The Indian schooling system particularly private school system has undergone tremendous changes in recent times. As India has emerged as a global player, the aspirations and expectations from parents and schooling community have shifted to demand a more far-reaching and holistic idea of education that prepares students for life rather than careers.
The existing awards tend to measure outcomes or “results” rather than processes. Further, the awards stabilize the success of the school in terms of student achievement alone, neglecting two other areas the managerial/administrative systems, and teachers that undergird the whole teaching-learning process, but are hidden from public view. From principal, to teachers, and down to students; assessment issues; quality classroom transaction that has a consistent spread across classrooms; student-centered learning, to name only a few.
What we are calling for is a shift in perspective regarding the goals and methods of measuring school excellence. First, because we recognize that genuine change takes years and happens in small increments, we want to evaluate processes rather than outcomes alone more the journey than the destination. In this context, the School Brilliance Award (SBA) becomes an important tool for a comprehensive self-assessment that can point out areas for improvement and throw a spotlight on issues that are often hidden to school policy makers. Second, we want to set in place a series of rubrics that assess a more holistic idea of education. Here, while one strand will evaluate effective leadership and management strategies adopted by the school, the SBA departs from other well-established awards such as the Singapore model to emphasize the importance of community-based and civic engagements promoted by the school.
Therefore, the SBA measures not only academic quality of the school, but also extends upwards and downwards to include the head and heart of the school organism. SBA will set benchmarks for best practices in the three prongs of managerial skills, academic quality, and community engagement.
Some schools do stand out as exemplary in their achievements and IBCI will honor those schools under the following categories:
Leadership and Management: This award measures effective managerial and organizational skills, development and implementation of strategic goals by school leaders, the quality, and the living presence of values/motto adopted by the school.
Resources and Infrastructure: The Resource award measures the achievements of the school in providing quality infrastructure and resources for the over-all development of students. This includes learning resources such as a well-stocked library, computers and technology, clean sports facilities and student support services.
Learning for Life: This award measures teaching approaches, effectiveness, preparedness, and pedagogic strategies for student-centered and process-oriented learning. It also measures the ability of the teacher to generate high standards of learning, and high interest and morale among learners.
Community Outreach: This award measures the investment and involvement of the school in the wider community it is placed in through the promotion of shared values. It also emphasizes the partnership between the school and the community of parents as an important ingredient of holistic education. Community support for recognition of schools also becomes an important measure of the school's effectiveness and reach.
School Brilliance Award: A holistic view of an intelligent and charismatic leader with the right blend of support and equipment, engraving principles and character which enhance nurture and mould the future generations. This award is an achievement of bliss and flamboyance.
SBA: “Celebrating inspirational educators and institutions 2014”
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