Mr. Alok Chandra Deb was born in 1898 in Dehra Dun and took a Master’s Degree in Literature from Calcutta University before starting work as a teacher with Col Brown’s School and the Gurkha Military Academy. His nationalism was fired by his readings in English, Urdu and Bengali literature as well as by his association with the eminent lawyer and composer Atul Prasad Sen in Lucknow. His experience as a teacher left him dissatisfied, not only with the curriculum but also with the way Indian students were treated in schools run by Englishmen.
How it began?
Cambridge School was founded on the 7th of April 1931 in a small flat in Qutub Road, Delhi. It moved soon after to 21 Daryaganj and — as it grew – to 2 Daryaganj. By the nineteen forties it had already established itself as one of the foremost schools in the city.
A boarding school by the name of Shishu Niketan was set up in Mussoorie in 1950, moving subsequently to Dehra Dun under the name Raja Rammohan Roy Academy.
Cambridge School Delhi — thus named because it was the first school to send students up for the Senior Cambridge Examination — acquired its own campus in Srinivaspuri. The foundation stone of the building, designed by the well-known architect Cyrus Jhabvala was laid in 1961 by the Vice President of India Dr. S.Radhakrishnan; and the building was inaugurated by Smt. Indira Gandhi, then the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, in 1963.
Mr. Deb was the Principal of the school till 1964. He himself was deeply read and widely informed but he never left the shores of India. The School’s motto — We Learn to Serve — reflects his deep conviction that a true education is one that reaches its apogee in service to society. That aim requires the development of character, curiosity, and self-awareness the three main aims of an enlightened school. Mr. Deb continued to work till well into his eighties, rising at five-thirty to give tea to his wife before settling down at his table to work. Cambridge School occupied his entire day, his entire week including Sundays and his entire life. A strict but kind man, generations of boys, girls and teachers remember him with reverence.
‘A School must seek to provide a sense of stability, encouragement and hope for boys and girls of widely different abilities and socio-cultural backgrounds, helping students to develop their talents by providing meaningful education in an atmosphere of freedom, secularism and social unity’. With this vision Mr. Alok Chandra Deb, the founder of Cambridge School started his dream school in a two roomed flat on Qutub Road, Delhi, in 1931.
With the determination, persistence, vigour and intellect of Mr. Deb, Cambridge School paved the path of its success. The first milestone was laid in 1933 when the school shifted to Daryaganj where it attained the stature of a high ranking co-educational English medium School, preparing students for Cambridge Senior, the Overseas School Certificate examination. The School excelled in academics, art, music, dance and physical education. The School’s PT Squad was adjudged as the best in Delhi for a number of years and in scouting, two of its students were selected to participate in the World Jamboree at Niagara Falls in 1956. Later the school shifted to its present premises in Srinivaspuri. The foundation stone of Cambridge School Srinivaspuri was laid by the former President of India, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan in 1961 and the former Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi inaugurated the building. With all the facilities of teaching Science, Commerce, Humanities, music, sports and a large number of extra-curricular activities. Cambridge School gained the recognition of being one of the leading schools of Delhi. As the Principal of the school for 35 years, Shri A. C. Deb toiled hard to ensure quality education and character formation to make students responsible citizens. Mrs. Roma Deb, his wife, was a guiding force behind Mr. Deb. He was a great visionary. He introduced the concept of unit tests and activity based learning in the early fifties.
The founder laid great stress on learning rather than teaching. Therefore he started a society, known as ‘Society for the Advancement of Learning’, got it registered in 1961 and handed over the school to the society. This society was renamed as the ‘Society for the Advancement of Education’ and it is the present apex body of the school management.
His legacy has passed on to his daughter Dr. (Mrs.) Kalyani Roy, also the former alumnus of school. Under the able guidance of Dr. Roy, Cambridge School, Srinivaspuri achieved new pinnacles of success. Dr. Roy, a true educationist, likes to keep herself updated with the developments and innovations in the field of education. Under her leadership, the society established an ‘Educational Research Centre’ where workshops and seminars are regularly conducted to keep the teachers abreast of the developments in the field of education. Dr. Roy, who shows keen interest in the upliftment of the underprivileged children, started a Community Service Programme known as ‘Alok’.
Cambridge School family now has four Senior Secondary Schools affiliated to CBSE in Delhi and NCR, a primary school in New Friends Colony and a residential school in Dehradun which is known as Raja Ram Mohan Roy Academy. The school has grown in size and reputation for quality education and technology growth.
|Shri A.C. Deb|
|Dr. B. K. Nair|
|Mr. M.S. Sinha|
|Mr. K. N. Dhar|
|Ms. Rita Talwar|
|Mrs. D. Kalsi|
|Mrs. P. Narayan|
|Mrs. Aparna Seebaluk – Present|