Awards and honours keep a good school on the right track, said principals and academics who had come to receive awards for their schools at the Hindustan Times Top Schools Conclave 2016 in Andheri.
“The HT Top Schools survey makes sure we are on the right track. What is important is to see how a particular school is different from others. The happiness quotient and teachers play a huge part. Teachers are the most neglected lot in society. But this survey considers all aspects,” said Dr Madhura Phadke, principal, Pawar Public School, Chandivli.
Shubhadra Shenoy, principal of Shishuvan School, Matunga said, “It is not one of those surveys where they just give out forms to fill and hand out prizes based on pieces of paper. They actually come to conduct the survey and make sure the school deserves the award.”
The survey helps parents make an informed choice, said Suruchi Kataria, principal, DAV School, Airoli. “Parents read the newspaper and search on the internet to gather information and find a suitable school for their children.”
The conclave also saw educationists exchanging ideas on a range of topics. While appreciating the debate on homeschooling, Mala Divakar, the vice-principal of Avalon Heights International School, Vashi, said the arguments didn't go down well with an audience full of school teachers. “It is fascinating to know the struggles of homeschooling. What is exciting is that a topic like homeschooling was brought before an audience from the schooling background.”
Some academics vehemently opposed the concept of homeschooling. “I need a week to describe the real idea of education, and home schooling is definitely not a part of it. It is like going against the law,” said Neil McWilliam, the principal of Oberoi International School, Goregaon.
A few students represented their schools too. “Our principal told us students are the biggest reason for any award, recognition or praise. The event gave us a lot of exposure, which we would not have got if we stayed back at school,” said Yug Bhansali, the head boy at Aditya Birla World Academy, Tardeo.