The Commonwealth Games may have given east Delhi a fillip (and some headaches) in terms of roads, housing and other infrastructure, but the area's schools didn't need any such reason to upgrade their own facilities to keep pace with the demands of today’s students and parents.
The parameter-wise results of the Hindustan Times - C fore Top School survey highlight the various strengths of the schools here. DAV, Sreshtha Vihar has topped in the ‘sports’ category, while Somerville School, Vasundhara Enclave has the highest ‘value for money’ score.
One of east Delhi's most well known schools, Ahlcon International, Mayur Vihar, has been ahead of the curve in many respects. Though the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) of the CBSE came into effect this year, the school has always placed emphasis on a balanced, overall development for its students, and not just high marks. “Art, music, dance— all are compulsory till class 8,” said Ashok Pandey, Principal.
Many schools here believe in application-based education — allowing students to innovate and invent. “Other schools are engaged in one or the other activity but Ahlcon stresses everything equally,” said Charu Sood, a class 10 student. Ahlcon International topped the survey in the ‘innovative teaching’, ‘extra-curricular activities’ and ‘competence of teachers’ parameters, among others.
Technology and training
The school also maps each student's progress electronically. “From grades, to which books they are checking out from the library- we use it all to take decisions about the child. Data reduces subjectivity to almost nil in student evaluation,” added Pandey.
Equality of opportunity is something many schools here stress, particularly since parents want their children to participate and excel in various activities — be it dramatics or sports. Favouritism, being a 'teacher's pet', are trends on the decline.
Schools are also trying to provide good exposure to students. Exchange programs with schools in Germany are a matter of pride for Salwan Public School(SPS), Mayur Vihar, Phase- III, among others. “It is important to get a global perspective, which is why tie-ups with foreign schools are important,” said Desna Srimani, a student at the school. Salwan topped the ‘individual attention to students’ and ‘infrastructure and facilities’ parameters.
Teachers at SPS have attended workshops at various IITs, IIMs and even Harvard University in the United States. The mantra here is to provide excellent training to its teachers, which benefits students in turn.
Which is probably why students such as Mayuri V Raman of SPS said, “I can't live without my school.”