India’s top-ranked budget private schools 2020

EducationWorld February 2020 | Cover Story

To compile the league tables of India’s Top 300 budget private schools, C fore field researchers interviewed 2,458 BPS teachers and SEC (socio-economic category) C, D and E parents with children enrolled in budget schools countrywide. They perceptually rated BPS in their states and cities on 11 parameters of school education excellence.

Shocking, but true. Although India’s unique budget private, aka affordable, schools which number an estimated 400,000 are schooling a staggering 60 million children, they are neither respected nor tolerated by academia and the establishment.

Within the upper middle class — which has hogged almost all the gains of post-independence India’s feeble national development effort — the pavlovian reaction to budget private schools (BPS) is loathing and contempt. In the Nehruvian socialism lexicon, all private entrepreneurs — especially in education — are exploiters hellbent on deriving maximum profit from schooling children of the gullible poor. This dominant middle class sentiment has been sanctified by the country’s judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, which has repeatedly deplored “commercialisation of education” while turning a judicial blind eye to the rampant commercialisation of the country’s crumbling legal system whose lethargy and chronic delays cost the Indian economy an estimated 2 percent of GDP growth annually.

The aversion of academia and establishment towards BPS is evidenced by s.19 of the landmark Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009. Under this section, all private schools are obliged to adhere to stringent infrastructure norms — bathrooms, kitchen, store-room, playground and teacher-pupil ratio — on pain of punitive fines and forceful closure. However, schools promoted and/or managed by the Central, state and local governments are exempt from the provisions of s.19 and the infrastructure norms detailed in a Schedule of the RTE Act. Quite clearly, the objective of s.19 is to stifle and/or eliminate BPS which provide children of the lower middle and working classes an alternative to dysfunctional government schools characterised by English language aversion and pathetic learning outcomes. According to the Delhi-based National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), a representative body of BPS which claims a membership of 55,000, an estimated 23,000 low-priced schools across the country have already shut down because of constant harassment by inspectors of education ministries in several states, and another 20,000 are under threat of forcible closure for non-adherence to s.19 norms.

The hostility of government officials at the Centre, and especially in the states towards BPS, is not born out of their child centrism, but because of increasing disgust among parents and children with dilapidated infrastructure, chronic teacher truancy, English learning aversion and rock-bottom learning outcomes for which government primaries/elementaries have become notorious. They are voting with their feet and wallets and fleeing to BPS countrywide. Therefore, the prime purpose of inserting s.19 in the RTE Act was to get rid of the competition to government schools.

In EducationWorld, your editors believe in free markets and the fundamental right of parents to choose schools they believe are best for their children, and have always taken a stand against monopoly. Therefore right from the start, we have supported BPS and argued in favour of their right to engage in the vocation of education provision within broad regulatory guidelines.

Admittedly, some BPS promoters short-change and exploit gullible parents who tend to be quasi-literate and struggle to manage low-income households. In many instances, BPS cram children into small, unhygienic and hazardous buildings, severely under-pay teachers and provide English language education that is only marginally better than offered in government schools.

Yet given the pernicious aversion of state government schools to teach children English, the national link language of business, administration and the courts, and to remedy chronic teacher malingering and truancy, we believe the solution is not to shut down BPS but to encourage them to upgrade and consolidate by providing them concessionally priced land and soft loans. The plain reality of Indian education is that by providing affordably priced primary-secondary education to 60 million children from aspirational households countrywide, the great majority of BPS edupreneurs are rendering a valuable — and unsung — service to the country.

“Poor parents send their children to private schools because they are better than public schools with regard to higher teacher commitment and smaller class sizes. They are better on the vast majority of school inputs. They are better in academic achievement even after controlling for background variables. And not only are they better in all these respects, they are cheaper to run at least in terms of teachers’ salaries,” writes Dr. James Tooley, professor of education policy at University of Buckingham (UK), in The Beautiful Tree (Viking/Penguin 2009), a deeply-researched account of modest but committed education entrepreneurs who have stepped into the breach created by pampered dysfunctional government schools, to provide acceptable quality primary schooling to children around the world.

Dr. Tooley’s conclusions about the superiority of privately provided primary education in third world countries and India in particular, are supported by Dr. Karthik Muralidharan, professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego.

In a research paper titled The Aggregate Effect of School Choice: Evidence from a Two Stage Experiment in India (2013), Muralidharan confirms that BPS deliver better learning outcomes and are almost three times as cost effective as government primaries. According to him, the per capita cost of education delivery in a government primary varies between Rs.16,000-20,000 per year, cf. Rs.3,500-7,500 in a BPS. Moreover, BPS students have a longer school day, a longer school year, negligible teacher absenteeism (cf. government schools where an estimated 25 percent of teachers are absent everyday) and superior in-classroom teaching, even though their teachers are paid very modestly (Rs.2,000-12,000 per month) compared to government primary teachers (Rs.23,000-30,000).

Against this backdrop of the media dominated by fashionably leftist but intellectually lethargic journalists who routinely demonise BPS for alleged exploitation and commercialisation of education, with the objective of supporting the efforts of BPS promoters and edupreneurs to improve and upgrade their schools which despite official disapproval are mushrooming countrywide, we commissioned our trusted partner the Delhi-based Centre for Forecasting & Research (C fore, estb.2000) to undertake a field survey to rate and rank the country’s most respected BPS. The purpose of this exercise is to showcase the country’s model BPS and provide under-served parents of low-income households valuable information and guidelines to enable them to choose the most suitable BPS for their children.

Accordingly, following the EW-C fore tradition of conducting field surveys rather than closed-door jury assessments, over 50 C fore field researchers persuaded 2,458 informed sample respondents — BPS teachers and SEC (socio-economic category) C, D and E parents with children enrolled in budget schools — to perceptually rate BPS in their states and cities on 11 parameters of school education excellence. The parameters include competence competence of faculty, infrastructure, life skills education, leadership quality, co-curricular activities, sports education and value for money, among others. The scores awarded by sample respondents to each school (shortlisted by NISA) were totalled by C fore to rank BPS nationally, in 18 states of the Indian Union and 143 cities/towns.

The outcome of this pioneer rating and rankings field survey of BPS nationwide conducted over a period of three months is that the Muni International School, Delhi (MIS), which is also top-ranked in the EducationWorld India School Rankings 2019-20 in the BPS category (EW September 2019), is confirmed as the country’s #1 budget private school in this more elaborate and dedicated BPS survey.

With top scores under the parameters of academic reputation, co-curricular and sports education, and leadership, the CBSE-affiliated K-10 English-medium co-ed day MIS, which has 700 children and 45 teachers on its muster rolls, has topped the inaugural EducationWorld India Budget Private School Rankings 2020.

India’s top budget private schools + Muni International, Ashok Thakur“I believe that it is possible to provide excellent primary-secondary education at affordable price. If schools are managed efficiently and tightly, they can generate surpluses for re-investment in institutional development,” says Ashok Thakur, a college dropout and former jawan in the Indian Army (1984-92) who has acquired national, even international, fame as a provider of high-quality school education to low-income households.

“The MIS model develops children into self-learners by encouraging peer-to-peer learning and identifying and developing students’ special intelligences and human values. Teachers play a facilitative and enabling role in MIS. This self-learning model has worked well. Every year, about 80 MIS children write the CBSE’s class X board exam and they have consistently averaged above 80 percent. Our students are fluent in English and under an agreement signed with the Imperial government of Japan, learning Japanese is compulsory in MIS,” adds Thakur, who was acknowledged as an Ashoka change-maker by the US-based Ashoka Foundation in 2015.

India’s top budget private schools + Mukarram Jah, Faiz KhanAlthough Muni International is a familiar name among educationists and educators with knowledge of BPS, the second position in the dedicated inaugural EW India BPS Rankings 2020 has been awarded by the 2,458 sample respondents to the previously unranked and low-profile Mukarram Jah School, Hyderabad, Telangana (MJS, estb.1987). With top scores under the parameters of infrastructure, safety & hygiene and value for money, this CISCE-affiliated K-10 school promoted by the Mukarram Jah Trust for Education & Learning, Hyderabad, registered in 1971 by his Highness Walashan Mukarram Jah Bahadur, the VIII Nizam of Hyderabad, has made a dramatic debut in the first EW India BPS Rankings 2020. Housed within the Purani Haveli Palace of the Nizam, this 33-year-old co-ed day school which has 2,553 students and 124 teachers on its musters, levies modest tuition fees of Rs.12,000 per year.

“By tradition, the Nizams of Hyderabad have been deeply involved with promotion of education institutions in the erstwhile kingdom of Hyderabad, now bifurcated into the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, ranked among the country’s Top 5 co-ed day-cum-boarding schools by EducationWorld (2019-20), is one among them. MJS was promoted by His Exalted Highness Nizam Walashan Mukarram Jah Bahadur 33 years ago, to educate children of the common people of Hyderabad and to replicate the high-quality K-12 education provided by schools like the HPS, Begumpet. And although the tuition fees are a nominal Rs.12,000 per year, we provide the excellent CISCE, Delhi curriculum supplemented with a wide range of co-curricular and sports education options to our children. Currently, the MJS student mix comprises children from diverse backgrounds ranging from illiterate households, teachers and businessmen to business executives. I am very pleased that the school’s management has been awarded due recognition for developing MJS into one of the country’s best affordable schools,” says M.A. Faiz Khan, a Hyderabad-based businessman, educationist and senior trustee of the HPS Society and the Mukarram Jah Education & Learning Trust.

Apart from MIS, Delhi and MJS Hyderabad, the Top 5 league table of the inaugural EW India BPS Rankings 2020 comprises the well-known St. Mary’s, Kalyan, Mumbai, promoted by social activist Bharat Malik, ranked India’s #1 BPS in EWISR 2018-19 and #3 this year, the Nagarjuna Model School, Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh) at #4 and S.R. Capital Public School, Delhi, jointly ranked #5 with the Sukhpal Senior Secondary, Ugala (Haryana).

And it augurs well for India’s aspirational lower middle and working classes that the number of affordably priced BPS sufficiently well-known (low profile schools rated by less than 25 sample respondents are not ranked) number over 300 in 18 states of the Indian Union. It’s also encouraging that well-respected BPS — sufficiently admired to be included in the shortlist of over 1,000 BPS submitted by NISA to EW/ C fore — for ranking them inter se — includes budget private schools in the educationally neglected Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Shockingly, the NISA list of sufficiently well-known BPS doesn’t include even one privately promoted, affordable school in the benighted state of Bihar (pop. 104 million).

India’s top budget private schools + Heritage International Kiran TripathyHowever, the top-ranked BPS in the so-called BIMARU states of the Indian Union which grudgingly host over two-thirds of the country’s massive population of 1.30 billion is the CBSE-affiliated K-12 Heritage International School, Aligarh (HIS, estb.2004), ranked #13 nationally and #1 in Uttar Pradesh (pop. 215 million). “I am very happy to learn HIS is ranked among India’s Top 15 affordable schools and #1 in Uttar Pradesh in the inaugural BPS rankings.

I attribute our good reputation to the sustained efforts of the management and teachers to provide our students child-centric, holistic education. Our academic results are good with the latest batches of students averaging 85 and 82 percent in the class X and XII CBSE board exams last March. Moreover, we also accord high importance to co-curricular education such as dance, music and debates as also to sports education. We have provided facilities for swimming and basketball and established a cricket academy supported by former India test cricket star Ashish Nehra. Our future plan is to introduce computer-based learning and digitise our operations,” says Kiran Tripathy, an alumna of Kanpur, Ambedkar, Agra and Mumbai universities with 27 years of teaching and admin experience in schools across the country, who was appointed principal of HIS earlier this year. Currently, HIS (tuition fee: Rs.21,000-48,000 per year) has 1,400 students mentored by 55 teachers on its muster rolls.

Unfortunately, constraints of time and editorial space don’t permit deeper exploration and description of a larger number of BPS mushrooming countrywide in response to pressing demand from the public, and in particular from the aspirational lower middle and organised sector working classes, disillusioned with the rock-bottom quality of primary-secondary education provided by government — especially state and local government — schools. Despite being confronted with official hostility and establishment indifference, a rising number of brave edupreneurs driven by a combination of enlightened self-interest and philanthropy are investing their savings in BPS which are developing high potential human capital in the bottom and middle reaches of the country’s iniquitous socio-economic pyramid.

As a tribute to them and in acknowledgement, in the pages following, we present detailed national, state, city league tables and parameter rankings of India’s most respected budget private schools. We hope these league tables will enable parents in low income households across the country to choose the most suitable BPS for their children. Moreover, we believe that these 300 BPS will serve as inspiring role models for the promoters, managements and teachers of the country’s other 400,000 budget private schools.  

“It’s a great feeling that we are ranked among India’s Top 25 and Bangalore’s #3 BPS. It’s also very encouraging that our sustained investment in infrastructure has been acknowledged with #3 national ranking. We provide 30 classrooms, of which six are fitted with Smart boards, modern science and computer labs, and we have a library with 3,000 volumes” — Dhanlaxmi V (centre), principal of the Sunrise Public School, Peenya, Bangalore (estb.2001), a K-10 English-medium school affiliated with the Karnataka state board, which has an enrolment of 560 students and 35 teachers (annual tuition fee: Rs.10,000-20,000)

“The credit for our #11 all-India and #1 Tamil Nadu rankings should accrue to our dedicated teachers who go the extra mile to provide remedial education to our students, most of whose parents are unable to provide even minimal academic support at home. We are a community-centric institution and involve the local community in all school activities” — John Xavier Thangaraj, promoter-principal of the K-12 state board-affiliated Little Flower Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai (estb.1994). Currently, the school has 2,000 students and 80 teachers on its muster rolls (tuition fee: Rs.30,000-45,000 per annum).

“I congratulate EducationWorld for pioneering national and more pertinently, city rankings of budget private schools. The public needs to know about the contribution of India’s BPS to the national development effort. Our Top 20 India and #3 Delhi ranking has boosted our teachers and students’ morale. Though as a low-fees school, we can’t afford high-end teacher training and workshops, we collaborate with NGOs to provide our teachers skill upgradation workshops” — Rajesh Malhotra, director of the K-12 CBSE-affiliated Sainath Public School, Delhi (estb.1998), which has 400 students instructed by 15 teachers (annual tuition fee: Rs.12,000).

“We are grateful to your sample respondents for our #16 India and #1 Madhya Pradesh ranking. It’s an acknowledgement of our constant teaching-learning innovations. From the next academic year our school will be implementing the well-researched curriculum of the Mumbai-based LEAD School. Moreover, since most of our students are first and second generation learners, we offer spoken English classes, self-defence, art and craft, and personality development programmes” — Ashish Dutt Pandey, principal of Prerna Bal Niketan, Rau, Indore (estb.1997), a MP state-board affiliated English/Hindi-medium school (annual tuition fee: Rs.9,000-21,000).

“In 1972, my parents promoted the Little Star English School, Guwahati to provide affordable English-medium education to children from underprivileged households. Four decades later, it’s hugely satisfying that Little Stars is included in India’s Top 10 and is acknowledged Assam’s #1 private budget school. It’s a huge morale booster. Today, our alumni are pursuing successful careers as doctors, engineers and lawyers” — Nandita Mishra (centre), principal of the K-10 Little Star English School, Guwahati, affiliated with the Assam state and CBSE boards (280 students, 22 teachers, tuition fee: Rs.7,800-11,400 per year).

“It is a moment of great pride to be voted among India’s Top 55 and J&K’s #3 BPS. I credit this valuable recognition to our dedicated teachers who are not only well-qualified but passionate about delivering excellent quality education. In 2019, our first batch of class X students who wrote the CBSE board exam recorded 100 percent pass results, with the topper averaging 97.8 percent. Our students are also doing us proud in sports. Last year, class XI student Bawandeep Kaur was selected to represent the Jammu and Kashmir Ranji trophy team” — Dr. Vikesh Kaur, principal of the CSBE-affiliated Doon International School, Jammu (estb.2015) which has 825 students and 70 teachers on its muster rolls (tuition fee: Rs.30,000-36,000 per annum).

“I am happy with our overall #4 in West Bengal and #1 Siliguri ranking. But on the parameter of infrastructure provision, we deserve a higher rating. Despite levying very affordable fees of Rs.8,400-19,200 per year, we have made heavy investment in infrastructure including swimming pool, 3D lecture hall, open-air theatre and multi-purpose auditorium. Moreover, our school has recorded 100 percent pass results in the CBSE class X and XII board exams year on year” — Dr. S.S. Aggarwal, promoter-principal of the CBSE-affiliated Siliguri Model Sr Sec School (estb.1989). Sited on a four-acre campus in Siliguri (pop. 701,489), the school has 1,050 students and 65 teachers on its muster rolls.

“We are delighted to be ranked #17 all-India and Goa’s #2 BPS. It’s especially encouraging that your informed sample respondents have ranked us #7 nationally for teacher competence because at Trinity Primary, teacher welfare and development is top priority. All our teachers attend the school’s annual in-house professional development workshop in addition to NISA workshops” — Elsa Vaz, headmistress of the K-IV Trinity Primary School, Curtorim (estb.1987, annual tuition fee: Rs.9,000). Sited in a verdant agrarian village in the Salcette district of South Goa, TPS has 450 pupils mentored by 15 teachers on its musters.

“Our school was established in 1940. We are delighted with our national #92 and Rajasthan #6 ranking and the high ratings awarded to us for teacher competence and teacher development as these are our focus areas. Moreover we have a reputation for providing well-rounded education which combines academics, dance, music, arts, spoken English, life skills education and training in sports such as cricket and basketball” — Manish Sharma, principal of the Rajasthan board-affiliated English/Hindi-medium Sri Sanatan Dharam Panchayat Sr Sec School, Mandawa, Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. (600 students, 40 teachers, annual tuition fee: Rs.17,000-35,000)

“The #75 national, #6 in Uttar Pradesh and #1 rank in Pilbhit is first time recognition of our hard work which has paid good results. I thank the management, teachers and parents for collaborating smoothly to provide holistic education to our students” — L.P. Srivastava (inset), principal of Kamm Scholars School, Pilibhit (estb.2008), a CBSE-affiliated English-medium school sited in Pilibhit on the Indo-Nepal border. Currently, the K-12 KSS has 1,300 students and 70 teachers on its muster rolls. Annual tuition fee: Rs.12,000-24,000.

“We are very pleased to learn that a specially constituted sample of parents and teachers have ranked us #1 in Sanwer, a town sited between Indore and Ujjain, and #6 in Madhya Pradesh. Quality education for all has been the objective of our school since it was established 25 years ago. We provide a healthy mix of English medium academic education, sports and co-curricular education to our students which is rare in small towns of our large state” — Alok Bajpai (centre), principal of Parrakh Public HS School, Sanwer, an MP state board-affiliated English-medium school. Currently, PPHS (estb.2000) has 900 students and 35 teachers on its musters (tuition fee: Rs.8,000-12,000 per year).

“Our #3 ranking in Uttarakhand is sure to motivate our teachers to work harder to deliver high-quality education to children. During the past 20 years, we have steadily invested in modern academic facilities and developed a holistic curriculum blending academics, skills education, digital learning, public speaking, music and art for our children. It’s very gratifying that parents and educators have recognised our efforts to provide well-balanced education” — Gopal Singh Bisht (right), principal of the CBSE-affiliated K-12 Greenwood Public School, Sitarganj, Uttarakhand (estb.1992; 1,150 students; 46 teachers, annual tuition fee: Rs.12,000-42,000).

“I am honoured that we are ranked #34 all-India and Assam’s #2 budget private school and thank your sample respondents for recognising our efforts of the past two decades to provide well-balanced affordable education to our students. JV has recorded cent percent results in the class X state board exams for the past several years and our alumni are doing well in their chosen professions” — Abdul Choudhary, principal of Jatiya Vidyalaya Asom, Guwahati (estb.1990), a K-10 school affiliated with the Assam state board (330 students, 21 teachers, tuition fee: Rs.600-1,000 per month).

“For the past four decades we have been providing high-quality English-medium CBSE education at affordable tuition fees without expectation and hope of reward. Therefore, the EW national rank of #59 and #5 in Andhra Pradesh has boosted our morale to continue with our mission of providing quality education for all” — Sreekanth Koganti (left), director of the Kennedy School, Guntur. Affiliated with the Delhi-based CBSE, this K-12 school has 1,900 students mentored by 110 teachers (tuition fee: Rs.19,000-30,000 per year).

“I am delighted with the good news that we are ranked among India’s Top 20 and Chandigarh’s #1 budget private school. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year and this recognition will hugely boost the morale of our teachers, students and parents. We will now make a determined effort to improve and upgrade on all survey parameters” — Davinder Arora, founder chairperson of the K-V Angel Public School, Behlana (estb.2000). Angel Public has 170 students and eight teachers on its rolls. Tuition fee: Rs.15,000 per year.

“Our India Top 40 and Chandigarh #2 ranking have boosted the morale of teachers and students. I thank EducationWorld for acknowledging our education delivery effort of the past three decades. Despite operating out of a 300 sq. m plot, we have done our best to provide well-equipped science labs and library. We also conduct annual sports day on a nearby ground. Moreover, our school routinely records 80 percent-plus success rate in the class X state board exams” — Vijay Kumar Jindal (centre), founder-director of the K-10 Bharatiya Adarsh Vidyalaya, Burail, Chandigarh (estb.1988), which has 600 students instructed by 27 teachers (tuition fee: Rs.9,600-12,000 per year).

“It’s a proud moment for us to be ranked the #1 private budget school of Gujarat and Surat. Though we are only four years old, we have taken great pains to provide good quality education and meet all academic norms and infrastructure standards set by the CBSE board” — Rajesh Zaloya (centre), director of the CSBE-affiliated St. Hari Academy, Surat (estb.2014). 500 students; 35 teachers; tuition fee: Rs.20,000 per year.

“News of our Top 25 all-India and Goa’s #3 ranking came as a marvelous surprise. I thank God for giving us the strength to sustain education to God’s children for the past two decades. We pride ourselves on providing our children a holistic combination of academics, sports, co-curricular and values education. Our students routinely achieve cent percent results in the class X state board exams” — Cynthia De Souza, founder-principal of the K-10 Divine Mercy High School, Mapusa (estb.1998), North Goa. 200 students, 30 teachers.

“I thank our teachers, students and parents whose collaborative teamwork has made it possible for us to provide well-rounded education which has earned us #4 ranking among BPS in the state” — Imran Mazir Khan (right), principal of National Academy, Dhargloon, a village in the Poonch district of Jammu. Promoted in 1991, this J&K board-affiliated class I-VIII English-medium school has 262 students and 16 teachers on its muster rolls (tuition fee: Rs.6,000 per year).

“I am elated to learn that our school has been ranked #5 nationally and Haryana’s #1 budget private school. Sukhpal Sr Sec was founded three decades ago by my father Sardar Sewa Singh, an army veteran with the objective of providing quality education at affordable fees in the small town of Ugala in Ambala district. Recognition of our efforts by your informed respondents is affirmation that the school is on the right path towards achieving this objective. We are motivated to perform better next year” — Sardar Harpal Singh, principal, Sukhpal Senior Secondary School, Ugala (Haryana, estb.1986), a K-12 CBSE-affiliated English-medium school (800 students, 62 teachers, tuition fee: Rs.8,400-24,000 per year).

“For the past three years, our school has been ranked among India’s Top 3 budget private schools in the EducationWorld India School Rankings. I am happy that in the inaugural dedicated EW India Budget Private School Rankings we have managed to retain our #3 national ranking and #1 in Maharashtra and Mumbai. Our alumni who are well-placed in the defence and administrative services, medicine, engineering and technology professions, are testament to the holistic and professionally-administered education we provide” — Neelam Malik, founder-principal of St. Mary’s High School, Kalyan, Mumbai (estb.1989). This class I-X, Maharashtra board-affiliated school has 2,066 students and 69 teachers (annual tuition fee: Rs.22,000).

“On our 20th anniversary, we are delighted with news of our inclusion in Karnataka’s Top 10 with a #9 ranking. By providing children of lower middle class households access to high-quality education, we have enabled them to realise their higher education and professional dreams. Today, our alumni are successful medical practitioners, chartered accountants and engineers in prestigious multinationals such as Wipro, Mercedes Benz and Infosys” — founder-principal Shailaja Khened of the English-medium Swamy Vivekananda High School, Vijaynagar, Bangalore (estb.2000) which has 700 students mentored by 40 teachers on its registers.

“Our satisfying #22 all-India and #3 in Tamil Nadu ranking is public validation of the good quality affordable school education we provide to our students. I thank our teachers, our most valuable asset, for making this recognition possible, and also our supportive parents’ community” — Bhagyam Thangaraj, correspondent of the TN state board-affiliated K-12 Angels Babyland Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai (estb.1999) which has 1,400 students and 55 teachers. Tuition fee: Rs.11,495-29,100 per year.

“We are very grateful for this honour and thank your sample respondents for ranking us among India’s Top 50 BPS and #2 in the high literacy state of Uttarakhand. For almost 20 years, we have been providing IT-enabled modern education to students from low-income households” — Suresh Chand Ramola (left), principal of the K-VIII Gyandeep Children Academy, Brahmkhal, Uttarakhand (estb.2001). Currently, GCA has 190 students and 12 teachers on its musters (tuition fee: Rs.7,200-9,600 per annum).

“We are delighted with the national Top 10 and especially #1 West Bengal rankings awarded to Burnpur Riverside which has been providing affordable education to children of this steel town hosting the IISCO plant of the Steel Authority of India for 43 years without any recognition or acknowledgement. I am especially pleased that the sample respondents have rated us highly on all parameters, especially for teacher competence and teacher welfare and development. Despite space constraints, we do our best to provide well-balanced academics, sports and co-curricular education” — Sushil Kumar Sinha (left), principal of Burnpur Riverside School, Bardhaman (estb.1977). Affiliated with the Delhi-based CBSE, this K-12 school has 2,750 students mentored by 114 teachers (annual tuition fee: Rs.24,000-42,000)

Parameters of excellence: India’s Top 10 BPS schools

To compile the 2020 league table of budget private schools (BPS), 2,458 respondents comprising parents (with children enrolled in BPS), principals and teachers were persuaded to rate them on 11 parameters or attributes. On the reasoning that there is more to education than academic or scholastic excellence (on which conventional league tables published abroad are based), the respondents were asked to rate schools on 11 parameters of school education excellence including academic reputation, co-curricular education, sports education, faculty competence, leadership, infrastructure, teacher welfare and development, value for money, safety and hygiene, individual attention to students and life skills education.

Parameter rankings of India’s Top 10 budget private schools are set out below.

EW India Budget Private School Rankings 2020

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