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At its Annual Appreciation Day, Apeejay School, Noida underlines the importance of good values and character  

The event was a celebration of the relentless efforts of the Apeejay management, teachers, grandparents, parents and students to learn and emerge stronger in the face of Covid-19

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Improve, improvise and upgrade! These are the lessons learnt by all of us in the last one year of the Covid-19 pandemic. To encourage students to continue to strive for excellence, Apeejay School, Noida, conducted its Annual Appreciation Day on January 29, 2022.

(From the left): Our esteemed guest at the event – Ms. Ritu Maheshwari, Mr. Aditya Berlia, Ms. Parina Sood, Ms. Rama Chugh, Mr. Nipun Malhotra

Addressing the gathering, Mr. AK Sharma, Principal said, “It is my privilege to welcome you all today. Greetings to our Chief Guest, Ms. Ritu Maheshwari, CEO, Noida Authority, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh. We are honoured to have Dr. Dharamvir Singh, District Inspector of Schools in Gautam Budh Nagar as our guest of honour of the event. Before we begin, I seek the blessings of our late Founder-Chairman, Dr. Stya Paul whose ideals have been our guide. His only daughter, Madam Sushma Paul Berlia, Co-Founder and President Apeejay Stya and Svran Group, Chairperson, Apeejay Education and Co-Founder and Chancellor, Apeejay Stya University is now carrying his mission and vision forward. Madam’s outstanding contribution in the field of education, philanthropy, leadership, and entrepreneurship is well-renowned. We look up to her visionary guidance.”  

At the event, Mr. Sharma welcomed Mr. Aditya Berlia, Co-Promoter of Apeejay Stya and Svran Group, Co-Founder and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Apeejay Stya University. Mr. Berlia balances his role in the corporate world along with his stellar educational and philanthropic work. He thanked Mr. Nishant Berlia, General Secretary, Apeejay Education for his timely and valuable inputs, and Dr. Neha Berlia, Co-Promoter, Apeejay Stya and Svran Group, for providing the infrastructure and facilities. He then welcomed all the illustrious alumni, parents and stakeholders.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Aditya Berlia shared, “I am very grateful that all of you are here to celebrate the achievements of Apeejay School, Noida. I welcome Ms. Ritu Maheshwari whose exceptional experience is guiding Noida in these difficult times. It is rare to have someone who is an engineer, has worked in healthcare services and possesses a strong understanding of skills in education. I would also like to thank Dr. Dharamvir Singh for his presence today. His exceptional work at provincial and district level is well-recognised. I extend my warm welcome to parents, grandparents, alumni, staff, students and teachers at the event.”

“In the beginning of Covid-19, Apeejay was among the first to shift towards a complete online mode of education. This could only happen due to the hard work of parents, teachers, students and staff. Today, I want all of us to celebrate that spirit of gratitude. Our successful transition is a validation of our investments in cloud-computing and teacher-training programmes. As an institution, we bring decades of stability to be able to make such a transition. In the 1990s, we made learning programming mandatory for our students and were fully virtualised by the early 2000s. Decade after decade, we worked to give our students a great virtual experience.”

Mr. Berlia then related an anecdote about how the school was founded, “In 1970s, the then head of Noida called my grandfather, Dr. Stya Paul to consider setting up a school in Noida. My grandfather pondered over it, and said to him that he would send his daughter to see the land. My grandfather stated that if his daughter thinks it is a good idea, he will do it. After hearing from my grandfather, the official was happily surprised that a woman would take this decision. However, on the meeting day, he was stunned to see a 13 years old, my mother Mrs. Sushma Paul Berlia at the site. She has been an achiever beyond her years and at that age, she gave a recommendation to set up the school. This is how Apeejay School, Noida came into being. By sharing this story, I want to highlight a few critical values of Apeejay: community-building and youth leadership. I am proud of our student achievers and that our school is widely known nationally and internationally as well. I am proud that our school is a beacon of light in Noida and NCR.”

Highlighting crucial values to become a 21st century citizen, Mr. Berlia said, “During Covid-19, after speaking with our alumni across the world, the one thing that stood out was ‘values and character-building’ – which they said have helped them become successful in their lives. Graduates of our school are living embodiments of it. Our students, parents and faculty have built the school brick by brick, and the reputation of the institution carries with them each day. To all the young students, I would say that your achievement is the school’s achievement and what we achieve is yours. It will be remembered for decades and I am grateful for your extraordinary trust in us. We will aspire to do better and grow as an institution with your support. ‘Soaring High Is My Nature’, Jai Hind!”  

After Mr. Berlia’s address, Mr. AK Sharma along with students Tavisha Sharma and Kartik Chaudhary presented the Annual Report for the session 2021-2022. He shared how the school has been able to present brilliant academic and extracurricular records remotely in the last one year. With a progressive and future forward model, the school reached great heights owing to its congenial environment. “Our endeavour has been to give students a place of belonging, develop new skills and advance their learning,” he said. “Our teachers have revamped the curriculum in sync with NEP 2020 under the guidance of our esteemed education officers. Apeejay School, Noida continues to strive for perfection.” The Annual Day report showcased school awards, scholastic achievements, actors, sportspersons, scientists, innovators, authors, to name a few.

After the presentation, Ms. Ritu Maheshwari delivered an inspiring address for teachers, parents and students. She said, “It is a pleasure for me to be part of the Annual Appreciation Day of Apeejay School, Noida. Congratulations to all for the outstanding performers across all domains. Apeejay School, Noida has contributed to community building in Noida and the school continues to nurture good citizens of the country. The pandemic has been a tough phase in our lives, and it has been the toughest on children. They have been at a loss of social, psychological learning and emotional development. Dealing with online distractions and a lack of an interactive classroom experience has been challenging for them.”

“The school being the temple of learning and family being a primary pillar of support, our role has become all the more crucial at present. This time puts us in a more responsible position as teachers and parents. Students need academic and emotional support. My advice to students at this time is to never step back in the face of failure or challenges. Learn to transform them into opportunities. Once you have passion and the spirit to excel, by working hard in that direction, you will become an achiever. The role of values and character-building is most crucial at this time. I wish everyone all the best!”

After her speech, students of the school performed the play –‘How I Taught My Grandmother To Read’, based on a book authored by Ms. Sudha Murty. The play highlighted the role of women in education. It narrated pertinent values of the guru-shishya (teacher-student) relationship that goes beyond age and gender.

To share their valuable experiences with the students, school alumni Ms. Rama Chugh, Batch 1989, Senior Director Sourcing Operations and Analytics at GAP graced the occasion. She said, “I was part of the very first batch at Apeejay School, Noida when the building was just coming up. At that time, I remember that the Principal, Mr. SC Arora, used to ask us to lend a hand in the construction of the building. It was the dignity of labour that he wanted us to learn about and I have realised that now. Apeejay has been with me throughout my life and its role in character-building and values have contributed to take me forward in my career. My word of advice for students would be a quote by American author, Carmine Gallo: “Leaders are fascinated by the future. You are a leader if and only if you are restless for change, impatient for progress and deeply dissatisfied with the status quo. Because in your head, you can see a better future. The friction between ‘what is’ and ‘what could be’ burns you, stirs you up, and propels you.”

School alumni, Ms. Parina Sood, Batch 2003, who has worked as a Programming Head in a number of radio channels, said, “The pandemic has all been about gratitude. Being remembered and honoured by your alma mater is gratitude. Apeejay School, Noida is breaking barriers and students have put up a brilliant show today. To our young learners, I would say that this is an impressionable age, so get inspired rather than being influenced. Don’t let anyone decide your self-worth. Remember, balance is over brilliance so try to lead a holistic life.”  

Mr. Nipun Malthora, Batch 2005, Co-Founder and CEO of Nipman, Founder of Wheels for Life and Executive Director of Nipman Fastener Industries shared his experiences at the school. He highlighted how Apeejay School, Noida has been inclusive and disabled-friendly since its inception. “The school has been ahead of its time. When I moved to Noida with my parents during my school years, they were worried if they would be able to find a school that supports me. As a wheel-chair user, I never faced any difficulties at Apeejay thanks to its infrastructure and facilities. My advice to students is to be part of the extracurriculars and learn from diverse experiences.”

The students of the school then got together for a grand finale on the song, ‘School Chalein Hum’ which captured a photographic memory of students celebrating their school life through a video.

Concluding the event, Ms. Amrita Hajela, Vice-Principal, Apeejay School, Noida said, “I extend my gratitude to Madam Sushma Paul Berlia for her support and guidance. Thank you Mr. Aditya Berlia for gracing the occasion, you are a great source of motivation for Apeejay. My heartfelt gratitude to Ms. Ritu Maheshwari, CEO Noida Authority and our guest of honour, Dr. Dharamvir Singh. Thank you to all education advisors at Apeejay and our esteemed alumni. It is a delight to see old students stand tall in today’s gathering. Thank you Principal Sir for your immense support and guidance and parents, grandparents for being our partners in our educational endeavours. Most importantly, my kudos to each and every student for making the Annual Day performances a resounding success. A special note of appreciation to the hardworking team of Apeejay School, Noida. I credit all the students and teachers for putting up such a brilliant show!”  

The session ended with the singing of the National Anthem by students. 

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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