by Dr. Manjeet Jain
School Education is the most important phase of a person’s life. Everything they are as mature and adults have their roots in their schools. Selecting the right school in accordance with your child’s learning skills, aptitude, creativity, and emotions can make all the difference to their academics and the overall success in life. The right school for your child can make all the difference in his or her successful academic career.
The good news is that there are many options in Belagavi and the bad news is that the abundance of options often leaves parents in a dilemma over how to choose the best school for their children. It is important to know what to look for in a school to ensure your child receives the best possible education for his specific needs. As an educator, I would like the parents to focus on a few of the following areas.
Infrastructure – School infrastructure with good spaces makes it a good place for the students to study. It makes it interesting and gets the children motivated to come to school, this, in turn, improve the attendance and interest of students in learning. The school should have a balanced infrastructure in terms of academics and sports. Few schools have well set academic infra but poor sports facilities. Library and Labs are commonly seen in every school but a separate section for sports facilities like Swimming, TT, Skating, Football, Badminton, Basketball and indigenous sports will give a positive and life long impact on physical as well as mental fitness.
Solution: Please visit the school personally and get the details of the infrastructure.
Check the Affiliation related Documents: There are many schools mushrooming in town having names of internationally known universities. They do marketing as if they are affiliated to these international organizations and parents are not informed about the fact that they are nowhere affiliated to any international board only thing they have done to keep the name on these bodies. Even there are one or two recently opened schools operating in a rented buildings without any infrastructure to claim that they are associated to known international university and school but trust me they are not. If they ask you that they are affiliated to the international board or CBSE then please request to provide a Letter of Affiliation or Association. It’s a matter of your child’s life. You can’t afford a fake name with a false identity. Even you can verify online too.
Solution: The online links to verify the affiliated schools in Belagavi are [ https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/why-choose-us/find-a-cambridge-school/ and http://cbseaff.nic.in/cbse_aff/schdir_Report/userview.aspx]
Classroom Teaching Practices: The classroom should have an active environment, having together students from different backgrounds with various abilities and personalities. Being an effective teacher, therefore, requires the implementation of creative and innovative teaching strategies in order to meet students’ individual needs. There are very few schools in the town that have Child Centric Teaching practices in the classroom.
Solution : Have interaction with existing parents and find out the teaching strategies in the school.
Balance Curriculum – Academic & Activities: A healthy balance of academics and extracurricular activities is of utmost importance in every student’s life,. Activities not only have a very good impact on the personalities of students but also helps in better grades in the examination. There are few schools in the city of Belagavi that emphasize on both Academics and Activities. They have a perfect blend of curriculum focusing on both.
Solution : The parents need to visit the websites and Facebook pages of the school to get more knowledge.
Teacher – Student Ratio or per class strength: Apart from the infrastructure and the quality of teaching, the strength of the class is an important factor to be considered while selecting a school. The attention that a student gets to a large extent depends on the student-teacher ratio, which in any ideal class should be 35:1, it means that a standard classroom should not have more than 35 students. the formative years of learning. There are few schools in the city which have 25: 1 ratio that is very good for students. The above 35 students per class are not at all favorable for students.
Solution : The parents should check the school brochure, a website to know the Teacher-Student Ratio or per class strength. Even they can ask the school at the time of inquiry.
Results and achievements: What defines a student’s progress academically are the exams and the results. The school plays an important role in preparing the students for exams. The efforts to be put by schools are Designed Revision Schedule, Extra Classes for slow learners, Expert Sessions for Board Exams and making students able to face the exams confidently. There are hardly 1 or 2 CBSE schools in the town where grade 10th results are 100% in CBSE Board Examinations.
By assessing information, talking to other parents, visiting schools, and exercising your right to choose, you can now take the step in making sure your son or daughter gets the best possible education. However, this is only the beginning. By staying involved in your child’s education, encouraging your child to work hard, and providing additional opportunities to learn at home and in the community, you can help your child go further still. Remember it is your right, as well as your responsibility, to seek the very best education for your son or daughter.
About the Author: Dr. Manjeet Jain is the Principal – Jain Heritage School, Belagavi and City Coordinator – National Testing Agency.