Global Public School (GPS) Review - Ongoing Update: R2I - Schooling for Kids

Our kids completed three years at Global Public School (GPS), Chottanikkara (Kerala, India) at the end of March last year (2013). We considered changing schools after the second year with the idea that the kids will probably be ready to grow out of the NRI oriented Global Public School (GPS). Ultimately, decided to stay put as there was no clear winner with respect to choosing a better school - Global Public School (GPS) is by no means perfect, but the alternatives just did not seem to guaranty enough of an edge to warranty another major change for the kids.

Below are things that the kids and us like about Global Public School (GPS):

  1. The staff in general are fairly accommodative of student and parent requests/needs. The service levels have gone down compared to the time when our kids joined, but they are still satisfactory. 
  2. Parent volunteering is thankfully still a foreign concept at Global Public School (GPS). There was a minor scare in this regard at the start of the last school year, but it died down quickly, possibly due to lack of parent response. 
  3. Global Public School (GPS) continues to have individual teachers for each subjects. The school suffers from substantial turnover and it is not unusual for a Science teacher to end up teaching Hindi in lower grades. Even so, the approach is much better overall compared to having the same teacher for all subjects. 
  4. Covering the curriculum in the classroom is still a priority at Global Public School (GPS). With certain subjects, the teachers end-up rushing through chapters in the final months, but it is still better than not covering portions at all.

Below are things we came across over the last three years that can be considered as downsides with GPS:

  1. The choice of textbooks are a concern. With CBSE, the school still has a choice of choosing the books to use in the classroom as long as they adhere to CBSE guidelines. The school chose to change textbook vendors each of the last three school years. The books used in the 2010 school year were pretty good but for 2011 they switched to using Exceed. There was some marketing hype surrounding that, but the books were horrible - many of the pages were verbatim copies of Wiki pages from the Internet. Thankfully they changed text books for the 2012 school year - while those textbooks were not perfect, they were fairly adequate. For the 2013 school year, the textbooks are again changed - this time, they are going with Pearson PLC, a London-based publisher expanding in India. Needless to say, with each change, the price of the book package for the school year goes up substantially - 30% has been the average increase every year the last three years. It seems the school goes on changing books based on which publisher spins the best story for a particular year. 
  2. Door-to-door transportation was advertised as a great convenience when we joined in 2010. The service level has gone down substantially with this. Currently, our kids are picked up in front of our housing-community (a public road) and dropped off there as well. That means, they need an escort back and forth for safety reasons. At the start of the last school year, they had asked us to wait at a junction 500 meters away, which was even worse, but after complaining a few times, they agreed to alter the route a little bit. 
  3. Fees have gone up at double the rate of inflation in the last four years. The actual amount is still fairly low compared to international standards, but the pattern is a little disconcerting. Please see below for a comparative spreadsheet of Global Public School (GPS) fees for the four years covering 2010-11 through 2013-14 school years.
  4. There is a certain level of favoritism so much so that kids openly discuss certain students as being favored. The problem is prevalent among almost all schools as certain students (kids of well-known politicians, movie/sports personalities, highly successful businessmen, etc) receive favored treatment for competitive school activities. For example, it is not uncommon for a kid to come home and say they were placed first for a certain competition only to be displaced by favored kids for the first three positions when the official results are announced and prizes distributed. There is no real solution to this problem as money, time, and influence can buy most anything in our society and kids are getting exposed to it. In that sense, it is better that they themselves know of the problem so that they are equipped to deal with it in time. 
  5. Swimming is still part of the curriculum. Breakfast/Lunch is also provided as needed. Service levels for both of these have gone down in the last two years - the number of swimming classes per year was really low last year due to various avoidable reasons and the quality of the menu for breakfast and lunch has gone down. The children also find it irritating that portions given for students are strictly controlled and any wastage is not tolerated while the chechees ignore all kinds of abuses by teachers (gross food wastage, taking a lot more than their share of pappads, meat, fish, desserts, etc). Our children went with the two-hour extra curricular session along with lunch for only the first year - the reason mainly has to do with the fact that the sessions are focused on giving an introductory level of training in the activities - so, to get to the next level, outside training is still necessary. 
Below is a look at fee increases at Global Public School (GPS) over the years. For the sample, middle school fees and the lowest transportation fees (up to 15KM) were used. Lower grades have marginally lower fees while higher grades have marginally higher fees:

Notes: Registration, Admission, Caution Deposit, Security Deposit, etc are additional one-time fees when a student is admitted. Please see our previous update with 2010 data for an idea. Also, for Grades 10, 11 and 12, for a day scholar, fees double as day boarding is compulsory for those grades.

Related Posts:

1. Global Public School (GPS) vs Bay Farm Elementary - Comparative Review: R2I - Schooling for Kids.
2. Global Public School (GPS) Review - Three Year Mark Update: R2I - Schooling for Kids.

Last Updated: 01/2014.


Jyothi said...

Hi Ive been repeatedly coming to ur site to read the reviews...thanks so much for the wonderfully detailed review...i too am on the hunt for schools..we are a mixed (inter cultural) family from bangalore and i was looking at schools where my kids wouldnt feel out of place.. a lot of people have recommended choice and global..I was keen on global since fees seemed lower than choice at first, but a closer look and, the rate of increase in global fees is alarming..and bus fees and extra curricular after regular school hours all add up to quite hefty amount... infact if you put it all together, choice fees is coming much lower (except their donation) and distance is less too...since we would be staying in kadavanthra.... between these two schools, now with your experience being in the city for three years,which school would you suggest....looking forward to your valuable reply...and thanks a million in advance..

ks said...

Hi Jyothi,

Since you are relocating from BLR, the kids won't feel out-of-place at either one of these schools - they cater beautifully to NRIs in transition.

In my opinion, none of the schools are very good for academics - Choice & Global are below average. Highschool kids generally manage with tuition & online classes.

All the best,

jyothi said...

thank you for the fast reply...thats defintely a concern that coaching is not too god in either of the schools...after all first priority is the studies...the rest are just secondary...

Debi said...

Hi ks, We are relocating to Kochi and will probably joining GPS this year. Your posts have given a realistic outlook of the school, thanks for that. Just wanted to check if anything has changed from your last post.Also how easy is it to shift to another school once the kids have adjusted to the Indian school system? Thx in advance.

ks said...

Hi Debi,

There is a lot of turnover among teachers this year. Other than that, nothing much has changed. Kids generally adjust very quickly although they tend to take cues from the parents. From the parents perspective, switching schools will involve some effort as it can be hard to get admission.

All the best,

Google Analytics