Given the vast diversity of language, culture and ethnicity within each region, the regional tables of yesteryear have been replaced by state and city tables
On the basis of feedback received from field researchers of the Delhi-based market research and intelligence agency Centre for Forecasting & Research Pvt. Ltd (C fore, estb. 2000) which has been conducting the annual EducationWorld India School Rankings (previously known as India’s Most Respected Schools Survey) since 2008, as also from parents and educationists who constitute the sample respondents base, your editors have revised the mix of this year’s league tables.
Accepting the argument that the annual regional (east, west, north, south) tables were of limited value given the vast diversity of language, culture and ethnicity of each region, this year they have been replaced by league tables of 22 of India’s 28 states (in six states and seven Union territories no school was sufficiently well known to be rated by 25 sample respondents). The rationale is that parents are becoming increasingly reluctant to send children to distant schools if comparable primary-secondaries are within easily accessible geographies. Hence league tables evaluating the perceived merits of day schools within municipal limits, and boarding and international schools within state boundaries are more useful for parents and students for the purpose of selecting suitable and accessible schools.
From the perspective of stimulating competition for institutional upgradation and excellence as well, publication of state and city league tables makes more sense. It’s natural for principals and teachers to be more mindful of competition within state boundaries and municipal limits. For instance, for the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan School, Chennai, the fact that it has been dislodged from last year’s premier position and ranked third in Tamil Nadu and third in Chennai behind The School, KFI and Sishya School this year, is likely to be a greater stimulant for self-assessment and improvement than awareness that it is ranked No. 15 in the all-India day schools league table.
Similarly, this year’s No. 15 national rank of St. Joseph’s North Point, Darjeeling among legacy boarding schools, is certain to be of less concern and import to the top management of neighbouring St. Paul’s School than the former’s first rank in West Bengal and Darjeeling. From the viewpoint of the public as well, state and city rankings offer a better basis for comparison because India’s 28 states are not tiny British-style counties with populations of a few hundred thousand, but nation-size entities. For instance, the population of Tamil Nadu is 72 million and West Bengal 90 million, and Chennai and Kolkata host 8.9 million and 14.1 million citizens respectively.
The decision to abolish regional rankings of schools and substitute them with state and cities/hubs rankings is welcomed by Deepak Madhok, promoter-chairman of the Sunbeam Group which has established 17 primary-secondaries in the holy city of Varanasi and across Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous (200 million) and arguably most socio-economically backward state. “Abolition of regional rankings is a welcome development because India’s regions are too large and culturally diverse to afford a meaningful basis for comparison. It’s much easier and more pertinent to compare schools within state boundaries because all are governed by the same rules and regulations. For instance, the regulations governing private schools in Uttaranchal and UP differ widely, with the difficulties faced by school managements in UP being far greater. Therefore state and city wise comparisons are not only more meaningful, but also more motivational,” says Madhok.
The EducationWorld state and city rankings 2012 for day schools follow. (For the state rankings of boarding and international schools see the respective sections).
For Day Schools State Rankings click userfiles/Day Schools State Rankings-pgs(1).pdf
For Day Schools City Rankings click userfiles/Day Schools City Rankings-pgs(1).pdf