Methodology: The survey was conducted in two phases by market research agency C fore (www.cfore.org) . In the first phase, a perception-based survey was conducted to zero in on a list of top 10 schools from six zones across Delhi — Central, North, Southeast, Southwest, East and West.
In all, 1,200 respondents, comprising parents and teachers and spread uniformly across the city, took part in the survey.
The respondents were asked to recall the top 10 schools in their zone.
In the second phase, a similar survey was carried out, asking parents and teachers to rate those schools on a scale of 10 against various parameters.
The parents-and-teachers ratio in both phases of the survey was 80:20.
4) Birla Vidya Niketan
Academic rigour: Toppers of Class 10 and 12 for 2008-09 scored 97 per cent and 93.4 per cent, respectively
Nursery cost: Admission fees Rs 700; Annual fees: Rs 35,920, including one time admission fee, annual charges and tuition fees (excludes transport and food).
No. of nursery admits: 455
The school gives special attention to poor performers, does consistent evaluation of students and supports teacher training.
“There is a lot of stress on assessment through activities,” said Seema Garg, English teacher for classes 11 and 12, who has been working with the school for 15 years. “Periodical tests start from Class 6, and we have two term exams and pre-board exams,” she said.
Sports too gets its share of attention. One student won gold in an under-14 all India school tennis tournament. Another student won silver in badminton at the nationals. The school has a sports complex with a skating rink and a gymnasium.
5) Gyan Bharati, Saket
Academic rigour: Toppers of Class 10 and 12 for 2008-09 scored 92.2 per cent and 96.4 per cent, respectively
Nursery cost: One-time admission fees: Rs 700; annual fees: Rs 30,600 (approximately), including one time admission fee, annual charges and tuition fees (excludes transport and food). The school plans to revise school fees in 2010.)
No. of nursery admits: 150
This school is big on sports and has a four-acre playground where students train for cricket, football, basketball, volleyball, badminton and kho-kho. There are coaches for cricket, basketball and football and the school has produced sportsmen like Angad Singh Bedi, Fidel Saba and Swapandeep Singh, all of whom have made a name for themselves in their fields.
“The changes that I’ve seen in my child are not just academic. He has opened up and is interested in all fields,” said Madhu Alokjee (45), whose son Milind is in Class 10.
Academically, the school does not fare very well. Of the 143 Class 10 students who took the Boards this year, only 8 scored above 90 per cent.
6) Apeejay, Sheikh Sarai
Academic rigour: The toppers of Class 10 and 12 for 2008-09 scored 96 per cent and 95 per cent, respectively
Nursery cost: Rs 22, 000 ( approx) including annual fee, development fee and fee for one quarter; quarterly fee: Rs 8,900 (approximately)
No. of nursery admits: 200
Three big play fields, two basketball courts, a badminton court, short tennis court, skating rink, cricket pitch, swimming pool, splash pool… few schools can match Apeejay’s sports infrastructure.
“We believe in holistic development. Encouraging qualities like leadership and sportsmanship are part of curriculum,” said principal A.P. Sharma.
The school also allots a period per week to value education.
The students spend time with senior citizens in the neighbourhood who live alone. “They are invited to school programmes,” said Sharma.
The school can jazz up its nursery classrooms that are a tad dull.
“I also think there is a need for more extra-curricular activities aimed at developing life skills, ” said Saurabh De, a student of class 9.
7) Bluebells School
Academic rigour: The toppers of Class 10 and 12 for 2008-09 scored 95 per cent and 94.6 per cent, respectively
Nursery cost: Approximate fee at the time of admission: Rs 27,000, including annual fee, development fee and fee for one quarter; quarterly fee: Rs 6,900 (approximately)
No. of nursery admits: 140
It’s a school that believes in constant change and innovation in teaching methodologies. Its curriculum is activity-oriented. Projects, group discussions, symposia, paper presentation, tutorials and book discussions are all part of the curriculum.
“We believe in changing with the times and were among the first schools in the city to adopt technology for supporting the learning and the teaching processes,” says principal Suman Kumar.
“Our teacher training research and resource centre is the nerve centre for innovations,” said Kumar.
The school has been constantly producing top-rankers in academics. It also boasts of great infrastructure for students with a creative bent of mind.
It has a recording studio, an art gallery, dance halls, a multimedia centre (where students learn photography and film-making), an auditorium and a senior library with 25,000 books.
“Our school puts a lot of emphasis on academics and offers a wide range of creative activities,” said Gurvisha Ahuja, a class 12 student.
Sports facilities are also good.
8) Laxman Public School
Academic rigour: Both the toppers of Class 10 and 12 for 2008-09 scored 95 per cent
Nursery cost: Fee at the time of admission Rs 33,000 (approx) including annual fee, development fee and fee for one quarter; quarterly fee: Rs 10,000 (approx)
No. of nursery admits: 150
Spread over eight acres in Hauz Khas Enclave, the red brick school boasts of huge green lawns and a playground.
The school puts a lot of emphasis on academics and constantly monitors the progress of its students.
“Academics is our core strength and we regularly organise enrichment programmes for high achievers and remedial programmes for low achievers,” said Usha Ram, the principal. “Our curriculum is designed to promote independent thinking and self expression.”
The school has about 75 differently- abled children and about 100 children with learning disabilities.
The school also has great sports infrastructure. Cricketers like Virender Sehwag and Ajay Jadeja give tips to students at its cricket academy.
9) Don Bosco
This Catholic school for boys is known for its emphasis on academics, its competitive basketball team and strict
Talk to Bosconians — that is what the students call themselves — and they will tell you the school is very particular about academics and discipline.
“I think the school has one of the best teachers. Some of them are from the IITs. If you listen to them carefully in class, you need not take any tuitions or study at home,” said Abhinav Bhardwaj, who passed out last year.
But they are strict disciplinarians too. “You cannot bunk school, must attend the morning assembly, cannot keep long hair and have to do well in exams,” he said.
Moral and spiritual education is an integral part of the curriculum.
Sports facilities at the school include basketball courts and a calibrated all-season cricket pitch.
10) Cambridge School, Srinivaspuri
Academic rigour: Toppers of Class 10 and 12 for 2008-09 scored 92.4 per cent and 94.4 per cent, respectively
Nursery cost: Admission Fee: 725, Annual Fee: Rs 29,110, including one-time admission fee, annual charges and tuition fees (excludes transport and food.)
“The education standard is much better than other schools and the school fees is much lower,” said Arun Dua (60), a parent whose sons attend the school.
Ranked second in academic performance among all southeast Delhi schools, Cambridge offers low cost education on a campus with good infrastructure, including an air-conditioned auditorium, well-equipped laboratories and an audio-visual room.
The campus has an independently run centre for differently-abled children. “Our objective is to integrate them into the mainstream,” said D. Kalsi, the principal. Students weak in studies get coaching through need-based remedial classes.