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‘Compete with yourself and learn from others,’ says Mr. Anil Swarup, former School Education & Literacy Secretary of India

Addressing students of Apeejay School International, South Delhi at their Graduation ceremony, Mr. Swarup shared valuable insights from his illustrious career



The Graduation ceremony of Primary-Years-Programme (PYP) – V and Diploma Programme –II students was recently held at Apeejay School International, South Delhi. At the event, members of the Apeejay management, staff, teachers, parents and students were present.

The Chief Guest of the day was Mr. Anil Swarup, Founder-Chairman, Nexus of Good, a non-governmental organisation. He is a retired Indian Administration Officer (IAS), former Education Secretary and Coal Secretary of India. Mr. Swarup, in nearly four decades of his career, has served at various key positions both for the Union Government and the Government of Uttar Pradesh. He has also authored two books namely, ‘Ethical Dilemmas of a Civil Servant’ and ‘Not just a Civil Servant’ in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

The Guest of Honour for the session was Dr. VS Garg, Senior Education Advisor at Apeejay Education. He is a renowned educationist, researcher and innovator in the field of physics.

The evening of the Graduation ceremony 2022 began with the lighting of the lamp by Mr. Anil Swarup, Dr. VS Garg and school Principal Mr. Purshottam Dutt Vashist. They were accompanied by guests including Ms. Ritu Mehta, Director of New Schools at Apeejay Education, Mr. Sandeep Kathuria, Principal at Apeejay School, Sheikh Serai and Ms. Komal Nathani, Headmistress, Rhythms Kinderworld School, Greater Kailash –II.

Students Vaishnavi and Nakul anchored the session and welcomed the guests. Addressing the august gathering, Mr. Vashist said, “It is a momentous day as the first batch of graduates at Apeejay School International are ready to spread their wings. Attaining this mark was not easy amidst the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as the saying goes, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going, and so we endeavored to deliver our best. We were propelled by the vision of our Late Founder-Chairman, Dr. Stya Paul who dreamt of providing world-class education powered by human values to students. His legacy is now carried forward by his only daughter, Dr. Sushma Paul Berlia under whose dynamic leadership we are motivated to do better each day.”

After his address, students Saanvi and Rosanne presented the school report. They highlighted school achievers at inter-school, national and international levels and spoke about special assemblies, celebration days, guest lectures and non-governmental organisation tie-ups at the school. They mentioned how these fun-filled activities and initiatives give immense opportunities to students to learn based on their observation, experiences and spirit of enquiry.

Next after their presentation, Mr. Vashist and Mr. Swarup announced the Valedictorian’s Award of the school. It was bestowed upon student Lavanya Sharma. The ‘Student of the Year’ (Male) honour was bagged by Rishit Sharma and ‘Student of the Year’ (Female) was given to Prisha Jain.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Swarup shared an anecdote from his college years. He said, “It is a pleasure to be here today because youngsters give us hope and energy. They are the light of our country. And I must, at this time, tell them that failure is their biggest teacher. Those who fail and learn are the ones who succeed in life.” 

Further adding, he shared, “Today, at this graduation ceremony, you feel that you have made it. But, every day will not be like this. I would like to share my own experience with you all. I was a good debater in my college days and so, I participated in a National-level Debating competition. I had been preparing for it for the past few days. But, a day prior to the main event, I decided to sing at a music competition without any practice, thinking I would ace it. But I was disheartened to be booed out of the stage while I sang. My confidence hit the lowest at that time. Thankfully, my college senior guided me and got me back up. The very next day, I won the 1st prize at debating and realised that I cannot succeed in everything.”

He concluded by stating, “Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and we are all very different from one another. My only advice to students today is: Don’t compete with others. Compete with yourself and learn from others.”   

At the event, Dr. Garg shared that Apeejay School International, South Delhi is the first and only comprehensive international day boarding school in the capital city with state-of-the-art and centrally air-conditioned buildings and excellent sporting facilities. He added, “More such schools from Apeejay are on the anvil.”

After his speech, student Lavanya Sharma shared her experience of the IB curriculum at the school. She thanked her teachers, school principal and staff for their immense support and guidance. With this, she emphasised upon the qualities of hard work, team work and determination that led her to ace in her academics as well as extracurricular activities.

Concluding the ceremony, students Rishit Sharma and Prisha Jain delivered a Vote of Thanks. They gave a special mention for all the programme coordinators at the school across Primary, Middle-years and Diploma level.

Mrini Devnani is a Principal Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, conducts interviews, and contributes content to the website. Previously, she served as a Correspondent specialising in Edu-tech for the India Today Group. Her skill areas extend to Social Media and Digital Marketing. For any inquiries or correspondence, you can reach out to her at [email protected]