Neeraj Mohan Puri-Modern Sandeepni School- Pathankot, Punjab

Fondly called “SANDEEPNI”, Modern Sandeepni School has carved a niche for itself as a small but friendly boarding school in Pathankot, Punjab, India. Following CBSE syllabus and with ISO 9001-2000 certification, the school has four wings – namely Play way group, Junior school, Middle school, and Senior school. The school dreams to help each child explore and develop his inherent talents, improve scientific temperament, and to think out of the box.

Neeraj Mohan Puri has been the principal since 2001. With degrees such as MBA, M.Com, M.Phil, B.Ed, and DCA, Puri dedicates his passion for teaching to his paternal uncle and Psychology teacher. The school is located in about 8 acres of land and the fee structure varies from Rs. 37000/- to 170000/- for day scholars and boarders.

Values of teaching

• Puri strongly believes that teaching is the only profession which can teach any other profession.
• He is proud that as a teacher he can contribute to the building of the nation and shape the future of children.
• What infuses enthusiasm in him is the charisma and enthusiasm of students who come up with varied ideas and are eager to get their dreams to come true.

About employing good teachers

• Puri feels that the demand and supply of good teachers are very wide and passionate teachers are rare to come by.
• Hence it remains a challenge to attract and retain the passionate ones.
• But his school has a very conducive environment and work culture offering career growth and so teachers do not want to leave the school unless they get a government job.
• New teachers appointed every year are able to identify themselves with the school instantly.

Teaching finance, leadership skills, and social responsibility

• Puri believes that improving financial knowledge, leadership skills and social responsibility has a major role in forming the personality of the students and so they should be included in the curriculum.
• They should be given practical training in these areas.
• Financial knowledge is very important as the growth of the child as a responsible adult depends on his knowledge and ability to manage his finances.
• Leadership skills are essential as a person cannot survive without them.
• As we get everything from the society, it is important that students learn philanthropy from childhood and be caring souls.

Impact of competitive exams

Puri feels sad that rather than understanding the true essence of life, children are made to believe in overtaking others. Children want to crack these exams at any cost which deprives them of peace, creates cress, and disturb the cognitive balance. The coaching institutions compete with the regular schools and cause obsession in students. Spirit of completion is affected due to the reservation policies. Students do not seem to learn anything but are bent upon performing in the exams just to get a seat. Hence Neeraj Mohan Puri feels the competitive exams are not a boon to the education sector.


Exam-oriented education

Marks play a significant role in the students’ life. They just reproduce anything they find in the books. Though voices are raised to improve creativity, innovations, critical thinking, and leadership skills, the reality is different. The present system erodes their creativity and imagination. It is a very obsolete method of learning and parents’ cooperation is very much required. Their mind-set should change if their children have to become acclaimed scientists, entrepreneurs, and researchers.


• Puri has increased the strength of the school manifold, improved the infrastructure of the institution, from 1 to 3 section school.
• He has been the key in inaugurating the new play school building within the campus, set up indigenous robotics labs, journalism club, and innovators club and guided 4 teachers to serve as principals of different institutions.
• Academic standards have improved greatly.

Indian schools at par with international institutions

Puri thinks that it is the approach which is wrong and a transition to knowledge based learning is the need of the hour. It is the assessment techniques, pedagogy, and curriculum that determine the quality of education. A few corrective measures can put the education back on track. A uniform National Education Policy has to be followed in the country and only one educational board should operate. Teaching should be treated as a specialized trade with restricted entry. Teachers should be paid well with more hands on STEM activities. Mandatory internship, emphasis on research and exploration, and vocational subjects apart from revised assessment pattern will help Indian schools get rated on par with international schools.

Boarding schools and competency of students

According to Puri, students from residential schools are very adaptive and capable of facing any challenge in life. To get a holistic development it is desirable for students get the experience of hostel life for a brief period at least. Hostel life will be tough but students get a good exposure. They are confident, good at management, independent, and good at leadership skills. Students become more amiable.


• Puri is often complimented as “Wise head on young shoulders” and is the proud recipient of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam award 2018.
• He has also been awarded Dynamic Principal 2013 and STEM award 2018.
• He is also working as District Education Advisor of WEDNESDAY TIMES, a national magazine.

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Contact details:

Modern Sandeepni School
Dalhousie Road, Nr. Mamoon Chowk,
Pathankot (Pb).-145001
Contact: 9878667132, 9888666229.