Ghaziabad city, a major and expanding residential hub in the national capital region, doesn’t have enough good schools to meet residents’ demand — but that may change.
There are around 80 private schools in the entire district for a population of nearly 4 million. The increase in the number of top-notch schools has not kept pace with the housing boom.
Around 600,000 to 700,000 people moved to the city in the ‘90s in areas such as Indirapuram, Vaishali, Vasundhara and Kaushambi, according to official estimates.
The trend continued in the new millennium. “Ghaziabad has evolved as a major housing destination and (that) should motivate investors to set up more quality schools,” said municipal councillor Rajendra Tyagi.
Before the real estate sector took off, schools such as DPS Ghaziabad (started in 1980), Bal Bharati Public School (1984) and Silver Line School (1987) had set up base in the city.
But during the 1990s, the city’s inadequate infrastructure, rising crime graph and geographical spread proved a deterrent for elite schools. That was the time when Noida, then a part of Ghaziabad district, positioned itself better as a planned destination and offered land to schools at throwaway prices.
By the time Noida became a separate city of Uttar Pradesh in 1997, Ghaziabad was lagging behind in the education sector.
Nonetheless, schools such as DPS Ghaziabad Vasundhra (1999), St. Thomas Indirapuram (2000), Khaitan Public School (2001) and DPS Indirapuram (2003) were set up, giving the city a much-needed boost.
In the last decade, Ghaziabad did some more catching up with the rest of the NCR after schools such as Amity International and Seth Anandram Jaipuria were established. The recent arrival of GD Goenka School is a hint of things to come.
The potential is huge.
Ghaziabad Development Authority officials estimate that more than 850,000 people will shift to Ghaziabad in the next five years, with the completion of housing projects such as Madhuban-Bapudham, Crossing Republic and Hi-Tech City. Recently, the UP government relaxed building by-laws norms for opening of schools.
“Parents here feel that their children will do better if educated in Delhi or Noida schools,” said S.K. Maheshwari, a resident of Surya Nagar in Ghaziabad. “But the coming years will prove them wrong.”