The Late Pandurang Raya Bhatikar started model classes, the precursor of the model English school in 1934, with 14 students, on the verandah of Shri Dattatraya Venkatesh pai boarding in Margao. The school was registered with the then Portuguese Government in 1935 and moved to the spacious building opposite Hari Mandir in1937.
Those were the days when schools in Goa had to be affiliated to the Bombay University to enable their students to appear for Matriculation examination. The Model English High School was recognized by the Bombay University in 1941 and the first batch of 14 students appeared for the matriculation examination in 1942. 10 out of 14 students passed, giving a success rate of 70% in the very first year after recognition. Among those who passed in the first batch, was the late Dr. Manoharrai L. Sardesai, the famous Goan poet and educationist.
The school gained instant popularity and the strength of students went upto 450 in1946. However strangely enough, the Bombay University withdrew recognition from the school in 1946 and it was widely expected that the school would down its shutters due to Bhatikar’s financial inability to manage the school. Those days, schools had to be managed only on the strength of fees paid by students. The strength of the school plunged from 450 to 120 within 2 years after de-recognition and Bhatikar had to go through immense mental, physical and financial stress to keep the school going. It was only Bhatikar’s self confidence, perseverance, and unshakeable faith in God that pushed him into relentless efforts to regain recognition from the Bombay University.
Thanks to his single handed herculean efforts, the school was recognized in1949. In 1950, his eldest son Ratnakar joined the school after his graduation. Ratnakar, affectionately called Bhai by his friends and relatives, made the school his life’s mission, and along with his father, spared no efforts to give to the school its old glory. Ratnakar knew not only the name of every student but his/her career history, strength, weaknesses and potential. However, Ratnakar and his devoted band of teachers had to struggle for 10 long years before success came their way. Gurudas Shirodkar stood 1st in Goa in 1959 at the S.S.C. Examination of the Pune SSC Board. From then on, the school never looked back.
There were some minor hiccups in 1958, when the Portuguese Government threatened to close down the school due to alleged anti Portuguese activities. Fortunately, some well meaning Goan officials in the Government saved the school.
Activities of the school continued in the old rented building opposite Hari Madir until 1998 when most of the activities of the school were shifted to its own premises in Gogol, Margao. Earlier, Pandurang Bhatikar and later Ratnakar Bhatikar, tried their best to give the school its own building but could not succeed. It was primarily due to the efforts of Shri. R. S. Kamat, the Chairman of the Model Education Society and Shri. Aravind Bhatikar that the Model Education Society could have its own building in the Housing Board, Margao.
Today, the school has more than 1000 students, both at the primary and secondary level. The number of students has to be restricted due to space constraints. The school today can boast of spectacular all round achievement. Its students have distinguished themselves not only in the academic field but also in sports, games, quiz competitions and other co-curricular activities.
Every year, between 130 and 150 students from the school pass out at the SSC Examinations. About 6000 students have passed out from 1942 till date.
Students from this school stood first at the SSC Examination in Goa in 1959, 69, 79, 83, 2007 and 09 besides, for seventeen years between 1959 and 2009, Bhatikar school students secured rankings within the first ten at the SSC examination.
The crowning glory for the school was in 2009 when its student stood 1st in Goa and all the 127 students who appeared at the SSC Exams passed out. It is not known whether any other school in Goa has had such a distinction. Considering that Goa has 351 and Margao alone 17 high schools, the spectacular achievements of the Bhatikar School can never be overstated.
The school cricket team was the state champion in the C. K. Naidu cricket tournament conducted by Directorate of sports and youth affairs in 1998, 2001 and 2003. The school team was also the holder of the vinoo mankad trophy in 1998 and 2001. In addition, our school won the late Mukund Trikannad trophy twice during 2003 and 2010.
Our school chess team were state winners in 2008. The school Table tennis team were the state winners in 2007,2008 and 2009.
The Table Tennis team represented Goa at the Nationals in 2008 and was ranked 4th in the country again, our team represented Goa at the Nationals in 2010 and won a bronze medal.
This year, a student from class V Aijaz Jalegar, has represented Goa in Yoga at the Nationals and currently he is in Hariyana.
Apart from the above, our school represented Goa at the Nationals in the Children Science Congress during 2005,06,07,08 and 09.
Our school represented Goa at the INTEL exhibition in Chennai in 2005 and at Kolkata in 2008.
Our students stood first in Goa in the Hindi examinations conducted by the Maharashtra Bhasha Sabha, Pune in 2002,03,04 and 05.
Our school teams won All Goa Quiz competitions on science, environment, general knowledge, etc. eight times during the last 10 years.
Apart from above, 5 students of our school have been awarded the prestigious National Talent Search Scholarship by NCERT New Delhi during 2001,03,05,07 and 09.
The school firmly believes that education and training should enable not only the strong and the fast to be stronger and faster, but also the weak and the slow to be the strong and fast and that education should also motivate children to enjoy the very act of participation in the race, win or no win.
Ex-students of the school can be located in all parts of the country making valuable contribution to the social well being cherishing the value-systems that they imbibed in them in the early part of their lives.
The school works for the all round development of the student’s personality. It is well known that it is the parents who have to play the main role in moulding the personality of the child. Hence, the inculcation of a proper value system amongst children has to be a joint activity of parents as well as teachers. The school conducts sessions in Psychological counselling separately for boys and girls of std. VIII, IX & X. Besides these, regular counselling sessions are held every year for parents/ groups to make them aware of proper parenting practices. The school has engaged the services of Smt. Snehalata Bhatikar, a well qualified and experienced counsellor for this purpose. Bhatikar Model high school is perhaps one of the very few schools in Goa which may be holding such regular counselling sessions for children and parents.
The school celebrated its platinum jubilee in the year 2010. Pandurang Raya Bhatikar and Ratnakar Bhatikar built up this magnificent educational edifice to serve the Goan society. The management, teachers and the staff of this school are working ceaselessly to enable the school to continue with its glorious traditions of service and to take the school to new heights.
We are sure that the management, the teachers, staff and students of this school will continue the victory march of the school in the 21st century and beyond that to distant horizons.