I was participating and speaking at the inspireED conference organized by Teach for India-TFI in Pune recently, it was a wonderful experience to witness the energy and enthusiasm that the TFI fellows had to make a difference to the lives of children in the government and low income schools. A majority of the fellows were very young in the early 20’s and many of them had given up lucrative corporate jobs to follow their passion of adding value to the educational arena. What struck me were the simple innovative things they were doing in classrooms that could do wonders in mainstream private schools.
Over the past decade I have worked very closely with private schools across the sub-continent and I have witnessed the magic that some of the educators have managed to create in their schools. My experience over the past few years working with government schools has opened my eyes to the ground realities of their domain and I must admit that there are several sparks of excellence even in government schools. Being an entrepreneur myself I also realize the wonderful job some of the private companies and enterprises are doing in the Indian education domain.
From a macro perspective I get a sense that these 4 different players – governmental bodies, private schools, NGO’s and private companies are all working parallel to each other, apparently with similar goals and objectives. They are all trying to improve the educational system. If only these different players looked at synergies in an organized manner the positive outcomes of their interventions would be multifold. The goal of everyone working in education is to ensure a bright future for our children, if we could reachout and learn from other organizations we give ourselves a wonderful opportunity to co-create something magical.
Over the past few years I have had several educators express their opinion about some of the school ratings that are being brought out. A common question that is asked of me is – Do I subscribe to such ratings and what is my opinion about school ratings? I believe that ratings are good if done in a fair manner and the evaluator and the evaluated principally understand the parameters of assessment. If the assessor has very little idea of what is being assessed and the ones assessed have no idea how they are being assessed, it leads to a very interesting scenario, which is what I guess we are in with the present school ratings. I have always subscribed to the philosophy that there has to be “a method to the madness”, if the method itself is unclear then there is a serious danger of not being in control of the outcomes. Would love to hear from you on what you think about this recent trend of School Ratings.