Schools in the state will now be able to evaluate themselves and better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
A group of educationists has come together and designed a tool for measuring school effectiveness that asks questions about infrastructure, finances, the school’s mission and evaluation methods among other things, to help school assess themselves.
The group, comprising former education secretary Kumud Bansal, educationist Ambujam Iyer, former SSC board official Basanti Roy, former director of education V Kalpande and others, will put forward the self-evaluation tool before the state government at a conference in November.
“When school heads answer these questions it will give them an idea of their performance, they will be able decide on their needs and priority areas and develop a school plan accordingly,” said Basanti Roy, one of the members of the group involved in designing the tool.
“The education department can also then focus on certain schools and help in planning and providing resources.”
The group developed the self-evaluation exercise over a three-month period and piloted it with 20 schools from Mumbai and 20 from Pune.
Questions vary from what parents know about the school’s mission to the degree of alumni involvement in the school to whether there are adequate toilet and drinking water facilities.
In its current form, the self-evaluation has been designed as a voluntary exercise for schools.
“Those schools that have dynamic heads will apply the tool and be able to obtain direction and guidance, it definitely helps,” said Raj Aloni, principal of Sir JJ Fort Boys’ High School in Fort, and one of the principals who ‘tested’ the tool.
“The education department hardly does any checks or inspections on schools these days, and there are some that are just not up to the mark.”