This issue of EducationWorld is historic for two reasons. First, it is the 21st-anniversary issue of this sui generis news magazine. Secondly, because by unplanned happenstance, it features our most famous and successful initiative, the EducationWorld India School Rankings (EWISR) for the year 2020-21. Pioneered in 2007, over the years the annual EWISR has evolved into the world’s largest and most comprehensive schools assessment and evaluation project.
Twenty-one years ago your editors launched this news publication with the mission “to build the pressure of public opinion to make education the #1 item on the national agenda”. In retrospect, this goal was perhaps too ambitious. For foolishly embracing socialism and povertarianism immediately after independence, 21st century India hosts the world’s largest number of illiterates, and more than half of class V children in the country’s gravely under-resourced 1.20 million government schools can’t read class II textbooks or manage simple division sums. This is the outcome of annual outlay (Centre plus states) for education never having exceeded 3.5 percent of GDP against the repeatedly recommended 6 percent.
Nevertheless, it is some consolation that education has moved from the outer periphery to near centre of the national development agenda, and hitherto totally ignored education leaders including philanthropists, principals and teachers have been given voice and a platform for shaping education policy. We are confident that steadfast commitment to our mission will awaken the establishment and society to the vital importance of developing 21st century India’s abundant and high-potential human resource.
Moreover, to enable parents in the country’s large and expanding middle class to choose the most suitable schools for their children, we present Part I of EWISR 2020-21 which rates the country’s best day (co-ed, girls, boys and day-cum-boarding), government (day and boarding), philanthropic (private free-of-charge) and dedicated special needs schools on 14 parameters of holistic school education. Boarding schools (co-ed, boys and girls) and international schools (day, day-cum-boarding, residential) as also the best budget private schools will be rated and ranked in the next (December) issue.
Although some academics accord high importance to board exam results (see p.32) your editors believe that schools that provide balanced holistic education nurture human resources best. Therefore, ab initio the annual EWISR has been assessing schools under a dozen parameters, of which academic reputation in only one.
Endorsed by Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian, chief economic adviser to the Central government (see interview p.256), EWISR 2020-21 is a valuable market-oriented response to the paucity of reliable information about schools and education institutions.
A Happy Diwali and more prosperous New Year to our readers and advertisers!
Also read: EW India School rankings 2020-21 (Part 1)