School versus school

School versus school

You’ve heard of students from different schools competing with one another. How about schools themselves getting into the fray? Over 150 city schools have an opportunity to participate in the "Ideal School" competition, a special kind of contest in which the quality of the participant school’s facilities will be evaluated.

Together with the TMC, Thane Zilla Parishad and Navneet Publications (India) Ltd, the Rotary club of Thane has organised this competition for all secondary schools in the Thane Municipal area. According to the organisers, the primary objective of the competition is to "develop a spirit of competition and achieve progress thereby".

Such a competition is being held for the first time in Thane. A set of questionnaires has been prepared and is being distributed to participating schools. The schools are required to fill in this questionnaire which covers relevant aspects of operating a school: academics, sports, library, science laboratory, computer facilities, provision for sanitation, career guidance and level of teacher-parent interaction etc.

To be fair, facilities at municipal schools cannot be compared to those run by the various trusts and private organisations. Therefore, the schools have been divided into four major categories:

1.  Municipal Schools
2.  Marathi and other vernacular medium language private schools
3.  English medium private schools
4.  Schools affiliated to ICSE

There would be two winners for the first and fourth categories, with a prize amount of Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 7,500 at stake. For the remaining two categories, there would three winners for Rs. 10,000, Rs. 7,500 and Rs. 5000.   Additionally, for schools in the second and third category, there are two more prizes of Rs. 5,000 – one each for excellence in academics and for sports/extra curricular activities.

Schools will initially be screened on the basis of their answers to the questionnaire. Subsequently, a panel of judges comprising of senior representatives from the field of education, the Zilla Parishad, the TMC and the Rotary Club of Thane will visit the short-listed schools and scan the facilities to ascertain the claims.

The last date for sending in entries is December 31, 2002. The results of the competition and prize distribution will be held in the second week of February, 2003.

It is a known fact that there is a directly proportionate relationship of good educational facilities to student performance. Research proves that better facilities in a school get translated into superior performance of its students. Such a competition would not only promote improvement initiatives at private schools, but would also bring to the forefront the problems that many small schools face. Some schools lack basic facilities like toilets, water-supply and playgrounds. The class-rooms are small and badly ventilated. Blackboards and benches are broken. It is for this reason that the organisers have urged all schools to participate, regardless of how good their facilities are. They may not emerge winners in the competition, but may benefit nevertheless. Based on the entries they receive, the organisers plan to release a public report on the state of schools in the city. This initiative could help the under-privileged schools attract the much-needed funds to install basic facilities within their premises.

For more information about the "Ideal School" competition, you may contact Dilip Soman, President of Rotary Club of Thane, on 25803549, 25804408 & 25820734.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *