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‘I chose Apeejay School International because of its focus on the IB board curriculum’

Mr Abhishek Saxena, parent of Apeejay International School student Ahaana Saxena, describes what gives schools following the IB board of education an edge

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Eroute Technologies Pvt Ltd COO and  Taisys Technologies Co Ltd (India) Managing Director Abhishek Saxena with his family (clockwise), elder daughter Ahaana Saxena, wife Vishakha Saxena and  younger daughter Anaysha Saxena

Mr Abhishek Saxena, Chief Operating Officer of Eroute Technologies Pvt Ltd and Managing Director of Taisys Technologies Co Ltd (India), is the proud father of Ahaana Saxena, class 5 student at Apeejay School International, South Delhi.  In a wide-ranging interview he shares his reasons for choosing the school, his vision about the International Baccalaureate (IB) board and his expectations from the school. Edited excerpts:

 Why did you choose Apeejay International School over other schools for your child’s admission?

 I chose Apeejay International School because I was looking for IB schools and it was then that I came across the school. It is solely focused on the IB board and this impressed me the most. The IB curriculum is a very difficult one though it is also very good for the kids. To manage this curriculum, to meet the expectations of the curriculum, it requires extreme focus from the school management. Schools catering to multiple education boards often lose their focus.  Since Apeejay International School is purely IB board oriented, I had no hesitation in choosing the school.

Another reason is that Apeejay International School is a start-up school. I myself come from a startup background. So, I know the drive for success one has when you are a start-up. One really puts in all their efforts. I had an interaction with the Principal, Mr. Purshottam Dutt Vashist. I admired his ideology towards education and I also saw within him the hunger to provide the best education. So, that was another reason of zeroing down on the school.

Also, I live in Safdarjung Enclave, so the school is close to my residence. But even more than proximity, what matters is that the children of numerous diplomats study here. Thus, my kid will also get better environment and exposure in this school.

Are the teachers engaging well with the students?

Yes, they are engaging very well.  Here, it’s not like everyone needs to be in a race as seen in other schools. That is the difference one finds in an IB board school. I am a parent who wants to work with the management. I discuss matters with the coordinators. In IB board, there is a lot of international exposure in academics. Thus, to meet the high expectations the teachers must also be up to that mark. So, I keep discussing ideas with the school teachers as well.  

Please tell us a bit about your child and take us through her progress at school?

Ahaana is a great kid. Not saying it just because she is my daughter but because I feel she is a great human. She was in Taiwan for the first five years of her life. She was mentored by American teachers and international people there. So, English is her first language and Hindi is her second language. She just started school at Apeejay International School in class 5. It has been hardly a few months. However, she has been involved in all the events at school be it intra or any inter school event. She is the favourite of all her teachers.

She takes even the minutest of tasks so seriously that she isn’t able to sleep well. I have to tell her at times to go slow but as a responsible kid she feels the need to go into the details of a task at each and every step. So, that is Ahaana.  She was a student in the CBSE board before. She was there a gold medalist in the English and Math Olympiads. She loves astronomy as well and is very good in it. She is a gold medalist in that also. She has always been a part of the top five students in her class.

 She is also very well behaved. She used to do the anchoring in the annual day functions at her school since Nursery. That was the first time in their school that such a young kid hosted a function. She loves to make presentations which is a great skill in the IB board. She recently made a brilliant presentation at such a young age, in which one had to create a product and she created a shoe.  I showed her presentation to my marketing team also, that we all can also learn from it.

 She loves colouring and craft work. Recently, she has developed an interest in no-gas cooking, cake baking. She wants to start her YouTube channel on no gas cooking for kids. She is a prodigy, if you talk to her for five minutes you would notice it (laughs). She loves reading, every night she is reading books. I have given her a Kindle for that purpose. She is reading a lot on Indian mythology these days. She is coming from outside of India, so she has a great respect and curiosity for Indian mythology. Recently, she even read a bit of the Bhagvad Gita and Ramayana.

What is the best thing about the school?

I think the best thing about the school is the way they treat kids and take their questions. This approach is still a little uncommon in India. Even the greatest of schools in India shut off the questions of the kids. Maybe it is due to there being too many kids in a class. In IB board at Apeejay International School, they are not after quantity and also it is a matter of culture which I have seen across all the teachers and even in the school coordinator.

  What is your perception about the online classes?

It is fantastic. Kids are doing great now in the online classes though it was a bit challenging initially. I still think that it would never substitute physical classes since out there they can build friendships and can explore more. The teacher’s job would also be easier in that.

Though, I must say that the teachers and the kids have taken the online classes very well. It does save time for my kid. She doesn’t have to wake up at odd hours in the morning to prepare for school. She can wake up at a normal hour. I feel these are the few things, as a school one should introspect on that why do we need to keep school at 7 AM. At the time I used to study , we studied like labourers working at a factory and where they had to follow the factory rules. But now we are at a different stage. We are at a startup stage where we need to teach the kids discipline but not in such a harsh way. It is no longer required. I feel online is better than physical in these aspects but it can never substitute physical classes because of the advantage of building friendships. 

Arijit Roy is a trainee correspondent at Apeejay newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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