Teaching is a selfless service
A tête-à-tête with Mr Saket Bhatia, Director, Holy Child Public School, Faridabad
Share the success story of Holy Child, Faridabad from its inception.
Holy Child Faridabad started its journey in the year 1976. It was a very humble beginning. We started the school in a rented accommodation in the residential area of sector 22, Faridabad. It was with the hard work and team efforts of founder, Capt. (Retd.) R. K. Bhatia and founding Principal, Ms Shobha Bhatia that the school progressed steadily. As the demand grew, the school went into expansion. Soon a branch was opened in sector 23, which was twice the size of the initial one. With the grace of God, undying efforts of teachers and the able guidance of the founder and the Principal, a saturation point was reached, wherein it was not possible to accommodate new admissions further. But, CBSE affiliation was an issue. Only hindrance was the limitation of space. Again a search for the land began, which ended in sector 29 in the year 1995.
Next year in 1996, after opening of the new branch the school was granted affiliation by the CBSE. Now, after having more than 20 years of experience in running this school, all I can say that feedback is very positive and encouraging. In 2003, the school was upgraded to 12th standard. There again came a point when no further addition was possible in terms of infrastructure and the students strength of the sector 29 branch. People in the society were appreciating our school’s efforts as the demand was still more.
Simultaneously a new part of the city was being developed called Greater Faridabad. A new land was bought for construction of another branch in that area. This year on 6th April 2019, this new branch was inaugurated in Sector-75, Greater Faridabad, which is running in a 5 acre eco-friendly campus and is fully air conditioned.
Since when are you associated with Holy Child? How have you influenced the growth of it?
What changes I have brought in this institution is a tough question for me to answer, facts can say on my behalf. When I had joined Holy Child in February 1999, the strength of the school was 625. Now, by the grace of God, we have more than 2500 students and this is the maximum number which can be accommodated here in sector 29 branch. To solve this issue, we have started another branch with more space in Greater Faridabad as I had already said.
The house system that Holy Child follows carries four interesting and very unusual names—Sunderji, Thimayya, Manekshaw and Cariappa. What is the story behind this?
As the school is run on army lines, the house system of the school is named after the 4 great Army Generals of India. These four are the greatest army men of India of all times—Field Marshal Cariappa, Field Marshal Manekshaw, General Thimayya and General Sunderji. Our founder, Captain R K Bhatia, who is from army background had suggested these names.
Do the school follow army discipline as well?
We try our very best. Being founded by an army officer and run on its principles, discipline is one of our key focus area. It takes precedence as we understand its value. Not only students, teachers also need to follow some discipline to be a part of the system.
We are probably the first institution in Delhi-NCR to start uniform for the teachers’ right from the day of Holy Child’s inception. Now, it has become very common. Similarly, for the students, we try to maintain the best discipline. But, it is teacher specific. It varies class to class, teacher to teacher.
Everyone is of course not same. I should say, we might not be the best but we are certainly striving to be. Our founder Chairman’s intention is to provide education to all at an affordable rate and I believe we are successful.
As administrative head, do you get time in monitoring teachers?
To be honest, I really do not get time monitoring teachers on a regular basis. I am in touch with the academic heads and they are experienced enough. They keep on updating me. If I notice something, I do share with them. It is a collaborative process.
As you said, the founder Chairman dreamt of quality education at an affordable rate, how truly are you able to follow his vision now, in this competitive scenario? Govt. has also restricted fees structure. As an administrator how tough is it to deal with these issues?
I agree. It is tough to provide affordable education now since expenses have gone very high. Still we try to keep this fee reasonable without compromising on anything.
Agreed, but the upcoming branch in Greater Faridabad is fully air-conditioned. How would you manage with the same fees structure?
It is tough but we have to. School tuition fees are very competitive here. We are keeping a strict control on the expenses without compromising on the quality as I said. We have made an announcement for the 1st batch of students that their fees would be increased marginally since they have shown faith in us.
As you are operating in NCR, do you face problem in getting quality staff?
Yes, it is a genuine problem. We get many bio-datas but it is hard to find quality staff. Probably, teaching as a profession is not attracting the generation anymore. The respect has also come down. Anything happens in school, the teacher is held responsible for that. The security of the teachers is at stake now. Secondly, corporate sectors and MNCs are alluring with a lot of money. The best of brains are working there. Finding trained and experienced teachers is tough these days. Next is, even if you get quality and hard working staff, it is hard to retain them. There are many traps.
Don’t you think that the over-estimated marks that the children are scoring now have been increasing competitions and not the thrive for learning? Else, have the standard of the students been enhanced?
Children’s level has truly increased over the years. And yes examination pattern also have become more objective. There are so many break ups in the question paper that students are easily scoring marks. Lot of students these days are scoring 90 plus marks in board and still finding it difficult to get admission in good universities. It is very challenging to change the pattern or practice overnight in this huge system. All the boards should come up together to find out a solution gradually.
I think the number of subjective questions should be increased in the question paper. It will test the analytical skill.
Have you gone through the new education policy draft? What is your view regarding the same?
The new education policy shows the intention of the Govt. that they want to bring out positive changes in the education system of our country. Our existing NCF is also quite good. The Govt. has already taken care of the flaws in the earlier grading system. Lot of debate & discussions are going on in the public domain regarding this, let’s hope that whatever comes out is in the best interest of the students and the country.
The Govt. of India wants to bring out new education policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population’s requirement w.r.t. quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge.
Would you like to share any message with our readers?
Teaching is a selfless service. Everyone associated with school education should be sincere about their duty. Students’ interest should be of prime importance.