Never mind if we have to accept the superiority of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in the fields of business and commerce, we are still the best when it comes to school education. A survey carried out recently by Wipro in association with an educational research organization shows that Kolkata is head and shoulders above Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore in scholastic quality. A total of 16 top schools from each city were considered for the survey that consisted of exams and viva voce on Maths, English and Science. Though the names of the city schools considered for the survey were not divulged, the surveyors revealed that of the 16 top schools, 64% are affiliated to ICSE, 7% to CBSE and 29% to the West Bengal board.
Most of the top ICSE schools from Kolkata that were considered for the survey are Anglo Indian schools controlled by either the CNI or the Catholic Church. However, Kolkata ICSE schools in question are much ahead of schools in the other cities that we considered, said a spokesperson from the social and community initiatives cell of Wipro. According to the survey, christened Quality Education Study (QES), there is a clear gap of 10 percentage points between leader Kolkata and trailer Bangalore. The study was conducted among a total of 23,000 students of classes IV, VI and VIII in the five cities. The survey result states that Kolkata has topped while Delhi has clinched the second position each time.
The other positions have been interchanged among Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai. Take the case of Maths. In the study conducted for proficiency levels among students of Class VI, Kolkata has managed to finish at 53.2%, Delhi at 48.6, Mumbai at 42.9, Chennai at 41.4 and Bangalore at 38.7.When the same exam was conducted for Class-VIII students, Kolkata again occupied the first position at 66.8, Delhi 63.7, Bangalore 62.5, Chennai 60.8 and Mumbai 54.7. Even in case of English, Kolkata managed to stride ahead of the others with aplomb. At a test conducted for Class-IV kids, Kolkata finished at 48.8%, Delhi at 42.7, Mumbai at 41.2, Chennai at 39.8 and Bangalore at 36.5. In case of the results for a test of English for Class VIII, Kolkata maintained its sway with 53.5, Delhi 50.5, Chennai 47.4, Mumbai 47.2 and Bangalore 45.7. The participating schools were from ICSE, CBSE and respective state boards.
We have found that Kolkata has been able to top the survey because of the excellent performance of the ICSE schools considered in our sample. “The CBSE schools have not been able to perform that well. Also, the performance of the schools belonging to the West Bengal board has been poorer compared to the national boards”, said Vaijayanthi Shankar, spokesperson for Educational Initiatives, that partnered with Wipro for the survey. The survey compares the performance of the state boards too and has found that the West Bengal board is at par with the Karnataka board and fared slightly better than Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra boards, when it came to Science and Maths. However, there are some causes of concern and we have alerted the respective principals and teachers about them. Even the best performing schools have performed below the international average at the class IV level, though students matched the international performance level by the time they are in class VIII, explained Shrikant Sreedharan of Wipro.
There’s more, even the top schools exhibit rote learning. They have not been able to display the analytical skills that were expected of students of such top schools, he explained. T.H. Ireland, principal, St James School, sounded happy though he did not want to reveal if his school was part of the survey. It is heartening to know that Kolkata schools have performed so well. The approach of ICSE schools to education is very modern. There are many firsts like the way we allow a lot of freedom to kids, when it comes to choice of subjects in board exams. We have set several trends and I am happy that these are being appreciated. Birla High School principal, Mukta Nain, principal was equally ecstatic. This makes me happy. We have been able to make a mark as far as school education is concerned, she said.
Courtesy: Times of India