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India’s Best Co-ed Day Schools 2016-17

EducationWorld September 16 | EducationWorld

In this category in which competition to excel is most intense and rankings tend to fluctuate from year to year, The Valley School, Bangalore, ranked #6 last year, in India’s Best Day Schools 2016-17

India's Best Day Schools 2016-17 + The Valley SchoolWith single gender schools gradually fading away, its inevitable that the league table of co-ed day schools is the largest in the EducationWorld India School Rankings (EWISR) 2016. This year over 1,000 primary-secondary schools across the country divided into ten sub-categories under the broad categories of day, boarding and international, have been rated and ranked by 10,301 informed sample respondents in 28 cities on 14 parameters of education excellence. The number of co-ed day schools included in the 2016 league table aggregate over 400 which translates into the interesting statistic that almost half of the country’s most respected 1,000 are co-educational day schools.

In this category in which competition to excel is intense and rankings tend to fluctuate from year to year, the new age J. Krishnamurti-inspired The Valley School, Bangalore (TVS, estb. 1978), ranked #6 last year, is the top-ranked primary-secondary of 2016. Rated #1 on the parameters of teacher competence, life skills and conflict management, parental involvement and community service, TVS has pipped the jointly second-ranked Vasant Valley School, Delhi and Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane(Mumbai) at the post by a short nose.

India's Best Day Schools 2016-17 + Vasant Valley Arun Kumar“Although as a matter of principle, we don’t believe in rating and ranking education institutions or individuals for comparative purposes, we are humbled by the faith reposed in TVS by the EW sample respondents. But while we prefer to avoid media publicity, we are always willing to engage in healthy debate on issues related to education and socio-economic development. Our school is based on the philosophy of J. Krishnamurti, who believed that education cannot be based merely on excellent academic programmes and measuring achievement. Schools and teachers must be engaged in much more and connect deeply with students to explore life as a whole, and understand its subtler aspects and oneself through relationships and enquiry. Perhaps it is this engagement that draws many committed teachers and students to TVS and has won us the respect of informed educationists, parents and teachers”, says S. Jayaram, the self-effacing principal of TVS. Currently, this class I-XII school has 350 students mentored by 30 teachers on its muster rolls.

With the second-ranked Vasant Valley School (VVS), Delhi promoted by media tycoon Aroon Purie, chairman of the publicly-listed Living Media India Ltd, which inter alia publishes the best-selling India Today and Business Today among a clutch of other magazines besides owning two television news channels (Headlines Today and Aaj Tak), Arun Kapur, director of the school, is not at all media shy, although he is brisk and business-like. “We are delighted, not because we’ve been ranked second but because the work we do is appreciated, says Kapur who attributes this CBSE-affiliated K-12 schools consistent Top 3 ranking in the annual EducationWorld India School Rankings (EWISR) to widespread awareness that VVS is a dynamic and evolving institution”, and a constantly improving “work in progress”.

Kapur is particularly pleased that VVS is top-rated countrywide under the parameters of teacher competence, co-curricular education and leadership. “These areas are close to my heart and I am really pleased to learn that we have succeeded in our endeavour to develop a robust non-academic curriculum. And teacher competence and leadership are the cornerstones on which school systems are built”, he says.

India's Best Day Schools 2016-17 + Step by StepThe Top 5 table of the co-ed day schools this year is completed by Mallya Aditi International, Bangalore, ranked #3, followed by Step by Step, Noida jointly at #4 with The Shri Ram School, Delhi, and the Sanskriti School,Delhi jointly ranked #5 with the vintage Cathedral & John Connon School, Mumbai.

Dr. Mahesh Prasad, a science, education and psychology alum of Delhi University and former principal of Noida’s Army Public School, who currently heads Step by Step, Noida which has risen sharply in public estimation to be ranked #4 (cf. 7 in 2015), believes the higher ranking awarded to Step by Step (estb. 2008) imposes a duty of care upon this post-millennium CBSE-affiliated K-12 school which has 1,868 students and 283 teachers on its muster rolls. “The higher ranking awarded to us this year makes us acutely aware of the enormity of the task we have on hand as a developing nation because, in my view, there is a huge gap between what is happening in progressive schools around the world and Indian schools. I strongly believe there’s a long way still to go for a young school like ours which is barely eight years old and cant afford to rest on its laurels”, says Prasad.

Nevertheless Prasad ascribes the rising reputation of SbS to the managements strong focus on “continuous professional development of teachers and staff”, and on “streamlined processes and systems”, as also to the schools well-deserved reputation for providing inclusive education to special needs children. “We take pride in the fact that SbS is perhaps the most inclusive large school countrywide for children with special needs. And for all that has been achieved by us in a relatively short span, credit goes to our talented and highly committed teachers, our magnanimous management, and last but not least, to a very supportive parents community”, says Prasad.

India's Best Day Schools 2016-17 + Smt Sulochana Devi SinghaniaThe Top 10 league table of India’s co-ed day schools is completed by the consistently rising The Heritage School, Gurgaon jointly ranked #6 (7 in 2015) with Mothers International, Delhi (8), KFI Adyar, Chennai #7 (9), Shri Ram Aravali, Gurgaon #8 (11), Sishya Adyar, Chennai #9 (10) jointly with CHIREC Public, Hyderabad (15) and Springdales, Dhaula Kuan, Delhi #10 (11).

Further down the EWISR 2016 league table of co-ed day schools, while the highly-fancied Inventure Academy, Bangalore has moved up a notch, the R.N. Poddar School, Mumbai has made a great leap forward from #22 last year to 11 in 2016. Likewise, Glendale Academy, Hyderabad has leapfrogged to #13 (31), Ahlcon International, Delhi to #16 (21), Johnson Grammar, Hyderabad to #19 (57) and DPS, Ghaziabad to #20 (33).

Other schools with sharply rising reputations are Mirambika, Delhi, ranked #24 (37); Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Kolkata also #24 (37) and Venkateshwar International, Dwarka #24 (38); The Heritage, Rohini at #27 (42); Modern DPS, Faridabad #28 (66); Modern Vidya Niketan #28 (66); Meridian School, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad #28 (75); DPS, Faridabad #29 (73) and Arya Vidya Mandir #30 (65) jointly ranked with Children’s Academy, Malad, Mumbai (32) who are all included within the Top 30 co-ed day schools countrywide.

Although space and deadline constraints don’t permit your editors to highlight the notable progress made by scores of institutions all the way down in the 500-plus-strong day co-ed schools league table, its important to bear in mind that for day schools, city and state rankings in that order, are of greater import for all stakeholders – teachers, parents and students.

Therefore the national co-ed day schools league tables should be read in conjunction with city and state rankings which reflect the true value of these schools to their communities. For instance the City Montessori School, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow ranked a modest #47 in the national league table, is the #1 co-ed day school of Lucknow and Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state (215 million) and Don Bosco, Guwahati ranked #82 in the national league table, is the #1 co-ed day school of the north-eastern state of Assam (pop. 31 million).

Recommended: India’s Best International Day Schools 2016-17

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