We — Bamboola Play School, Chennai — have been in business for the past ten years now, much before magazines such as EducationWorld started ranking and covering schools in this segment (EW India Preschool Rankings 2012, December). For the past two-three years our school’s ranking has been consistent in your magazine, but this year, I find it quite intriguing to note that our rankings have slipped on several parameters, which I find hard to believe.
I am curious as to how your magazine does these rankings. I don’t recall any one visiting our premises or talking to our parents and teachers. For e.g on one of the parameters — teacher welfare — we are rated No. 9. Have you spoken to any of my teachers to get this number? How do you come up with this rating?
We have also slipped on the parameter of innovative teaching. What do you mean by innovative teaching for kids who are less than 3.5 years of age? Are you looking at a Smart Board system in the school to teach toddlers?
I would appreciate a reply, so we can understand how this rating is done and can continue to work and excel in those areas. Unless the system of rating is transparent and helpful, there’s not much we as directors of a school can do to deliver the best for society, the sole purpose of our existence.
Director, Bamboola Play School
Our rankings are a reflection of public perceptions, not investigation. The ranking methodology is explained in extenso on p.40 which you are advised to read — Editor
Public pressure call
I strongly support your suggestion to transform the country’s 1.6 million anganwadis into fully-fledged early childhood education centres (EW December). It’s an overdue initiative which must be taken up immediately by the Central and state governments. Science and education research has now proved beyond doubt that brain development is greatest in the early childhood years (0-8). The consequences of neglecting the vital foundational stage of a child’s development will have long-term implications on the future of the next generation.
But as you rightly point out in your cover story, the HRD ministry and education departments in the states have consistently ignored and neglected ECE provision for the country’s vast majority of children whose parents cannot afford the fancy preschools you have ranked in six major cities countrywide. Little wonder that India is ranked last (45) in The Economist’s ‘Starting-Well’ rankings for its abysmal provision of early childhood education.
What is needed to push them into action is public pressure. I hope EducationWorld will take the lead in building public opinion.
Ajay Kumar Sharma
I was pleased to read your EW India Preschool Rankings 2012 cover story (EW December). However Shishya Nursery, a preschool with a strength of 200 students, which has been running for the past 25 years in Bangalore, has not been ranked among the Top 10.
In informed circles it’s well-known that Shishya offers enriched learning programmes for young children amidst a setting of old Bangalore. Please visit our website www.shishyanursery.com.
Principal, Shishya Nursery
Thanks for your EW India Preschool Rankings 2012 (EW December). Your rankings of preschools in Delhi are on the ball. The top three — Magic Years, Step by Step and Ardee Montessori — are all excellent, offering joyful learning to children. I am sure so are the others in your Top 20 league table. However with preschools mushrooming all over the city, I think your list of 20 is very restrictive. There are many other preschools which are sufficiently well-known to be rated in your rankings.
My request is that next year you expand the list to at least 50, so that it can be used effectively by young parents to make appropriate choices for their tiny tots.
Under the C fore assessment method-ology, preschools unfamiliar to less than 25 respondents are not ranked — Editor
Wonderful & inspirational
I greatly appreciated EducationWorld’s 13th anniversary cover story — ‘How India’s top-ranked institutions compare with best in West’ (EW November). It was wonderful and very inspirational for principals.
Earlier I was dean of Unison World School where I taught business studies and economics mostly to South-east Asian students writing the CIE, UK’s ‘A’ level exams. Moreover I have travelled considerably with Afairs school exhibitions abroad. Therefore I am qualified to judge that your story is too close for comfort and a lot of research has gone into it.
Thank you for enlightening educati-onists, for whom your feature offered many points to ponder.
Trilok Singh Bist
Principal, Jodhamal Public School, Jammu
This is regarding the EW-C fore India School Rankings 2012 (EW September). In the all-India day school rankings, the name of our school — Bal Bharati Public School, Rohini, Delhi — is missing. This is surprising as in last year’s (2011) rankings, the school was placed 131 all-India and 81 in North India.
Please advise whether it is an oversight or there is some problem. It will help us to evaluate ourselves.
We would also like to mention that the school has been rated among the top 10 schools in a survey conducted by Hindustan Times-C fore for the past three years.
Principal, Bal Bharati Public School
I would like to report and highlight a case of one-sided heavy-handedness meted out to us by the director (Ms. A.K. Thakkar) of the Sunflower Nursery School, Walkeshwar (Mumbai) which is ranked by you among Mumbai’s Top 10 preschools (EW December).
We have been penalised the sum of Rs.39,000 by the director of the school because we chose to withdraw our son’s admission owing to a change in our professional circumstances. We paid a sum of Rs.75,000 to the school when our son was admitted for which we were not given a receipt, circular or any information sheet or warning stating that we stood to lose more than half that sum if we decided to withdraw our child’s admission from the school for any reason.
I am an American national currently resident in India. Poor and non-existent ‘customer service’ of this type would not be tolerated for even a second in the US where it would be classified as unadulterated fraud and malpractice.
Sunflower Nursery has been consis-tently ranked by your magazine as one of the Top 10 preschools of Mumbai. While I will never question or refute those rankings and I have absolutely nothing adverse to say about the school or its facilities, I must mention that the policies implemented and espoused by the school and in particular, Ms. Thakkar are most lopsided and unfair to parents who pay good money to the school and who, moreover, place their trust in the school and its personnel and most of all, its chief and director. In my view, any way you look at it, retaining a sum of almost Rs.40,000 from a set of parents is akin to pure economic blackmail and fraud.
Ronnie K. Marker
Thank you for the coverage given to our school (EW December). But there are serious errors which I would like to have corrected in your next issue.
Our school fees are Rs.32,800 per annum; not Rs.75,000-100,000 as stated. I was shocked to see a wrongly reported figure and the information on this has not even been sought by your correspondent.
Similarly, regarding the built up area, we are spread over 2.5 lakh sq. ft and not 87,120 sq. ft as mentioned in the article. Moreover we have 440 computers in eight labs, not two as reported.
I would appreciate if the corrections are made by way of a corrigendum in your next issue.
Director, Education and Principal, Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School
Our Mumbai correspondent Praveer Sinha replies: Despite repeated requests in person and by e-mail, Ms. Srinivasan failed to provide fee details. Re built-up area, this figure is given on the school’s website.