Abha Adams, education consultant, New Delhi
Choosing a school for your child is perhaps one of the most important decisions a parent can make. Sadly, most parents do not have a choice, given the issues of demand and supply in the education space. If you are one of the fortunate few who can make a choice, then the following might be useful:
u What kind of education do you want for your child? Are you a parent who believes that academic excellence (by that, I mean achieving high marks in an exam) is the most important factor, and judges a school by its exam results?
u Gauge a school by walking around and getting a feel of the environment. Is there a sense of cheerfulness? Do the children look happy? Do the teachers enjoy being with the children? Are you treated with respect and courtesy? What does the school’s mission statement say? Is it reflected in the policies and practices of the school? Do parents have a role to play? Ask questions.
u Leadership plays an important role in the choice. Does the school leadership inspire confidence? Is the faculty committed and caring?
u And, finally, are the facilities, such as playgrounds, laboratories and libraries, of the quality that you are seeking?
Focused schools with a caring faculty, led by inspiring heads, would be the ideal choice.
As told to S. Mitra Kalita
Rama Krishnan, faculty member, Vasant Valley School, New Delhi
Parents should find out if the school provides opportunities for the all-round development of the child.
Does the school have opportunities for creative expression? Facilities for physical or sports activities? Does the school have academic rigour? What is its track record on all these fronts?
Parents should also check if the school provides a secure environment where the child is happy. The infrastructure of the school is also important. However, this should not be considered the main criteria.
Use opportunities to visit the school and interact with the faculty to gauge whether the school meets your expectations. Our school, for example, is open to parents of prospective students every second Saturday.
As told to Jeetha D’Silva
Rajan and Puja Arora, founders, NurseryAdmissions.com
Parents should find out about the philosophy of the school. The child should love going to the school. All this is more important than factors such as distance between the home and the school. In the school we have chosen, students need not carry bags, and the teacher-student ratio is 1:15. It is a new school, and open to new ideas. Our child will be travelling 18km but then the school has a bus with an LCD screen...for every child (that plays cartoons). There is closed-circuit TV in every classroom so you can watch a video of what your child does in class.
As told to Aparna Kalra