By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar, July 14 (IANS) When the Delhi Public School (DPS) was established on the outskirts of Srinagar city in March 2003, it was thought to be yet another addition to the mushrooming growth of Kashmir’s ‘teaching shops’.
Over the years, the school established by the late D. P.Dhar memorial trust, has become the most sought after educational institution for Kashmiri parents who send their children to this school for its academic excellence.
The school runs classes from LKG to Class 12 and is affiliated with the Delhi Public School Society.
In the present trying situation faced by students and parents all over the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, DPS Srinagar has achieved a rare distinction in the Class 12 results announced by the CBSE on Monday.
The school has achieved 100 per cent pass percentage in this examination with Asma Shakeel scoring 98.20 per cent marks.
This achievement has won Asma admission in the George Washington University’s Qatar branch.
The University has offered a 90 per cent scholarship to Asma that amounts to Rs two crores.
Of the 268 students those passed the Class 12 exam from this school this year, 172 have obtained marks ranging between 80 and 100 per cent.
“In these trying times, it is an achievement for which both the school staff and the students are proud”, said a teacher of the school.
The contribution of the DPS Srinagar is remarkable in more than one way.
During the unrest of 2016, when the entire educational system of Kashmir was thrown out of gear, it was the DPS Srinagar that decided to open the school to ensure that the students did not suffer.
Kashmir was witness to some of the worst incidents of stone pelting in 2016 and every vehicle that moved out on the road was smashed with stones by unruly mobs.
The bold decision of the management to open the school got overwhelming response from parents.
There was an iconic picture in 2016 that showed a father taking his son to board the school bus wearing a crash helmet!
The child wore the helmet as a precaution to escape grievous injury if the school bus fell into a mob of unruly stone pelters.
The lead taken by the DPS Srinagar in 2016 prompted other educational institutions to open their doors to students and start class work to ensure that the students did not lose an academic year due to the unrest in Kashmir that year.
The school management is headed by Vijay Dhar, son of late D. P.Dhar who was a well known politician of J&K.
Late Dhar ultimately rose to become one of the most powerful politicians in the country who was very close to late Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
Vijay Dhar has been toiling hard to ensure that the school remains free of any political or bureaucratic interference to maintain its enviable academic standards.
Admissions are given purely on the basis of the child’s suitability so that the standards set by the school are not compromised.
The DPS Srinagar has definitely become the most trusted school in Kashmir.
This is no mean achievement given the fact that the school has to compete with some of the top public schools run and established over a century before by Christian missionaries in the Valley.
“Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua Baan Kay Tamana Meri/Zindagi Shama Ki Surat Ho Khudaya Meri”, the school is living up to the spirit of its prayer song, written by the revolutionary philosopher Urdu poet, Alama Iqbal.
Iqbal’s ancestors belonged to Kashmir and his poems are full of references to the land of his roots.
The batches of students produced by the DPS Srinagar have become the role model for thousands of local children who are rising from the quagmire of violence to claim their rightful place in the brave new world knocking at Kashmir’s doors.