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State to map schools

mumbai Updated: Nov 12, 2010 03:28 IST
Bhavya Dore

Next year, the Maharashtra state board is planning to map schools across the state and will make this data available online, the secretary of the SSC board, S Dhekane, said at a conference on Thursday.

“For the next year, we hope to map schools on googlemaps to identify areas which lack schools,” said Dhekane.

Fauzia Khan, state minister for school education, said that the government’s “masterplan” involving mapping of schools to identify the areas that don’t have schools and to ensure that schools were built, is in keeping with the needs of the Right To Education Act.

Speaking about changes in the annual, compulsory self-evaluation exercise for SSC schools, Dekhne said that now schools will have to provide details on student numbers, facilities for the disabled and expenditure per student.

Evaluation will be based out of 1,000 marks, instead of the usual 500. Teachers, too, will be individually evaluated out of 100 marks each.

“After the schools’ grades are announced we are planning to designate ‘lead’ schools, or high performing schools that can then help out the low performing schools in the area,” said Dhekane.

At the same conference a group of educationists presented the state government with a self-evaluation tool for schools.

The group, headed by former education secretary Kumud Bansal, and comprising former government officials and educationists has designed and piloted a self-evaluation exercise for schools, that it hopes the state government will take up.

The exercise assesses schools on seven parameters such as its mission and vision, school governance, the teaching-learning process and infrastructure. “This tool is absolutely fabulous,” said Fauzia Khan, minister of state for school education. “It is necessary to calibrate and effectively measure schools’ performances. We are very happy that they are sharing their vision with us.”

She added that they would see how this compared with the existing compulsory self-evaluation exercise that the Maharashtra state board conducts annually.

The new tool has been conceived as a voluntary exercise. “It is very comprehensive and will help schools take their own efforts in assessing their strengths and weaknesses,” said Kumud Bansal.

“Also, parents and students are nowadays very keen to know where their school stands and how it is performing”.