Why School accreditation and grading is important
Discontinuing of CBSEi and increasing set of difficulties to accredit schools, it is important for institutions to understand its gravity.
The draft National Education policy highlights the formation of the School Accreditation council empowered to evaluate and accredit schools based on parameters matching international quality standards. Accreditation is not a new term in Higher education as NAAC has a quality mandate for higher-ed institutions in India. The CBSE board also had announced their plans to accredit their schools more than a year back, but they didn’t implement it for reasons unknown (inspite of empanelling agencies). The Maharashtra government is also strongly planning to introduce school accreditation and grading for all types of schools; be it any curriculum.
It is indeed important to establish a quality benchmark in school education which levels all the schools; be it a national or international curriculum school. As a country, we currently don’t have a common “quality benchmark” which is an indicator of a school’s quality performance when it comes to different parameters such as teaching,learning, student progress and achievement, leadership & management, infrastructure, parent engagement etc.Parents are heavily confused on to select the ‘best’ curriculum. A parent must understand that the success of the school is directly related to the quality of its leadership,teachers and the teaching-learning process. The introduction of school accreditation in India will immensely help the parent /student community and also the teachers who can now decide on where they should spend their precious effort on. India has a high density of population wanting to study in private schools and student strength is not a clear indicator of being a successful school. The accreditation process could lead to the grading of schools which can serve as a good indicator of their quality standards; thereby possibly linked to several government benefits when it comes to allotting concessional land to schools, permission to open new schools and/or any of their schemes.
Who will conduct the school accreditation / evaluation as it’s a challenge to ensure integrity. The Government should consider establishing a separate council similar to that of Dubai government 5 years back when it established the ‘Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DISB). DISB temporarily hires “school inspectors” from many countries including India to inspect all their private schools in Dubai. Over the years, this strategy move by Dubai had uplifted their quality standards and has created an environment of “accountability” and “improvement” among their schools.
School Accreditation emphasizes quality assurance, commitment to continuous quality enhancement compliance with rigorous standards and help them to develop and implement a school development plan. If judged to be in compliance with established standards, an accreditation status may be granted for a specific period similar to NAAC.
It also prepares the teacher to have their classroom instruction “evaluated” not only by their own school team members but also by external evaluation teams.
Time to change or be changed.<
The author is Contributing Editor to BW Education
and Co-Founder of School Leaders Network
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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