The Best And The Brightest
Come winter and the search for a good school begins for lakhs of parents across India. Good education is now being perceived by parents cutting across class lines as the best investment for their children. It has also become a major economic burden for the middle and lower classes.
The maximum number of schools in India are run by the government, most of them affiliated to respective state education boards. There are about 3,000 Catholic schools, over 900 Kendriya Vidyalayas, 423 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and over 550 DAV schools. Around 5,000 schools are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and over 1,000 are affiliated to the Council of Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE). There are also over a hundred elite boarding schools. Then there are schools promoted by various sects.
It’s the public schools however that have in fact become the torchbearers of quality education in India. Public schools here are synonymous with private schools. This is in sharp contrast to the West where state-run schools are considered to be the best. There are an estimated 5,000 good public schools in India with decent infrastructure and student faculty ratio of at the most 20:1. They are affiliated to either one of the boards—the CBSE or the ICSE. The CBSE requires at least 33 per cent pass percentage, the teaching medium is either Hindi or English and NCERT books are followed. Most parents and students feel that CBSE is better suited for competitive examinations, engineering or medicine. The ICSE requires 40 per cent marks to pass in each subject, the teaching medium is only English, it allows schools to select textbooks, is oriented towards the liberal arts, literature and project work. In north and south India, there are more CBSE-affiliated schools whereas in the west and east, particularly in Mumbai and Kolkata, there is a relatively greater number of ICSE schools.
Clearly, it’s a daunting exercise for parents to pick schools of their choice for their children. To help them in the effort, Outlook and market research agency Cfore carried out an exhaustive survey using rigorous methodological tools (see Methodology) to pick the 10 finest schools in six cities—Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. We also did a similar ranking for India’s elite boarding schools. Finally, Outlook correspondents profiled the top six schools in the country, picking up the top school from our survey rankings for every city. The top boarding school is also profiled. Hopefully, it will help you to select the school of your choice.
Premchand Palety With Dhiraj Singh, Charubala Annuncio, Ashis K.Biswas, B.R. Srikanth and Savitri Chowdhury in Hyderabad