Disruption of the academic calendar by the global Covid-19 pandemic necessitated deferment of the much-awaited EducationWorld India School Rankings 2020-21 to November. Nevertheless this year’s EWISR — for which 11,368 sample respondents were interviewed in 28 cities — is as robust and uncompromising as previous C fore-EW surveys – Dilip Thakore & Summiya Yasmeen
The malignant wind of the Coronavirus global pandemic which has infected 50 million people and killed 1.26 million people around the world including 8.5 million and 127,000 in India (Nov.9) has blown a modicum of good. It has forced postponement of our anxiously awaited annual EducationWorld India School Rankings (EWISR) league tables, published in September for the past 13 years, to November/December. With the number of schools sufficiently well-known to be included rising to almost 2,500, this year EWISR 2020-21 will be spread over our November and December issues.
Please note that for the past decade, EWISR has established an unchallenged reputation as the world’s largest and most detailed primary-secondary schools annual rankings project. To the extent, that demand for inclusion has also emanated from self-respecting schools in neighbouring Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, UAE and Nepal. Therefore for the past two years, we have been publishing expert jury rankings of Top 10 schools in neighbouring countries. This year too, the most respected schools in these countries are ranked by specially constituted juries of education experts with deep knowledge of their K-12 education systems.
The silver lining of the pandemic crisis is that disruption of our EWISR calendar has pushed publication of the rankings to November when EducationWorld attains the full maturity age of 21. On November 1, 1999 the very first issue of EW featuring a cover story on IIM-Calcutta hit the newsstands. Since then, this publication launched with the mission statement to “build the pressure of public opinion to make education the #1 item on the national agenda,” has been the reform torch-bearer of Indian education with a record of uninterrupted publication of 252 issues over 21 years.
Unfortunately our best and sustained effort of 21 years, has failed to attain our mission. Nevertheless, it’s some consolation that education, i.e, “diffusion and sharing of knowledge — the public good par excellence” – according to best-seller French economist Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2014)), has moved from outer periphery to the near centre of public discourse, if not to the top of the national development agenda. In EducationWorld, we believe that as the country’s pioneer education news magazine with a national readership estimated at over 1 million, we have played a substantial role in raising awareness about the critical importance of developing India’s abundant, high-potential human resource.
Be that as it may, this year because of disruption of the academic calendar, business and industry by the Covid global pandemic, the 14th edition of our most successful initiative — the annual EducationWorld India School Rankings 2020-21 is presented in our 21st anniversary issue. Although the pandemic necessitated postponement of EWISR 2020-21, Premchand Palety, promoter-director of the Delhi-based Centre for Forecasting & Research Pvt. Ltd (estb.2000) which has partnered with us to conceptualise and design the uniquely broad-based EWISR ab initio, is confident that the 2020-21 league tables are “robust and uncompromising” and “indeed an improvement” over past C fore-EW surveys.
“As usual, our sample respondents’ database for this year’s survey comprised fees-paying parents in the SEC (socio-economic category) ‘A’, teachers, principals, educationists and senior school students aggregating 11,368 individuals in 28 cities and towns countrywide. These sample respondents were interviewed over four months by 118 C fore field personnel who persuaded them to award schools in their regions — east, west, south and north with which they are more familiar — scores under 14 parameters of K-12 education excellence including academic reputation, competence of teachers, co-curricular education, sports education, infrastructure, curriculum and pedagogy, leadership etc. They also interviewed parents in the SEC ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ categories to rate the best government schools separately. The score awarded to schools under each parameter by sample respondents were totaled to arrive at every school’s national, state and city rankings,” says Palety.
Moreover, this year in a departure from previous practice after conducting a prior mini-survey of parents, C fore has assigned varying weights to some parameters while retaining the highest weightage (200) for teacher competence. Hitherto, all parameters except teacher competence were given equal weightage (100).
“I am confident the EWISR 2020-21 is an unprecedentedly robust and high-integrity survey which is truly reflective of informed public opinion,” says Palety, an alum of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and Fore B-School, Delhi, who worked with ORG, India’s pioneer retail markets research firm for over a decade prior to promoting C fore in the new millennium. C fore’s clientele includes the Congress party, Nestle and Hindustan Times.
Undoubtedly despite the constraints of conducting this year’s survey during Covid times, C fore’s 118 field staff pulled out all stops to ensure that EWISR 2020-21 is the most detailed and comprehensive primary-secondary schools rankings survey worldwide. In the pages following, we present comprehensive league tables rating and ranking the country’s 2,300 most respected day schools divided into co-ed day, day-cum-boarding, all boys and all-girls schools; government day and boarding schools, and special needs schools. Moreover this year EWISR 2020-21 rates and ranks schools in an unprecedented 311 cities and towns across India.
League tables of traditional/legacy boarding schools (co-ed, all boys, exclusively girls), new genre international schools (day, day-cum-boarding and wholly residential) and budget private schools will be published in our next (December 15) issue.
We believe the comprehensive EWISR league tables set out in the pages following will enable parents to choose the most suitable day schools for their children and also provide institutional managements insights into ways and means to continuously raise teaching learning-standards for the greater good of community and country.