Glitzy malls, exclusive boutiques and restaurants, posh aunties: flamboyance thy name is South Delhi. People here may be happy in their little bubble of comfort and luxury, but the schools in the area are trying hard to keep students grounded and focused. Parents and schools share a common sentiment — that marks are not the only thing that make for great report cards. The need for a neighbourhood school with a value-oriented curriculum is a pressing one.
Familiar names abound on the list, but the schools have worked hard to retain their edge. Blue Bells School, Kailash Colony, tops the ‘innovative teaching’ parameter, while Amity International, Saket shines through in the ‘sports’ category. Old-timer Laxman Public School has aced the ‘parental participation’ and ‘extra-curricular activities’ parameters.
The two new entrants are Don Bosco, Alaknanda, which ranked second in the ‘life-skills education’ category and Tagore International, East of Kailash (TIS) that has scored well in ‘innovative teaching’.
A valuable education
R C Shekhar, director, Gyan Bharati School, Saket has seen education don quite a few masks in his experience spanning decades. Change, he says, “is not easy and always meets resistance”. Gyan Bharati, he adds, has consistently been working to promote a shift from teaching to learning with spiritual and cultural roots as the foundation.
“We focus on Indian culture and looks for ways to weave traditional values in our daily lives,” says Amodini Arora, a class 11 student. Gyan Bharati has scored well in the ‘sports’ and ‘infrastructure and facilities’ parameters, among others.
Learning lessons of life is important, but they leave a mark only if they are taught creatively. At Apeejay School, Sheikh Sarai, if children are found abusing in school, they are made to brush their teeth in front of all their peers.
Kartik Kedanat, a class 8 student at the school appreciates this method. “These exercises have a much more favourable outcome than reprimands and rebukes,” he said. School might be a place which imparts knowledge and values both, but over the years it has also become synonymous with heavy bags and exam stress. Many schools here are now trying to move away from the much-trodden path of a prescribed, static curriculum, choosing to sculpt it in such a way that it meets each child’s individual needs.
“Pressure exists when students are pushed to perform beyond their capabilities. We try to push only those areas where they show calibre, and automatically stress levels drop significantly,” said Suman Nath, principal, TIS.
If only our entire education system would follow suit.