New Delhi: Principals of Centre-run Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) face punishment postings and transfers for poor performance of their students in the class 12 final examination, though these schools collectively have done better than the national average.
Sources said the move was aimed at retaining the high standards across all the 1,100-odd KVs in the country, where more than 1.2 million students study.
These schools together recorded a total pass percentage of 95.46% KVs in this year’s class 12 board exam, much better than the national average of 83.05%.
A total of 50 principals have been given “hard” postings already — that is, sent to schools smaller in size and located in areas considered remote or lacking in amenities.
Some of these schools are in hilly areas, including in the Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttarakhand. Some “hard stations” are Baramulla in north Kashmir, Mashrakh in Bihar, Latehar in Jharkhand, and Kalimpong in north Bengal.
More than a dozen principals have been denied a posting of their choice after having served at “hard stations” already.
“The idea is to make teachers and principals accountable. KVs have become a brand name and our results are better than private schools. We are focusing entirely on learning outcomes,” a source said.
A number of schools have not been able to keep pace with their counterparts, prompting authorities to hold the faculty responsible for the students’ underperformance.
The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), the regulator of KVs, served notices this June to more than 200 principals and action was taken now after unsatisfactory response from many of them.
Sources said notices were served to schools that scored less than 90% pass percentage.
Principals were transferred in “extreme cases” in which schools registered a dip in pass percentage of up to 42% compared to 2015.
Some of these principals had big schools on their watch and they have now been sent to smaller ones, a source said.
Many of them may get away with a warning, memo or denied promotion because of poor results of students in the final school exam conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which is a stepping stone to higher education.
Schools that registered a pass percentage between 98% and 100% have been rewarded such as more than 60 principals were offered postings of their choice.
Education campaigners didn’t subscribe to the reward-or-punish formula.
“Punishment posting is not the solution as smaller schools or the schools that are in bad shape would require an efficient principal. So, by transferring an underperforming principal, you’re doing injustice to the students of schools to which they are sent,” said Khagesh B Jha, a lawyer-activist.
The solution is to motivate and train the principals and if that doesn’t work, stop their increments and promotions, he suggested.
Principals of KVs that Hindustan Times contacted for comments refused to speak on the issue.