Residents of Delhi might think that west Delhi is just about malls and multiplexes, but the rise of huge residential colonies such as Dwarka in the region has meant that the area is slowly becoming home to several good schools too.
That doesn’t mean that west Delhi didn’t have good schools earlier. In fact, before the concept of neighbourhood schools caught up with rest of the city, west Delhi was known for some of the city’s finest neighbourhood schools. St Francis de Sales School and Mira Model School in Janakpuri are two such examples.
“These schools were, and continue to be, as good as any top school of south and central Delhi,” said Rajan Arora, an alumnus of Mira Model School and founder of nurseryadmissions.com. “These schools have all necessary facilities, (but) they never cared to market themselves.”
However, these schools did manage to keep pace with time. “We have been constantly upgrading our infrastructure,” said Father Melroy Almeida, principal, St Francis de Sales School established in 1978 in Janakpuri.
“The biggest challenge for us has been to stick to our core values of imparting high quality education in the new social and economic milieu. What has helped us though is that many
of our teachers have been with us since the day the school was established,” he said.
St. Francis de Sales School, which like last year has emerged as the number one school in the HT-C fore survey of west Delhi schools this year too, continues to be a hot favourite with local residents.
Hans Raj Model School, one of the oldest schools in west Delhi and known for its value-based curriculum, is another favourite. “There were few schools in west Delhi when I joined Hans Raj 32 years ago,” said Rita Rajen Kumar, principal, Hans Raj Model School.
“In those days most of our students came from business families of west Delhi but today we have students from both business and professional class. Our students still touch the feet of their teachers as a mark of respect,” Kumar said. Until a few years ago, because there were such few schools in the area, parents who wanted to send their children to branded schools had no option but to consider schools in south and central Delhi. However, because of the demand for good schools from Dwarka, there are better schools in the area now. Dwarka boasts of several new-age schools belonging to well-known school brands. Some of these schools have built huge campuses and world-class infrastructure. It comes as little surprise then that as many as four schools from Dwarka have made it to the list of top 10 schools from west Delhi.
In fact, schools such as DPS Dwarka, which came to Dwarka in the year 2000, and Bal Bharti School, which opened its branch in Dwarka in 2001, are now attracting children from several other west Delhi colonies as well.
“When we set up our branch in Dwarka, the sub-city was just coming up and even roads were not properly laid,”said Suruchi Gandhi, principal, Bal Bharti School, Dwarka. Easy availability of land in Dwarka helped some of these schools build impressive campuses and infrastructure.
DPS, Dwarka, which started with 523 students in 1996, used to operate out of DPS RK Puram and DPS Vasant Kunj before shifting to its present building in Dwarka. However, hardly any school in west Delhi can match the infrastructure DPS Dwarka has now.
Though there was a time when residents of west Delhi sent their children to schools in south Delhi, the trend has reversed now. So impressive are some of the schools of west Delhi that they have begun to attract students from not only south Delhi but also from Gurgaon.