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‘From Bharatanatyam lessons at home to competitions, Apeejay has provided them all to my child despite Covid-19’

Udit Kheterpal and Dr. Harshita Chaudhary, parents of Harshaali, a nursery student at Apeejay Panchsheel Park, talk about how the school has kept their child engaged during the pandemic



When young parents, Mr. Udit and Dr. Harshita residing in South Delhi began to search for the ‘ideal’ school for their daughter Harshaali during the Covid-19 pandemic, like all parents, they carried out due diligence to research about the right infrastructure, facilities, fees, etc. The couple zeroed down on Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park, trusting that the school provides holistic learning and all-round development to students. In an interview they say the school has become a one-stop solution for Harshaali. Edited excerpts:

How is Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park the right choice for your child?

Mr. Udit: I wasn’t a Delhi resident until I started working in the city, but my wife was born and brought up here. While we were searching for good schools in Delhi for Harshaali, we heard a lot about Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park and how it provides multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities. Also, this branch is very close to our residence in South Delhi. Also, one of my wife’s close relatives, an alumna from Apeejay, Panchsheel Park, is now an IAS officer. When she told us about the school’s faculty, we were mighty impressed.

Dr. Harshita: I was formerly a faculty at University of Delhi, and am now working as a freelancer for developing educational modules for organisations, specialising in Textiles – Fabric and Apparel Science. My husband works in the supply chain domain at Deloitte. We want our daughter to excel in life, become an achiever and the school’s commitment and delivery to value-based learning made us pick it.  

How has Harshaali been doing at school?

Mr. Udit: She is inclined towards music, singing and sports. I feel that she could go in every field.

Dr. Harshita: Harshaali has picked someabilities genetically as she is into music, and I too have received a formal training in classical vocal music from the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in New Delhi.As far as sports is concerned, she has taken after her father who plays cricket. Apart from this, we try to make her do a lot of art and craft activities at home to develop her motor skills and creativity. She has been doing well at school and I would like to mention the names of her favourite teachers, Khushboo Nanda Ma’am, a class teacher who has made classes for my daughter interactive and fun. Anandita Ma’am, her dance teacher, who made her learn Bharatanatyam from home itself and Rekha Ma’am, the music teacher who has introduced singing on track to Harshaali which has done marvels for her. These mentors have played a very important role in enhancing her skills.

The last two years have been difficult for young parents, especially when it comes to engaging their child at home. How was your experience?

Dr. Harshita: The changes brought by the pandemic have been new for everyone. We found that Harshaali was quite comfortable with the online classes at school since the first day and the teachers were very organised and supportive. She too adapted well to these classes, but of course, she missed having social interactions. I would like to praise the teachers and school staff who had planned so many varying extra-curricular activities for students, that she was consistently engaged. There was a yoga class, dance class, physical training session etc. and therefore, the school became a one-stop solution for us. I didn’t have to go anywhere, the school provided everything.

How do you feel about sending your child back to school?

Mr. Udit: We would want her to go to school. Things now have started to become normal and we are very positive about sending her, even for one class or two. She should know the school discipline and how classes happen.

Any special achievements of Harshaali in the last one year that you would want to talk about?

Dr. Harshita: Yes, Harshaali has won first prize in two- an online rhyme recitation competition – ‘Melodious Melodies’ organised by Apeejay International School, Greater Noida and ‘Singing Dolls and Dudes’ – competition at the Talentia Chapter 2 organised by Manav Rachna International School, Faridabad. Ever since she turned two, she is able to recognise the names of 60-70 countries, their flags and memorise Vedic mantras and shabads. She also has a strong knowledge of general awareness.

Any special initiatives you have taken to make her learn better?

Dr. Harshita: Even before she was enrolled in a school, I used to plan her activities throughout the day and follow a schedule with her. I have been practicing brain teasers with her such as pattern-matching, picture-matching etc. and we read different books to her each night, so that we can increase and develop her vocabulary.

Mr. Udit: In the last two years that we have been home due to the pandemic, we have tried our best to make her learn. We used to plan small treasure hunt activities inside the house, have our own sports day, and create an atmosphere at home to give her an experience of a restaurant, bank, supermarket etc. Since children have been missing out on these basic activities during Covid-19, we tried for Harshaali to experience these because eventually, she will have to learn.

Your advice for fellow parents?

Mr. Udit: A child requires your complete attention while at home, and it takes a lot of patience to make them learn. So, my advice is to be patient with them, it is key.

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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