With conservative households still preferring to send girl children to gender segregated schools, the EW 2019-20 league table of India’s best girls day schools comprises 93 institutions (cf. 53 boys day schools).
Although the overwhelming majority of greenfield schools promoted during the past three decades are co-education day schools, all-girls day schools have retained their popularity in India. With conservative households still preferring to send girl children to girls-only schools for religious, social and cultural reasons, the EW league table 2019-20 of India’s best girls’ day schools comprises 93 institutions (cf. 53 boys day schools). Moreover, most all-girls schools ranked within the Top 20 are highly ranked within their host cities and states and girls usually outperform boys and co-ed schools in board exams.
Since 2016, the annual EducationWorld India School Rankings (EWISR) league table of the most admired girls day schools has been dominated by the JB Petit School for Girls, Mumbai (estb.1860). This year too, the EWISR 2019-20 sample respondents have voted the CISCE-affiliated K-X JB Petit #1 in the country with top scores under the parameters of faculty competence, academic reputation (class X ICSE average: 94.26 percent), co-curricular education, leadership, life skills education, parental involvement and individual attention to students.
Following JB Petit are the CBSE-affiliated Carmel Convent, Chandigarh and CISCE-affiliated La Martiniere for Girls, Kolkata, jointly ranked #2 and Rajmata Krishna Kumari Girls’ Public School, Jodhpur at #3 (#2 in 2018). Modern High School for Girls, Kolkata, has retained its #4 rank while Loreto House, Middleton, Kolkata has climbed to #5 (6).
Benaifer P. Kutar, principal of the vintage JB Petit (JBP) which has 919 girl children mentored by 64 teachers on its musters, is delighted that JBP has retained its #1 ranking. “It’s very satisfying to receive public validation of the high quality education we have consistently provided our girls over the years. The parameters under which we have excelled define our inherent strengths and are an acknowledgement of the untiring efforts of successive generations of teachers who have dedicatedly served JBP. We are truly blessed in terms of caring, committed and outstanding faculty. JBP’s motto is ‘Empowerment of Women through Education and Opportunity’ and we will continue to work towards producing fearless, confident and accomplished women,” says Kutar, an alumna of SNDT University, Mumbai, who signed up with JBP as a teacher in 1995 and was appointed principal of the school in 2010. According to Kutar, the school is currently awaiting “necessary permissions” to initiate its ambitious JB Building Excellence redevelopment project under which the heritage campus will be expanded and modernised, and JBP will transform into a K-12 school with IB (Geneva) affiliation.
Rupkatha Sarkar, principal of La Martiniere for Girls, Kolkata (LMG, estb.1836), is less enthused about the ranking awarded this year to this CISCE-affiliated school, which was ranked #1 in 2014 and 2015. “We are glad to know about the improvement in rank. This will motivate us to do better and improve teaching-learning methods and infrastructure,” said Sarkar in a cryptic response sent by email. An alumna of Calcutta University and vice principal of LMG since 2001, Sarkar was appointed principal in 2015. Currently LMG, sited on an eight-acre campus in the heart of Kolkata, has an enrolment of 2,850 girl students mentored by 108 teachers.
Beyond the Top 5, Sacred Heart Sr. Sec. School, Chandigarh, has improved its ranking from #9 in 2018 to #6 jointly with Villa Theresa High School, Peddar Road, Mumbai which has also risen from #7 last year. St. Mary’s School, Pune at #7 and Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls’ Public School, Jaipur at #8 have exchanged their 2018 ranks while the previously unranked J.B. Vachha High School, Dadar, Mumbai (estb.1924) has made an unexpected debut at #9 even as NASR School, Khairatabad, Hyderabad, also ranked #9, has ceded ground (#5 in 2018). La Martiniere Girls College, Lucknow completes the Top 10 table.
Sr. Nisha, principal of the CBSE-affiliated Sacred Heart Sr. Sec. School, Chandigarh (estb.1968), which has 2,943 students and 104 teachers on its muster rolls, is very appreciative of the EW India School Rankings 2019-20 survey. “I am delighted with our improved ranking in the highly-respected EW India School Rankings. This achievement is the result of the untiring efforts of our teachers and students, and public recognition of our mission which goes beyond academics to character development and values education. Moreover, our success is a story of constant adaptation, revision and change. We are all set to modernise and embrace latest pedagogies and technological advancements,” says Sr. Nisha.
Similarly, Sr. Babitha Abraham, principal of Villa Theresa High School (VTHS), Peddar Road, Mumbai (estb.1932) is thankful for “the noble venture” of the annual EW India School Rankings. “We are grateful to EducationWorld for conducting the annual school rankings survey which motivates all schools to improve and excel. Our higher ranking of #6 has inspired us to work harder, and is the result of the dedication of our teachers, students and supportive parents. The VTHS community is especially happy with our #1 rank for parental involvement as the active involvement of parents is imperative to the overall development and success of children,” says Sr. Babitha. Currently, the CISCE-affiliated VTHS has an enrolment of 1,229 girl students and 104 teachers.
Further down the league table of India’s most admired girls day schools, there’s a major rearrangement of seating with several rising in public esteem. Among them St. Thomas’ School, Delhi, which has risen from #15 in 2018-19 to #11 this year, Carmel Convent School, Delhi, from #17 to #12, Convent of Jesus & Mary, Bangla Sahib, Delhi from #16 to #14 and Calcutta Girls High School, Kolkata from #20 to #18. Moreover, even though several schools are not ranked within the Top 20 national table, they are highly regarded within their host cities and states — which is more pertinent for day schools.
For instance, Notre Dame Academy, Patna, ranked #42 nationally, is the #1 girls school in Patna and Bihar (pop.90 million). Similarly, Lourdes Convent, Surat, #65 nationally is #1 in Surat and Gujarat (69 million) and Christ Church School for Girls, Jabalpur, ranked #41 all-India is the #1 all-girls day school of Jabalpur and Madhya Pradesh (72 million).
Another notable feature of the 93-strong EW India Girls Day Schools Rankings 2019-20 is the debut of four previously unranked schools — St. Mary’s Convent Inter College, Allahabad at #46, Nazareth Convent, Ooty at #59, Diamond Jubilee High School for Girls, Mumbai #64, and Shaw Public School, Kolkata #69 — indicating that girls-only schools have not fallen out of public favour.