My former school – a marvel in itself

6 03 2006

I always wondered what made my school click. Was it all due to money? Or was it all due to the hard work of its students? I think I would go for the latter because lets face it, I have seen many former students of my school (including myself) toil hard to make a name for ourselves. There are people who say they are proud to be alumni of DPS or Mayo College or Moderns or Doon School, but if we say that we are proud to be alumni of Green Fields School, people react like Green what?Let me give you an introduction about my school. My school was established in 1967 under the aegis of the Safdurjung Educational Society.

Click here for its website. It soon was to become a money spinner machine for the family destined to run it. Well, not exactly soon but surely with the hike in fees that were observed in the late 80s and early 90s (a trend that I believe is still running), the school has helped its management rake in lakhs every month. Sample this: My school monthly fee was just INR 87 when I was in kindergarten in the year 1986. But by the time I completed school in 1999, the fee had increased to INR 700 per month. I bet it would be around INR 1400 now although I am not sure of it.

My school’s name was quite popular though my school never became popular very much. Confused? I will help you out. There are many schools in Delhi that use the name Green Fields and interestingly, they are not related to each other. There is a Green Fields Public School in Dilshad Garden and Karol Bagh while there is a New Green Fields School in Saket. And yet, none of them is even closely associated with my school based in the posh locality of Safdurjung Enclave in South Delhi.Its not that the school did not care for the students. We were looked after very well during our times. We had all kinds of facilities for us, except of course the sports and extra-curricular activities that play an important role in deciding the quality of education in every public school. Once I remember, I went to DPS-RK Puram to represent my school in a competition. I was surprised to find their world class sports facilities. Being kids of class 10, we were in awe of DPS for what they were providing to their students.

In contrast to DPS, we hardly had anything to show for our facilities. The school did have its own Cricket and Basketball teams but in my time, I rarely heard about the school winning some championships. But throughout our school life, we were made to believe that it is better for us to devote more time to our books and ignore the extra curricular activities. I think this was the way the school made up for its sagging image. Most of the time, the board results of my school was good, with a few compartments and barely one or two failures.

We had our share of controversies. The infamous physics teacher Arti Malhotra was one such lady. Going through a rather emotional period in her personal life, she used to take her anger out on us kids at school. I remember that she had a spat with a senior Azam Ali over matters that I don’t remember now (it’s been a long time really). The science students of my batch were made to suffer because of her long absence.

I have heard a lot since my exit that the image of the school has taken a beating. I wonder why. For a start, our then principal Mrs P Khanna has retired and has been replaced by Mr. K P Singh, the mathematics teacher who taught me in classes 11 and 12. Some senior teachers have also retired since then and maybe that has made a difference to the school. In comparison to schools located near it (schools like Delhi Police Public School, St. Mary’s School, Laxman Public School, Ram Jas RK Puram and DPS RK Puram), my school stands nowhere.

The point is that almost all public schools of South Delhi have an instant recall value that is associated with their name. Except for the govt. schools and Kendriya Vidyalayas, almost all public schools of south Delhi are well known, however big or small they may be. But sadly even when my former school is a big and one of the oldest schools in the region, it has failed to make a name for itself.