By Mrs Sarita Ahooja
A team of 21 teachers from Singapore, headed by Mr.Goh Ek Piang, Principal Hougang Primary School and Ms. Ng Swee Lin, N Vice Principal North View Primary School, visited DPS DPS (Delhi Public School) Maruti Kunj on 26th November, 2007 on an exploration of educational approaches which have been instrumental in creating an economically strong and resurgent New India. These delegates were from the North 3 cluster of schools of Singapore which enjoys a place of prominence as a seat of learning in this technological age of the 21 st Century. As such it was no mean achievement for DPS Maruti Kunj when the guests found every moment spent in the school worth cherishing with great admiration.The delegates were given a warm welcome on their arrival by the Principal Mrs.Rachna Pandit, the Vice Principal Dr. G.P. Pandey, Headmistress, Mrs. Neelam Kanwal and the tiny tots of junior school who were dressed in traditional attire of different states of India giving the visitors a glimpse of the enigma that is India . The young cherubs were radiant and charming and exuded cheer and enthusiasm in their role as a team of the Reception Committee.
The visiting team on the other hand was sponge ready to absorb in any information that they received especially about education in India. Thus they had an animated and enlightening tet-a -tet with the HODs of different department. They took a round of both the junior and senior wings, attended a few classes, observed the functioning of the labs and the libraries and asked a lot of questions regarding the methods employed to bring about a holistic development among students. They were highly impressed by the ambience, the landscaping, the infrastructure and the happy faces moving around in the school. Their cameras kept on clicking furiously capturing every nuance of the school as a treasure and remembrance of a great experience.
The team leader Mr. Goh was simply speechless when he found the flag of Singapore fluttering in the senior wing along with the Tricolor. He asked umpteen times how the school managed to procure the flag as it was just not so easy to do so even in Singapore. "A futuristic school of excellence ably led by a visionary Principal, Mrs.Rachna Pandit, "was all he could reflect.
A short cultural event. showcasing the rich heritage of India was put up in the Omni auditorium. The mellifluous strains of "People over the world reach out and touch one another" touched the hearts of the visitors while ‘Triveni’ the confluence of classical and folk dance left them clapping for more.
The scintillating Bhangra made the delegates declare that the children were even better than the professional dancers. They were rendered absolutely speechless when they heard the school choir singing the national anthem of Singapore along with Indian national anthem. There was only one person in the entire gathering who sang both the National anthems and that was the Principal of DPS Maruti Kunj, Mrs.Rachna Pandit. It was she who had taken personal care to ensure the procurement of the flag, getting the lyrics and tune of the national anthem of Singapore and also preparing the children within two days to deliver the song faultlessly. She had also ensured that the food served to the delegates during lunch had the indigenous Singaporean flavour and were the delicacies of Singapore. "There are no words to express my feelings. …. Thank you very much for a wonderful hospitality," wrote Mrs.Santha Naganduen, a Primary Teacher from Singapore.
It is no wonder that this entire experience was overwhelming for all of them. The team leader Principal, Mr.Go Ek Piang remarked that the most important thing that he noted at DPS Maruti Kunj was that there was a lot of cheerfulness and happiness around. Mr. H.Hasan Mohd., another delegate wrote, "Appreciated what your school has achieved ! Learnt a lot. Joy is the key". The remarks by other delegates penned down in the Visitor’s Book bear a testimony to the admiration and appreciation of their wonderful experience at DPS Maruti Kunj. They were presented with small mementos of Tribal Craft symbolic of India’s rich heritage and the school’s happiness to have such guests. Later they were taken to visit India’s pride ‘Maruti Suzuki India Limited’ a partner in excellence with DPS Maruti Kunj. There they got to see what today’s India stands for producing 1000s of cars per day of various segments and also capturing a big chunk of the world market.
The guests were touched to the core with such hospitality and went back with warm memories worth cherishing forever. Their feelings can be best summed up quoting the words of Ariyanti Sukaim (Sub head) Aesthetics Yio Chu Kang Primary School, Singapore——-"Thank you for a very warm welcome. Really appreciate the effort the school has put in to make this visit a truly memorable one. Lots to learn form the school and this is truly a Happy School. "
This visit was the fruit of the labor of love put in by Akshaya India Tours and Travels and its Chairman Mr.Vaidyanathan.