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Schools join hands to share resources, mentor each other

PUBLISHED ON JUN 29, 2016 12:58 PM IST

MUMBAI: Only a wall divides Our Lady of Perpetual Succour School, Chembur, from St Anthony Girls School. For the last 150 years, the schools did not share any information or projects. But starting this week, they are coming together to improve students’ performance.

As part of a pilot for National Leaders of Education (NLE), a United Kingdom-based programme, launched in the city last week, 20 schools will be trained in leadership and offer their expertise to other schools that need their help.

The pilot is being conducted in India, Kenya and Egypt.

Most of the participants are Catholic schools such as Convent of Jesus and Mary, Fort, St Anne High School, Fort, St Stanislaus, Bandra, St Isabel’s School, Mazgaon, and Carmel of St Joseph, Malad. A few non-Catholic schools such as SM Shetty, Powai, are also signing up.

St Stanislaus said they hope to improve their teaching-learning practices and curriculum through the initiative. “Schools have to share resources and improve or get crushed by the competition,” said Anna Correa, principal of the school.

Academicians said sharing resources is the need of the hour as it will help raise students’ achievements and catch up to the new breed of international schools mushrooming in the city.

“Most schools in the state are running in a traditional manner. They are afraid of maintaining records and even sharing data with others. If they want to face the competition, they need to collaborate with other schools,” said Francis Joseph, director, R Minds Education, a school development company. R Minds Education launched the programme in association with Archdiocesan Board of Education, which runs 150-odd schools.

Many schools were earlier affiliated only to the Maharashtra state board but are also introducing the Cambridge International Examination (CIE) curriculum to attract Christian population. “We were reluctant to start international schools as our mission is to provide affordable education,” said Father Francis Swamy, joint-secretary, ABE. “But with the Christian population opting for international schools, we decided to venture there, while retaining our state board schools.”

Some principals said mentorship programmes might not work well in the city. “In the UK, the government asks the low-performing schools to get mentored by the high-performing ones but here schools might object to such classifications,” said Rohan Bhat, chairperson of the Children’s Academy of Schools in Kandivli and Malad.

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