School’s name and best performing domains will be listed on board’s website

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has made it mandatory for schools to be accredited, and city schools are preparing for the process.

A recent circular sent to all affiliated schools told school heads to start applying online for accreditation. The deadline to complete the process is three years.

Officials say the accreditation process, School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Scheme, is not to rank schools but to provide quality benchmarks in the establishment and running of schools. The board has over 13,000 schools across the country under its fold at present.

Under the process, schools will be evaluated on scholastic and co-scholastic processes, infrastructure, human resource management and administration, leadership and beneficiary satisfaction – further divided into 250 areas such as life skills, value systems, visual and performing arts, health and physical activities, classrooms, libraries, labs and transportation facilities among others. CBSE started this process last year as a pilot project for 100 schools and of the 54 volunteering schools in the first phase, 31 were from the Chennai region.

To get accreditation, schools should get at least 75 per cent marks out of the total, with at least 50 per cent marks in each domain.

The process will start soon, said officials, with the schools submitting their application online along with supporting evidence. A team of experts will visit each school for validation of data, after which detailed reports will be sent to the board.

Once accredited, the school’s name and its best performing domains will be listed on the CBSE website. This, CBSE officials said, would also help parents make decisions with regard to schools.

School heads here have welcomed the move. Ajit Prasad Jain, senior principal, Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram, said the move would help set up a standardisation process that would evaluate all schools by the same parameters.

The new system would only benefit students, as schools would have to prove themselves and constantly update and evaluate their teaching methods, said  T.M.J. Padmanabhan, principal of Sindhi Model Senior School.

Also, the fact that the evaluation does not include academics alone is welcome, said Suma Padmanabhan, principal, Asan Memorial Senior Secondary School.

“Many schools violate norms when it comes to paying recommended salaries to teachers or conducting teaching workshops for them. Now that the board is taking teachers’ satisfaction into account, schools will no longer be able to bend rules,” she said.

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