The state government of India’s capital New Delhi is all set to rank 5,800 schools in the city — the first such evaluation exercise of its kind

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  • Next month, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights will undertake a rigorous assessment of 5,800 schools in the capital.
  • The survey is a precursor to the creation of the city’s first ever School Development Index.
  • Delhi’s schools will be ranked according to three parameters - safety and security, teaching and learning as well as community participation and social integration.
While there are thousands of schools in India’s state capital, there isn’t a system to evaluate them relative to each other. However, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), a state government department constituted under the Child Rights Act of 2005, aims to change this.

Next month, the DCPCR will undertake a rigorous assessment of 5,800 schools in the capital — all of which are administered by the state government’s education ministry and/or New Delhi’s three municipal corporations- as a precursor to creating the country’s first ever 'School Development Index' for a state.

Owing to the sheer number of schools involved and data required, earlier indices compiled by the government have focussed on the state or districts as a whole rather than individual schools.

Unde the School Development Index, Delhi’s schools will be ranked according to three parameters, as devised by the Adhyayan Foundation - an NGO that focuses on capacity building of schools.

The first parameter is safety and security, the second is teaching and learning outcomes while the third parameter is community participation and social integration. Each school will be given a rank between 1 to 4 for each criteria, with 1 indicating that it has the most room for improvement.

The assessment of Delhi’s schools is expected to continue into next year, with a final report from the DCPCR due in May. The government body has made sure to clarify that the exercise is not a punitive one but an instructive one. The exercise will give the administrators of these schools an insight into best practices and facilitate an environment for collaboration.

Education has long been a priority for the current state government of Delhi. When contesting state elections for Delhi in 2015, the Aam Aadmi Party made the improvement of education outcomes one of the core aspects of their platform.

So far, it seems that they have kept their word. For example, in July this year, the government launched libraries in 100 primary schools in the city, in addition to a 100 last year. In June, it announced the planned launch of a ' happiness curriculum' in government schools, which involves meditation and life skills training. They have also instituted school management committees, improved the infrastructure of schools and invested in teacher training.
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