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‘As an alumna, it is an honour to see my children studying at Apeejay Panchsheel’

Tonushree Mukherjee Rana says that her children, who are in class 1 and nursery, get a lot of exposure across domains at Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park

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Being aware of the Apeejay culture as an alumna, Tonushree Mukherjee Rana, Principal Architect, Signum Hotels & Resort, was quite enthusiastic about enrolling her daughter Naishadha Rana and son Abhyuday Rana at her alma mater. They now study in class 1 and nursery respectively at Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park. In an interview, the mother-of-two shares why it is a “matter of prestige” to have her kids studying in the same school. Edited excerpts:

As an alumna, how would you compare the time you spent at Apeejay Panchsheel Park with that of your children?

Apeejay school instilled a lot of confidence in me in the years I spent there. It made me the person I am today. It is an institution that focuses on all-round development. I experienced firsthand what the school offers in terms of not just academics but also extracurricular activities. It brought out different facets of a child, giving them the impetus to excel in anything they want. That is why we have so many prosperous alumni. You need to give students the much-needed exposure in all fields and that is what the school had done for me, and I wanted the same for my children. Besides, it is an honour and prestige to put your children in the same school to keep the legacy going. I have immense respect for my school.

Did you want to enroll your children at Apeejay for a similar experience or was it among your top shortlisted schools?

An education institution has different meanings for everyone. For me, it is about a child’s overall growth. The focus should always be on the child rather than how you can mould them as per your aspirations. All you need to do is to give children the right kind of exposure and they will find their way. I put my children in Apeejay because I know that whatever their inclinations are, they will be given the opportunities to go find what they excel at. My children participate in numerous events at school—from drama and music to dance and elocution. I want them to explore and experience life as it is.

Do you think the teachers encourage and give adequate exposure to students to help identify their talents?

Definitely. I have a brilliant bond with my children’s teachers who are wonderful. They put in a lot of effort, especially during the difficult pandemic time, and I really respect them for that. I think my children have made an incredible amount of improvement. Online classes are challenging but the teachers have not left any stone unturned to reach and encourage every child. My kids are very happy with the school, and I have witnessed it during the online classes—I can see an immense amount of love and a positive vibe.

Teaching methodology has evolved a lot over the years. Do you think experiential learning is working well for your children?

Yes! For instance, when we were growing up, we did not know Phonics. We were made to learn the alphabet differently. Phonics, on the other hand, is great because it teaches you the basics of how an alphabet or word sounds. In nursery itself, my son is reading three or four-letter words by himself. The pedagogy is as per international standards.

What are your expectations from the school?

I definitely look forward to seeing my children participate in activities and events physically in school which will be a great learning experience. With online classes, they tend to be dependent on their parents for these activities.

As working parents, it must get difficult to keep up with online classes. Do the teachers cooperate with you?

Many teachers are working parents themselves, so they understand our situation well. They have been extremely kind. If there is an assignment that I am unable to submit during working hours, I am given the flexibility to do it later, and the teachers amicably accept it. There have been many such instances where I have found the teachers to be very understanding.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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