A large number of refugees from newly created Pakistan settled in Faridabad at the time of Independence. After the upheaval of the Partition, education was hardly a priority for the settlers in the early days, but as stability returned, schools began to come up in this part of Haryana, adjoining Delhi.
“There were a few government schools before the Partition, but in those days not everybody was interested in educating their children,” said Arya Vir Bhalla, educationist and director of the Manav Rachna group of schools. “The schools easily catered to their (residents’) educational needs till a few years after the Partition.”
One such old and reputed school was Mahadev Desai School, established in 1947 a few months before Independence. The school is still going strong in Sector 16A.
However, as Faridabad started to get industrialised in the sixties and several government officials started living there, a dearth of good private schools was felt.
“Even children of senior central government officials would study in central schools in Faridabad in the absence of any reputed private school,” said B.K. Verma who joined as a teacher in a Kendriya Vidyalaya in the area in 1971 and taught there for nearly 30 years.
The prestigious Apeejay School, ranked second in the HT-C fore survey, was established in 1972.
“Apeejay is not just a school now,” said principal S. Samra. “It represents a spirit, a will to achieve and it captures the passion for excellence.”
The setting up of the Dayanand Public schools in the seventies and the DAV network of schools in the eighties were important steps in fulfilling the educational needs of Faridabad.
Delhi Public School opened its branch in Sector 19 in 1995.
“Today the student strength is 4,346 from 663 when the school was set up,” said Stalin Malhotra, director-cum-officiating principal of the school. “We provide hi-tech education to our students — the subjects taught are supplemented by animation-based lessons.”
The increase in the number of private schools fuelled competition among them, bettering the quality of education. With the setting up and coming of age of schools such as Modern Vidya Niketan (started in 1983), Ryan International School (1991), Eicher School (1994) and Manav Rachna School, Sector 14 (2007), Faridabad entered a new era of education.
“Faridabad has seen a revolution in the education sector over the years,” said Bhalla. “People are willing to invest in their children’s education.”
Faridabad residents clearly have many more options to choose from today.