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Looking for value for money

As Faridabad slowly matures, schools here put a premium on quality at an affordable price, providing access to all

india Updated: Sep 06, 2012 02:24 IST
Abhijit Patnaik
Abhijit Patnaik
Hindustan Times

Faridabad’s infrastructure, though developing, leaves much to be desired. The lack of good roads and cleanliness of areas surrounding schools is a common complaint of school principals. The schools themselves provide excellent facilities, but have been playing catch up with Delhi’s schools for a while. Obvious comparisons with the best schools in Delhi, or even Gurgaon and Noida, means the schools here aren’t considered ‘fancy’. But does Faridabad want to follow the model of education seen in Gurgaon and elsewhere of ‘5-star luxury schools’?

“I am glad to inform you that so far there is no demand by parents for luxury schools. There are one or two luxury schools which haven’t had a good experience. Faridabad hasn’t given big luxury institutions a warm welcome. Our school is not fully air conditioned, only primary classes are,” said Surinder Singh Chaudhury, principal, DAV Public school, sector 14.

Anju Uppal, principal, Ryan International, Faridabad agrees. “The trend is for normal schools. It is not necessary that if a school has good infrastructure , it will do well”.

The Top Ten in the HT-C fore Top Schools survey 2012 looks pretty much the same as last year, save for one change. DAV Public School, Sector 37 has inched into the number ten

spot, with St. Joseph’s Convent losing its place in the rankings. Delhi Public School, Faridabad, leads the pack. The school was established in 1995 and excels in various categories, including ‘competence of teachers’, ‘ teacher

care and development’ and ‘value for money’. Apeejay School comes second, topping the ‘infrastructure and facilities’, ‘life skills education’ categories, among others.

"We believe in a neighbourhood concept of a school. 80-85% of our students are in the catchment area of 10km," said Stalin Malhotra, principal, DPS Faridabad.

“Parents at our school value the DPS brand. Our system is based on merit and a heterogeneous class adds to interpersonal rapport,” he added.

Modern Vidya Niketan, Sector 17, tops the ‘academic rigour’ parameter this year. Another upcoming school, Modern DPS, has educomp smart classes and a 6-bed hospital with a full-time doctor on campus. It tops the

‘individual attention to students’ category.

Schools here do keep standards high. “There is regular in-service training and special workshops in different subjects,” said Chaudhury.

Parents in Faridabad are particular about value for money. The children are also not as exposed as their counterparts in Delhi. “They are more academics oriented,” said Uppal.

Many schools here have extended support to students in the EWS category. “We have an after-school for students from adjoining areas called Radiant. Around 70 kids come,” said Uppal. At Modern DPS, 15% seats had been reserved for EWS category students even before Right to Education (RTE)law, giving free education to these students. Anandya Bajaj, a class 10 student at DPS, Faridabad, said “I think RTE is good, it is better for the country. We are privileged and hence we should take care of those in need”. Noble words indeed.

As parents compare fee structures, facilities, teacher — student ratios to determine which school is best for their child, we asked Arpita Tripathi, Class 8 student at Ryan International why she likes her school so much. The answer? “Other school students have to tie 2 pony-tails, but we have no such rules,” she said, shyly.

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