Launched in 2010, Crescent Classes is setting examples year after year by producing toppers in board examinations. Standing out, right from the beginning, 41 of the 55 students enrolled in the coaching institute cracked the AIEEE in 2010 - the year it started. In recently declared class XII results, it bagged 11 positions and 59 distinctions. “We believe in providing education in an environment that is conducive to learning and growth” says Mohammad Shahid, Director Crescent Classes. Shahid says the institute boasts of experienced and competent faculty and administrators who ensure a planned academic management and curriculum execution. It offers student-centric fast track as well as year-long programmes for JEE and AIPMT preparation for students of Class XI and XII. In 2013 Crescent Classes also opened a school, Crescent Public School at Hazratbal. The students of the school are provided coaching at the institute, right from class IX. The aim of the institute, Shahid says, is to prepare Kashmiri students for national level competitive examinations. It monitors performance through continuous evaluation tests and uses remedial measures like extra classes when required. The institute also provides special attention to average students enabling them to compete with others. “When we took our first batch for 9th class in 2013, majority of students didn’t even get 20 per cent in the tests. We worked very hard on these students and repeatedly took the tests. With time these students began to show progress but the next year floods disturbed the whole thing and we had to drop the batch. But we prepared same students for 10th class now,” says Mohammad Shakeel Dar Director of the Crescent Public School, who is also associated with Crescent Classes. The 2014 floods were a challenge for schools, coaching institutes and students as it disrupted the whole academic cycle “Now we gave extra attention to the students and divided them into two groups; first group had students who scored above 70 per cent and second group had students who scored below 40 per cent. We guided the second group for two more months. And when results were out all of them passed with good marks, even some were better than the students of first group,” adds Shakeel. The first batch of crescent classes had around 100 students. Impressive results over years lead to an increase in number of applicants and now a screening test is held to select the students. In 2015, out of 80 girl applicants 40 were selected and out of 100 boys only 35 were selected. Rabeet Makhdhoomi, a class 10 student of crescent classes loves to come to the classes regularly. He says he feels lucky to study here as the environment is student friendly. Dr Khursheed Ahmad, who teaches biology at crescent classes says, “We do not restrict the topics to text books, we teach additional topics, because we want to prepare the students for competitive exams right from the beginning. We also tell them what to read for boards and what to read for the competitive exams. It helps them to get out of the cocoon.” Owais Ahmad, also a teacher, says coaching and teaching are two different things. “Coaching means to teach and guide the students at the same time. We have to tell them how to prepare, what to prepare and make them learn the techniques,” Ahmad said. Shaima Wani, a student, says they get a broader idea about the topics at Crescent. “We are not made to cram things and regular tests are taken which makes us consistent.” Shahid says the students are not only taught, but also encouraged through motivational classes to help them shape their future.