is that the main objective of those entrusted with the responsibility of moulding the young and impressionable minds was and now, under the Divine Guidance of Pujya Swamiji undoubtedly still is -a high standard of teaching along with focus on all-round development and character-building “ to guide the students to think for themselves and not merely cram facts and figures.”